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Science Museum announces new international autumn season of exhibitions and events

  • The Science Museum has today announced a special autumn season of exhibitions and events inspired by the global impact of scientific research and ideas;
  • NEW exhibition Amazônia by acclaimed photographer Sebastião Salgado (13 October – March 2022) to open at the Science Museum, featuring over 200 images, several of which have not been seen before in the UK, highlighting the unparalleled beauty of this vast region and the critical importance of protecting it;
  • NEW exhibition Ancient Greeks: Science and Wisdom (17 November – 5 June 2022) will showcase historic scientific objects and artworks brought together for the first time in the UK, exploring the Ancient Greeks’ pursuit for knowledge and their curiosity about the natural world;  
  • NEW events announced for popular Climate Talks, Open Talk and Science City events programmes with speakers including award-winning broadcaster and Paralympic medallist Ade Adepitan, acclaimed historian Professor A.C. Grayling CBE, and broadcaster and anthropologist Professor Alice Roberts, among others.

In autumn 2021 the Science Museum will open a series of internationally-focused exhibitions and events that will explore the intersections of art and science, the historical and the forward-thinking, global climate change and its impact on local communities. This includes new major exhibitions: Amazônia by celebrated photographer Sebastião Salgado that explores the impact of climate change on the Amazon and its indigenous communities; and Ancient Greeks: Science and Wisdom which explores how Ancient Greek ingenuity was driven by their curiosity about the natural world. Ancient Greeks will also be accompanied by a special programme of events inspired by the objects, images and stories featured.

Also announced today are new events as part of Science Museum Group’s Climate Talks series exploring sustainability and climate change, and further events added to the Open Talk series that explores issues around diversity and inclusion in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths). More events have also been added to the public programme for Science City 1550 – 1800: The Linbury Gallery – which looks at how science shaped London and London shaped science over 250 years of scientific discovery and advancement.

Jonathan Newby, Acting Director at the Science Museum Group, said: ‘I’m delighted that we’re opening a new season of exhibitions and events exploring the global stories of scientific endeavour and discovery at the Science Museum. Visitors will get to journey through the rich flora and fauna of the Amazon rainforest seen through the lens of Sebastião Salgado to the temples of Ancient Athens and the incredible thinkers that shaped our modern world.'

EXHIBITIONS

 

Amazônia

On 13 October the Science Museum will be opening a new exhibition exploring the work of world-renowned Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado – Amazônia. The exhibition will then open at the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester in May 2022.

Archipel fluvial de Mariuá, Rio Negro, État d’Amazonas, Brésil, 2019 © Sebastião Salgado/nbpictures © Sebastião Salgado/nbpictures
Archipel fluvial de Mariuá, Rio Negro, État d’Amazonas, Brésil, 2019 © Sebastião Salgado/nbpictures

Famous for documenting the social and environmental issues facing the planet, Salgado’s work explores the dialogue between nature and humanity. Salgado worked in the Amazon for six years with twelve different indigenous communities to create this new photography project, comprising over 200 black and white images, several of which have never before been exhibited in the UK, which present his view of the indigenous people, forests and rivers of Amazônia

The exhibition is curated and designed by Lelia Wanick Salgado.

Amazônia will be enhanced by video interviews with indigenous leaders and activists working to protect this incredible region and an immersive, orchestral soundtrack by composer Jean-Michel Jarre. 

The exhibition illustrates Salgado’s vision of the Amazon as a unique landscape of unparalleled beauty that is in critical need of protection. Using the power of photography to make the distant feel immediate, Amazônia explores what the world is at risk of losing and offers visitors a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in this incredible region.

From images of epic landscapes filled with lush rainforests taken from river boats and sweeping aerial shots of the immense waterfalls and stormy skies to portraits of the diverse indigenous communities that call this special part of the world home, Amazônia offers visitors the opportunity to see this unique environment through the lens of one of the most eminent photographers working today.

