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University of Oxford research will be on display at the Royal Society’s flagship public engagement event, the Summer Science Exhibition, which launches this year on Tuesday 2 July in central London. This historic annual event, which has been running for more than 200 years, expects to attract more than 10,000 visitors seeking the latest cutting-edge science.

Royal Society building with large red banners at the entrance. People outside queuing to see the exhibition. © The Royal Society.

This year, the free festival of discovery features 14 interactive exhibits, besides a packed programme of talks and hands-on activities. University of Oxford researchers have contributed to three of the main exhibits, selected by the Royal Society through a highly competitive process where only around one in four applications are chosen. The Exhibition takes place from 2 – 7 July, with the full programme available on the event website.


Me, Human

Dr Georgina Donati, from the University of Oxford’s Department of Psychiatry, has worked with colleagues at the University of Sussex to develop an activity which demonstrates where we sit within our primate family tree and how we evolved from great apes to walking, talking humans. Visitors will be able to try their hand at puzzle-solving in “The Great Ape Challenge” and see how their problem-solving skills compare to our primate cousins. Meanwhile, the “Baby Boogie” dance game will show how the way we wriggle as infants helps prepare our brains and bodies to navigate a complex physical and social world.

Dr Donati said: ‘Our exhibits at the royal society explore early development with a focus on what we can learn from very early motor behaviour about the trajectories of later cognitive skills. Our two fun, interactive activities explore the evolution and development of language, and demonstrate how studying the movements of young infants can help us to understand early brain activity. At Oxford I have also been looking at early development from a global perspective, looking at cross cultural drivers of good development to support the sustainable development goals.’


Read the full story on the University of Oxford website.