Pop-Up Curiosity Shop of Science and Culture

Come join the fun and gets hands-on with research at the Pop-Up Curiosity Shop of Science and Culture.

Calling all imagineers, engineers, and balladeers! This is a bonkers celebration of discovery right in the centre of Exeter at Make Tank Gallery.

Music, theatre, guided walks, demonstrations, talks, workshops, and even robots will bring to life the brilliant work that happens at University of Exeter in a celebration of discovery, mayhem, and much more.

Bring a curious mind and encounter scientists, artists, musicians, historians, doctors, mathematicians, and many others.

This event is free and there is no need to book.



Playful University

The Playful University project makes the University a place where learning is created and nurtured through joy, engagement and play. Where learning to solve problems and overcome obstacles are rewards in their own right.Will you come and play a game with us? Dr Maarten Koeners is a Senior Lectuer at the College of Medical and Health at the Univeristy of Exeter. He integrates insights in the physiology of play and playful learning with my academic practice.

Ice Flows

Play a game about how the Antarctic Ice Sheet responds to changes in the climate system. An important message this game is melting & iceberg calving are a normal part of an ice sheet that is in equilibrium.  Melting & icebergs become a source of concern when the amount of ice lost is greater than that going in, and the ice sheet becomes smaller and sea level rises.


Using life size spine models, discover ground-breaking spine facts that reveal why loads and movement are essential to improve and maintain the health of your back. Scientists from the University of Exeter will show you how your spine works, and what is going wrong when there is damage. Daniela Lazaro Pacheco is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Engineering at University of Exeter

Decision making under uncertainty

High level decisions are often made from mathematical models. With interactive demonstrations, we’ll be showing how this approach is highly effective in many critical contexts. There’s a chance to meet our researchers working on models for many of these real-life situations. This could be in health, such as informing decisions affected by an infectious virus, or even deciding where to plant trees to maximise environmental and societal benefits.

Exeter Science Centre

The two founders of Exeter Science Centre have big dreams to create an amazing, hands-on science + arts discovery centre, to help connect everybody with the incredible research and industry in the region. And they want your views: come and chat to Natalie and Alice, see what they’ve been working on so far, and contribute to the ideas tree! 

The Medieval Warhorse

The Medieval Warhorse is iconic in representing warfare in the age of chivalry, and they are much depicted in films and popular imagery. But what were medieval warhorses really like? This interactive exhibit brings to life the “Warhorse” project, which is combining cutting edge science, with archaeology and history.

The Maths Detectives

See how maths and technology work together to measure and predict your movements and brain activity. Recordings from such technology hold clues to a person’s health. Piotr, Jen and Kyle from the University of Exeter explain how they use data analysis and maths to find these clues, such as patterns, in the recordings. These patterns could help diagnose and treat illness in the body and brain. Dr Piotr Slowinski is a Research Fellow at Wellcome Trust funded Translational Research Exchange at Exeter where he is translating quantitative methods into healthcare technologies.

Anicent Eggs and Climate Change

Hear how exciting evidence from an ancient eggshell has revealed important new information about the extreme climate change faced by human early ancestors.
Philip Kiberd from the University of Exeter contributed to research which shows dry areas of South Africa were wetland and grassland 250,000 to 350,000 years ago. This was a key time in human evolution. He studied ostrich eggshell fragments excavated at the early middle Stone Age site of Bundu Farm, in the upper Karoo region of the Northern Cape.

The Phase Hunters

Hear about a citizen science project tackling antibiotic-resistant bacteria. They are doing this with phages – tiny viruses that can improve our health and exist inside and all around us. One day, they might just save your life!

AI and the movement of people

Hear how the computer modelling of the movement of people can reveal gender difference and inequality. Opportunities in Urban environments are linked to the patterns of the movement of people. There has been a lot of modelling of how we move in urban environments, but not much has been done to look at possible differences between different socio demographics. Groundbreaking work at the University of Exeter demonstrates that patterns of men and women are significantly different which can be linked to possible inequalities. 