Sebastião Salgado, said: ‘As a Brazilian the Amazon with its incredible colours, rich textures and awe-inspiring vistas has always held a special place in my heart. Over the course of six years travelling through the region I witnessed first-hand the damage over-consumption has had on its landscapes and people. I hope visitors to Amazônia will feel inspired by its beauty but also understand the urgent need for action to prevent this unique biodiversity being lost.’ 

Dr Katy Barrett, Curator of Art Collections at the Science Museum, said: ‘I’m thrilled that the Science Museum and the Science and Industry Museum are the sole UK venues for celebrated photographer Sebastião Salgado’s latest exhibition Amazônia. Through hundreds of captivating images visitors will have the opportunity to explore the Amazon and meet some of the communities fighting to protect their homes in the largest rainforest left on Earth.’

Amazônia is part of an international exhibition tour that began at the Philharmonie in Paris and includes the MAXXI in Rome, SESC in Sao Paulo, the Museum of Tomorrow in Rio de Janeiro. Amazônia will also open at the Science and Industry Museum, in Manchester in 2022, sign up to emails to hear when tickets are available.

To accompany the exhibition there will also be a special programme of events to be announced early autumn. 

As in Paris and Rome, the exhibition will be accompanied by a one-off live concert inspired by the themes explored in the exhibition, performed by the Britten Sinfonia at the Barbican on 14 October.

The exhibition is supported by Natura & Co (Major Sponsor).

Ancient Greeks: Science and Wisdom

On 17 November, a free exhibition opening at the Science Museum will transport visitors back through millennia to explore how the Ancient Greeks questioned, contemplated and debated the natural world. Through historic artworks and objects brought together in the UK for the first time, to the latest scientific research, Ancient Greeks: Science and Wisdom will reveal how curiosity and investigation were central to the Ancient Greek understanding of the universe, as they are for scientists today.

Gold headdress (about 350-100 BCE) adorned with an image of Athena, Goddess of Wisdom © Benaki Museum, Athens © Benaki Museum, Athens
Gold headdress (about 350-100 BCE) adorned with an image of Athena, Goddess of Wisdom © Benaki Museum, Athens

For Ancient Greek philosophers, who defined themselves as ‘lovers of wisdom’, art, science and religion were inseparable. As they sought to understand the world around them and question its workings, they turned to the gods and Muses for intellectual inspiration. From the bright stars in the night sky to the multitude of animals in the sea, Ancient Greek curiosity knew few bounds. Among the exhibition highlights, visitors will discover elaborate jewellery adorned with images of Athena, goddess of wisdom, and the Muses, intricately decorated fish plates echoing Aristotle’s classification of marine animals, and a celestial globe which mapped the known constellations. Medical tools will reveal how Ancient Greek physicians like Hippocrates studied the human body, while the mathematics of music as conceptualised by Pythagoras will be explored through recordings of the aulos and interactive displays.

Jane Desborough, Lead Curator of Ancient Greeks, said: ‘What is truly special about Ancient Greek science is that many of its ideas have been captured and survive in art objects, which is a result of their holistic outlook, in which science, art and religion were viewed as inseparable. And now today’s scientists are using new techniques to uncover the mysteries of this ancient civilization, which will be explored throughout the exhibition.’

Alongside stories of Ancient Greek scientific thinking, visitors will hear from scientists at the University of Southampton about cutting edge research currently being undertaken by The Black Sea Maritime Archaeology Project unravelling the mystery of the oldest known intact Ancient Greek shipwreck. 

Bringing key historic objects together in the UK for the first time, Ancient Greeks: Science and Wisdom will feature loans from the National Archaeological Museum in Athens, Benaki Museum of Greek Culture, Musée du Louvre in Paris, the Nicolas and Alexis Kugel Collection, The Reiss Engelhorn Museum in Germany, Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna, Kunstsammlungen Antike der Ruhr-Universität Bochum and the Reading Museum.

Ancient Greeks: Science and Wisdom runs from 17 November 2021 – 5 June 2022 and will be accompanied by a special programme of events (more details below). This exhibition also forms part of the UK-Greece cultural programme that marks the bicentenary of the Greek War of Independence.

