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Science Museum

Science Museum explores invisible revolution of big data

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Our Lives in Data at the Science Museum investigates the rapidly evolving role of big data in our lives—and how it is being used to transform the world around us.

From our daily commute to our genes, more and more information about our lives is being recorded as huge amounts of data, whether we are aware of it or not. Our Lives in Data, a new exhibition at the Science Museum opening tomorrow, investigates the rapidly evolving role of big data in all our lives and how it is being used to transform the world around us.

Our Lives in Data explores some of the diverse ways that our data is being collected, analysed and used, from a toy that learns the personality of a child to become a better playmate to new virtual reality tools created by game designers to help researchers understand vast collections of data. Visitors will have a chance to test facial recognition software through an intelligent mirror, designed to guess your age, gender and emotions.

As the amount of data collected grows so does the debate around data ownership. This exhibition highlights some of the new products developed to help individuals protect their data, including a Cryptophone designed to prevent access to your mobile phone data and paint that blocks WiFi signals. Our Lives in Data also looks at the data we share openly through social media and consider the consequences of living in a more connected world. Visitors will be able to join in the debate and compare their views with others through an interactive exhibition quiz.

There has been a huge acceleration in data collection over the last fifteen years, driven by recent advances in technology and data science. Our Lives in Data looks at the crucial role of big data in planning and improving public transport in London as well as its importance in medical science.

Exhibition Developer Sheldon Paquin said:

'Big data is still new but it is already revolutionising the world around us. We hope all visitors to Our Lives in Data will get a sense of just how much of our data is captured and processed every day and consider the huge benefits as well as privacy concerns this can create.'

The first human DNA sequencing took about 13 years to complete but now takes just two days. Exhibition visitors will see an example of a modern DNA sequencer and find out how it is helping the 100,000 Genomes Project to uncover the causes of rare diseases and cancer.

Professor Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer for England, said: 

'Through the 100,000 Genomes Project being delivered by Genomics England, we are demonstrating how genomic technology can transform the way people are cared for. The UK is leading the world in this exciting area of medical discovery, and by using big data we are starting to understand about how these conditions work, who might be susceptible to them and how they can be treated. My next annual report will be on the subject of Genomics and will look at the opportunities for using big data to improve health outcomes for the population.'

Our Lives in Data is generously supported by Lloyd's Register Foundation (Principal Funder), PwC (Major Sponsor) and Microsoft (Associate Sponsor). The exhibition is free to visit and is open from 15 July 2016 to September 2017.

ENDS

For further information and images please contact Julia Murray in the Science Museum Press Office on 020 7942 4328 or at julia.murray@sciencemuseum.ac.uk

Notes to Editors

About the Science Museum

As the home of human ingenuity, the Science Museum's world-class collection forms an enduring record of scientific, technological and medical achievements from across the globe. Welcoming over 3 million visitors a year, the Museum aims to make sense of the science that shapes our lives, inspiring visitors with iconic objects, award-winning exhibitions and incredible stories of scientific achievement.

About Discover South Kensington

Discover South Kensington brings together the Science Museum and other leading cultural and educational organisations to promote innovation and learning. South Kensington is the home of science, arts and inspiration. Discovery is at the core of what happens here and there is so much to explore every day.

About Lloyd's Register Foundation

Lloyd’s Register Foundation is a charity set up in 2012, with a mission to enhance the safety of life and property and to advance public education in engineering-related subjects. Its vision is to be known worldwide as a leading supporter of engineering-related research, training and education that makes a real difference in improving the safety of the critical infrastructure on which modern society relies. In support of this, it promotes scientific excellence and act as a catalyst working with others to achieve maximum impact.

One of the Foundation's strategic themes is about emerging technologies and our report, Foresight review of big data: towards data-centric engineering, looks forward at how developments in the area of big data might impact the safety and performance of the engineering assets and infrastructure on which modern society relies. The report will help the Foundation understand where it can make a distinctive contribution to the developments in big data in pursuit of its charitable objectives, because life matters.

About PwC

Data and analytics are core to how PwC provides assurance and advisory services to help our clients achieve their strategic goals. PwC has hundreds of data and analytics professionals who advise both public and private sector organisations on issues ranging from demand management and operational efficiency to workforce optimisation, risk and compliance.

As a member of PricewaterhouseCoopers International Limited, the UK firm belongs to a global network of PwC firms from 157 countries with more than 208,000 people. We have a strong global data analytics network, enabling the firm's data analytics experts in the UK to share resources, methodologies, knowledge and expertise cross-border. 

About Microsoft

Microsoft is the leading platform and productivity company for the mobile-first, cloud-first world, and its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.