Soma Soma 

This Bristol based band are renowned for their distinctive fusion of samba, hi-life, afrobeat and bossa. Their sun-soaked compositions, groovy beats and contagious horn lines will certainly put a smile on your face and transport you to sunnier climes.

Chamber Trio

This Bristol based band is chopping & mixing up a gumbo of Hip Hop, Jazz & Afrobeat outside the shop. It features musicians from Snazzback.

Jimi Can Trio

Jimi Can is a musician who combines different styles including gypsy, Latin, afro and reggae into a modern band sound that fires the imagination and moves your feet. Hear his band outside the shop.



Kora player, percussionist, singer and composer, Suntou Susso is from the Gambia, and will be performing two solo concerts. Born a Griot in a 700-year old tradition, the Kora – harp-lute with 22 strings – is unique to the Mandinka people.

Live window art

The work of Spanish artist Marta Zubieta has intrigued the people of Bristol; 90s cartoons, sci fi, pop surrealist art and latin folklore inspire her to create adult illustrations for forever teenagers. Zubieta will be painting the window of the shop inspired by research within it.


Children Love Pigs

Luke McGuire talks about how children differ dramatically from adults in their moral views on animals. University of Exeter researchers asked children about the moral status and treatment of farm animals, pets, and people. Unlike adults, children say farm animals should be treated the same as people and pets, and think eating animals is less morally acceptable than adults do. The findings suggest that “speciesism” – a moral hierarchy that gives different value to different animals – is learned during adolescence.

Antibiotic Resistance and AI

Scientists are using ideas from artificial intelligence to identify patterns of antibiotic resistance around the world.  Antibiotic resistance is one of the most significant threats to global health. Researchers believe the new techniques will provide a significant boost to the knowledge of how resistance is growing and where. Hear how Professor Robert Beardmore and his team of the University of Exeter’s Living Systems Institute are on the frontline of this battle.

Open Science

Philosopher Professor Sabina Leonelli is asking a big question: is more information always better? We think of the open exchange of information as a good thing when it comes to Artificial Intelligence because it is needed to feed its systems. In this short talk, we’ll be thinking about how the exchange of this information impacts communication and the spread of misinformation.

My Body, My Choice: radical Pakistani poetry

Hear how different voices have emerged in the twenty first century from women’s protest marches to rap artists on the streets of Lyari in Karachi to take Pakistani writing in new directions. New female writers and performers are transforming Urdu from being a “genteel” language and using their work to call for changes to gender roles in Pakistan, according to new work by Professor Amina Yaqin.

The Super Bee

The parasitic Varroa mite has spread across the world. It’s been the prime threat to honey bees in a bitter war for the last 50 years. Hear from Dr Thomas O’Shea-Wheller about a new super bee being bred to resist this mite in a rigorous new programme that will help the bee and humans.

Amazon tipping point

The Amazon rainforest is becoming less resilient – raising the risk of widespread dieback. Hear from Dr Chris Boulton on how the ability to recover from events such as droughts or fires – has declined consistently in more than three quarters of the rainforest since the early 2000s. The Amazon could soon reach a tipping point, crossing of which would trigger dieback and turn much of the forest to savannah, with major impacts on biodiversity, global carbon storage and climate change.

Rediscovering Indian Coins

Shreya Gupta from the University of Exeter is uncovering the secret history behind four major collections of Indian coins in the Ashmolean, the British Museum, and the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge. Previously we’ve known little about the Indian scholars and collectors who helped assemble these collections. Hear how her discoveries are casting new light on Indian history and what that tells us about wider issues.

The world’s oldest fossils

The 518-million-year-old Chengjiang Biota – in Yunnan, south-west China – is one of the oldest groups of animal fossils currently known to science, and a key record of the Cambrian Explosion. Discover how researchers from the University of Exeter have helped discover fossils of more than 250 species have been found there, including various worms, arthropods (ancestors of living shrimps, insects, spiders, scorpions) and even the earliest vertebrates (ancestors of fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals).

Event Details

Maketank Gallery
3-5 Paris Street

Date: 01/10/2022
Time: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

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