This exhibition is supported by A.G Leventis Foundation, (Major Funder), the John S Cohen Foundation and the J.F. Costopoulos Foundation (Supporters).

ENDS

Notes to editors

For more information, interview requests and hi-res imagery for Amazônia please contact Freya Barry at freya.barry@sciencemuseum.ac.uk or on 020 7942 4327. You can download the image sheet for the exhibition here.

For more information about Ancient Greeks: Science and Wisdom please contact Amrita Pal at Amrita.Pal@ScienceMuseum.ac.uk, or on 020 7942 4096. Images can be downloaded here.

For general information, please contact pressoffice.scm@sciencemuseum.ac.uk.

Visitor information

The Science Museum is open Wednesday – Sunday from 10.00 until 18.00. During school holidays the museum is open seven days a week.

You can also find the Science Museum’s What’s On guide with details of galleries, exhibitions and events at the museum here

LISTINGS

Amazônia
13 October 2021 - March 2022

Science Museum, London
Tickets are £10 for adults, £9 for seniors, £8 for concessions, £4 for school groups and ages 11 and under go free.
www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/see-and-do/amazonia

This exhibition contains nudity and content that some visitors might find challenging.

Amazônia concert
In Sebastião Salgado: Amazônia in concert, Simone Menezes will be conducting Britten Sinfonia, in music by Philip Glass and Heitor Villa-Lobos with projections of Salgado’s evocative, thought-provoking photography, introduced by the photographer himself (14 October, Barbican Hall).

Ancient Greeks: Science and Wisdom
17 November 2021 – 5 June 2022

Science Museum, London
Free, booking required
www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/see-and-do/ancient-greeks-science-and-wisdom

EVENTS

Ancient Greeks: Science and Wisdom, events series:

Accompanying Ancient Greeks: Science and Wisdom will be a series of live events taking place at the Science Museum’s IMAX: The Ronson Theatre in 2022, including panel discussions and live music performances. These events have been supported by the 21 in 21 initiative.
 
From Athens to Andromeda: When Ancient Greece Looked to the Stars (Thursday 20 January 2022, 19.30 – 20.45, £10)
Ancient Greek thinkers made huge contributions, along with other ancient civilisations, to accelerate our understanding of the stars. Driving the field of astronomy into a new era, their contributions helped to transform ideas not only around science, but also religion, philosophy and culture. Join a panel of experts to learn of the leaps and bounds Ancient Greek minds made in the field of astronomy, from determining the secrets of the universe through mathematics to the remarkable discovery of the world’s oldest analogue computer. The panel includes: Professor of History and Philosophy of Science at UCL, Andrew Gregory; journalist and broadcaster Dr Jo Marchant; Research Physicist at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Dr Magdalini Anastasiou; Former Vice-President of the Royal Astronomical Society, Dr Simon Mitton; and chaired by space journalist and broadcaster, Sarah Cruddas.

When Worlds Collide: How Modern Technology Reveals Ancient Worlds (Friday 18 February 2022, 19.30 – 21.00, £10) 
Modern day technology is rapidly evolving, while our fascination with the past is ever-increasing. From uncovering lost shipwrecks through sonar and submersibles to recreating ancient architecture through immersive and cutting-edge video gaming, new technologies are allowing us to walk in the footsteps of ancient civilisations like never before. Join a panel of experts at the Science Museum to explore how today’s technology is allowing us to step back in time as it sheds new light on our ancient history. The panel includes; broadcaster and anthropologist Professor Alice Roberts; Professor of Maritime Archaeology at University of Southampton; Dr Helen Farr, writer and broadcaster; Professor Michael Scott; and developers from Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed.

