Live Science

Need volunteers for your research? Why not experiment on Science Museum visitors? Opportunities exist for high-calibre biomedical researchers to carry out research on visitors in the Science Museum’s contemporary science wing.

Live Science gives biomedical researchers an exciting opportunity to study some of the 3.4 million visitors who pass through the doors of the Science Museum each year.

Researchers are given the chance to gain access to participants already motivated by an interest in science, providing scientists with a rich source of data, and to enhance their public engagement skills.

Activities take place during Museum opening hours in a dedicated space within the Who Am I? Gallery in the Museum's Wellcome Wing, which is devoted to how contemporary science informs our thinking about identity.

We want our visitors to experience science for themselves by participating in real research experiments, engaging with research teams to discover how their work informs our perceptions of identity. We hope that studies will generate new and valuable data, and that both researchers and the Museum gain press coverage and exposure in scientific publications as a result of research conducted here.

Find out more

Download the Live Science Proposal Information

Requirements for study

Studies need to have existing funding and be engaging for Science Museum visitors. You will need to obtain ethical approval from your host institution, an authorised countersignatory to a formal contract with the Museum, and public and product liability insurance. Participating researchers will be vetted in line with Museum policy.

How to apply

Our call for applications for 2016 is now open. The deadline is 24 December 2015. Interested researchers should complete the application form, then return it to Mary Cavanagh at

We welcome applications from any branch of biomedical research, although we anticipate the scheme to be most relevant to geneticists, neuroscientists, psychologists, biomedical scientists and epidemiologists. Researchers should be able to commit themselves to a minimum of 15–25 hours per week and each individual residency is tailored to suit the needs of both the study and researcher.

Past projects

The Science Museum has welcomed many different research groups – from psychologists and epidemiologists to genetic anthropologists and linguistics experts. They asked thousands of our visitors questions such as 'Are you easily distracted?' and 'Will you spit for science?'

Examples of previous Live Science projects include:

  • Dr. Chris Abela. Great Ormond Street Hospital – Me in 3D
  • Manos Tskaris, Royal Holloway, University of London – Looking into myself / Someone else in my mirror
  • Michelle Phillips, University of Cambridge – Music and the Mind
  • Dr Patrick Esser, Oxford Brookes - What Makes Your Walk Unique?
  • Dr Ashok Jansari, University of East London – Familiar Faces
  • Dr Tim Holmes, Royal Holloway, University of London – Insight into your sight
  • Dr Matt Davies, MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, Cambridge - Listen Up!
  • Dr Keith Jensen and Liam Pollock, Queen Mary University of London - What Do You Think is Fair?
  • Professor Sarah Jayne Blakemore and Lisa Knoll, UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience - Am I a Risk-Taker?
  • Dr Manos Tskaris, Royal Holloway University of London - Listen to Your Heart
  • Professor Edward Codling, University of Essex - Emergency! Exit? What Would You Do in an Evacuation?
  • Professor Sophie Scott, University College London - What Makes You Laugh and Cry?
  • Dr Nick Davis - Why Do Your Fingers Go Wrinkly in the Bath?

Further information

If you have any questions or would like further information on current opportunities or past projects, please contact:

Mary Cavanagh, Science Museum, Exhibition Road, London SW7 2DD
Telephone: 020 7942 4894