By Delhi Kalwan, SciTech Deputy Editor
Over the last three years, We The Curious has been gathering questions from residents all over Bristol. With over 10,000 submissions from every postcode in the city, staff and volunteers whittled them down to just seven.
These questions have been developed into a ground-breaking exhibit, which will be the first major science centre exhibition in the UK inspired entirely by the curiosity of a city’s residents. Project 'What if' was originally set to launch in November 2020, however due to the national lockdown it had to be postponed.
Now with the UK moving out of lockdown, We the Curious have announced they will be reopening (according to government guidance) in May.
The project, funded by a three million-pound grant from the Inspiring Science Fund and Wellcome, aims to ‘place people at the heart of science’ and engage the Bristol community: answering their questions about science and life.
During the pandemic, We The Curious’ team has been busy conducting user testing with many different people, from students to magicians and skateboarders. Projects Producer Amelia Howarth noted: ‘We want everyone to feel a part of science and curiosity, at a time where it’s never been more important.’. Soon they will be reopening their doors to unveil the 68 new features and 25 art pieces which make up Project What if.
‘Each exhibition area uses high-tech, beautiful design to explore these very different questions in a multitude of ways, covering a huge variety of different disciplines and voices.’
Project What If is waiting for you when we do reopen, and it'll be worth it!— We The Curious (@wethecurious_) November 27, 2020
📸: Lisa Whiting pic.twitter.com/8WIAbXghcv
The exhibit is divided into ‘question constellations’ which are unique areas designed to ignite the curiosity of the city’s residents. The constellations cover a variety of themes spanning the universe and time, to invisibility and rainbows. There will also be a collection of COVID-19 diaries, from the people of Bristol and beyond, displayed in ‘The Box’ gallery.
Aside from the main exhibition, the centre has seen a major transformation with multiple new features. The ‘John James Theatre of Curiosity’ which is described as ‘a place to explore visitor’s curious questions in new and unexpected ways’. As well as the ‘Open City Lab’, a new area where visitors will be able to participate in real scientific research as it happens. They will also have the chance to speak to researchers running the experiments.
You can visit We The Curious’ Project What if on 17th May 2021.
Featured image: Epigram/ Edward Deacon
Will you be making a visit to the new exhibition?