Live: An Evening of Ancient Greek Music (Friday 6 May 2022, 19.30 – 21.30, £15)
Join the Science Museum for an evening of live music showcasing long-lost sounds from the Ancient Greek world brought to life by some of the world’s best performers of ancient instruments. Using specially-designed software to recreate ancient sounds, The Lost Sounds Orchestra will perform a combination of contemporary and recreated ancient instruments, while renowned musicians Callum Armstrong, Barnaby Brown and Stef Conner, directed by classical musician and Professor of Classics at Jesus College, Oxford, Armand D’Angour, will transport the audience back to Greece through the sounds of the double-piped oboe-like aulos, the earliest form of harp, the epigonion, and the barbiton – a predecessor to the double bass. Hosted by anthropologist and broadcaster Mary Ann Ochota, the evening will also feature talks on music in Ancient Greece and bringing this music back to life in the 21st Century. 

New Science City events:

Science City 1550–1800: The Linbury Gallery takes visitors on a 250-year journey through London as the city became a globally-important hub of trade, exploration and scientific enquiry. A series of online events in collaboration with the Royal Society inspired by the objects and stories in the gallery takes place throughout 2021.

London: Science City 2021 (25 August 2021, 19.30 – 20.45)
Discover how London’s role as a “Science City” has evolved from the era of early Royal Society members like Newton, Hooke and Wren to a time when global collaboration is key. In this event a panel of experts will explore the challenges and opportunities presented by Brexit, green recovery from the pandemic and advances in Artificial Intelligence and engineering. The panel includes; Curator of Earth Sciences at the Science Museum, Alexandra Rose; Science Director of the Science Museum Group, Dr Roger Highfield; CEO of the Royal Academy of Engineering, Dr Hayaatun Sillem CBE, andformer Government Chief Scientific Advisor Sir Mark Walport.

AC Grayling: Learning from “The Age of Genius” (22 September 2021, 19.00 – 20.00)
Join acclaimed philosopher, historian and author Professor A.C. Grayling CBE and science historian Dr Patricia Fara as they discuss Grayling’s new book The Age of Genius. The book is a vivid reconstruction of the seventeenth century in which figures that spanned science, art and philosophy - from Newton, Locke and Hobbes to Shakespeare, Rembrandt and Descartes - took centre stage in sparking a paradigm shift that would define Western thought for centuries to come.  

Stories from Science City (1 December 2021, 19.00 – 20.15)   
This event will explore the people, places, objects and ideas that shaped London, and how London shaped science, with particular focus on key objects in the gallery which reveal how scientists like Isaac Newton, Robert Boyle and Robert Hooke worked closely with artisans from London’s commercial districts. The panel includes Curator of Earth Sciences at the Science Museum, Alexandra Rose; Keeper of Science Collections at the Science Museum, Dr Alison Boyle; Head of Library and Information Services at the Royal Society, Keith Moore; and Professor of History of Science, University of Cambridge, Professor Simon Schaffer.

New Climate Talks:

Since January 2021, Science Museum Group’s event series Climate Talks has led public engagement around climate science within the cultural sector and will conclude in the run up to COP26 in Glasgow in November 2021. Streamed online to connect with an expanding global audience, the event series brings together a diverse, distinguished line up of international speakers including climate scientists, astronauts, engineers, industry leaders, activists, journalists, politicians and high-profile cultural figures. Climate Talks confronts the most pressing issues around climate science and explore which innovations can really make a difference in tackling the most urgent threat to planet Earth and humanity. More info here

COP26: How it Can Achieve What the World Needs? 5 August 2021 (19.30 – 20.45) 
Join a panel of experts to discuss the agenda and ambitions for the most important climate talks of all: the UN Climate Change Conference, COP26. The conference will see leaders from across the globe come together with the aim of agreeing new and ambitious targets to tackle the climate crisis. To reach net zero carbon emissions by mid-century, nations must cut their reliance on fossil fuels, protect ecosystems and invest in efficient infrastructure and clean energy solutions globally. The panel for the event includes; former UK Special Representative for Climate Change, Professor Sir David King;  A.J. Meyer Professor of Energy & Economic Development at Harvard University, Professor Robert Stavins; with further speakers to be announced.  

How to Feed the World Without Costing the Earth, 8 September 2021 (19.30 – 20.45)
Join a panel of experts to explore the impact of agriculture on climate and the opportunities offered by innovation in food production technologies. Climate change is already having an observable impact on food security and disruption to global food supplies is only expected to get worse with more extreme weather events. The food industry is also the cause of high levels of greenhouse gas emissions including carbon dioxide released by transport, methane released by livestock and from organic waste in landfills, along with nitrous oxide produced by fertilisers, so innovative solutions are needed. The panel includes;  Lead Researcher for Food Security at the University of Cambridge, Dr Asaf Tzachor; Country Director at Farm Africa, Petronella Halwiindi; with further speakers to be announced.  

New Open Talk:

Launched in March 2021, Open Talk is a series of free, online events exploring issues around diversity and inclusion in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) as part of the Science Museum Group’s ongoing commitment to share untold stories of science and promote these subjects to everyone. Previous events have explored themes including women in medicine and healthcare, race and identity, and unconscious bias in technology, and have featured speakers including The Guilty Feminist’s Deborah Frances-White, science journalist and author, Angela Saini, and The Gadget Show’s Ortis Deley.

Transforming Space: Recruiting the World’s First Parastronauts (9 December 2021, 19.30 – 20.45)

In a world first for human spaceflight, the European Space Agency (ESA) announced earlier this year that its first call for new astronauts in more than a decade will be open to candidates with a physical disability. In this free virtual event, award-winning broadcaster and Paralympic medallist Ade Adepitan, will be joined by a panel of experts from ESA to discuss the recruitment and training programme required for its new parastronauts, the benefits and challenges of creating a more diverse workforce in space research, and what needs to be done to make STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) more accessible. The panel from ESA will include Director of Human Spaceflight and Robotic Exploration, David Parker, Head of Space Medicine, Guillaume Weerts, and Head of Talent Acquisition, Lucy van der Tas.
You can find images for the events available to download here.

About the Science Museum
The Science Museum is part of the Science Museum Group, the world’s leading group of science museums that share a world-class collection providing an enduring record of scientific, technological and medical achievements from across the globe. Over the last century the Science Museum, the home of human ingenuity, has grown in scale and scope, inspiring visitors with exhibitions covering topics as diverse as robots, code-breaking, cosmonauts and superbugs. 2020 marked a decade of transformation for the museum with the opening of the largest medical galleries in the world - Medicine: The Wellcome Galleries and Science City: The Linbury Gallery - the story of how London became a hub of discovery during 1550-1800. The Science Museum was named a winner of the prestigious Art Fund Museum of the Year prize for 2020. www.sciencemuseum.org.uk Twitter: @sciencemuseum 

Amazônia partner

About Natura &Co
Natura &Co is a global, purpose-driven, multi-channel and multi-brand cosmetics group which includes Avon, Natura, The Body Shop and Aesop. Natura &Co posted net revenues of R$36.9 billion in 2020. The four companies that form the group are committed to generating positive economic, social and environmental impact. For 130 years Avon has stood for women: providing innovative, quality beauty products which are primarily sold to women, through women. Founded in 1969, Natura is a Brazilian multinational in the cosmetics and personal care segment, leader in direct sales. Founded in 1976 in Brighton, England, by Anita Roddick, The Body Shop is a global beauty brand that seeks to make a positive difference in the world. The Australian beauty brand Aesop was established in 1987 with a quest to create a range of superlative products for skin, hair and the body.

Ancient Greeks partner

About A.G Leventis Foundation
The A. G. Leventis Foundation was established in 1979 to fulfil the wishes of the late Anastasios Leventis. In Cyprus, Greece and wider south-eastern Europe, the Foundation’s main emphasis has been on the restoration of a number of monuments of various periods and on support for education and culture. Elsewhere in Europe, and further afield, there has again been a concentration on education, with a particular focus on the communities of the Greek diaspora. An international programme of support for Greek studies has been developed over the years in parallel with efforts to study and enhance the presentation of Cypriot antiquities in museums around the world. The Foundation has active international programmes on environmental conservation and sustainable agriculture, with emphasis on developing countries.

Part of the Science Museum Group