Illuminated Globe next to Whale Skeleton

More than a year on from its initial closure due to the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020, the Science Museum reopens to the public on Wednesday 19 May with new displays and events highlighting the extraordinary impact that science has had on our lives throughout the last year.  

Museum opening times remain Wednesday–Sunday, 10.00-18.00, outside of school holidays, and visitors will need to book a free, timed ticket online in advance. 

Also announced today is a major global exhibition for 2022 exploring the story of the worldwide effort to find new ways to develop vaccines at pandemic speed.  The Science Museum Group, in collaboration with Wellcome, has partnered with the National Council of Science Museums India, and the Guangdong Science Center and its network in China to highlight this global issue through a series of exhibitions and events, to take place simultaneously in the UK, India and China from November 2022.

Visitors returning to the museum this spring will be able to get up close to the historic vials used to administer the first mass COVID-19 vaccinations worldwide, donated by the NHS to the Science Museum Group Collection as part of its COVID-19 collecting project. The vials, testing kits and recognisable signage from the Government’s daily briefings will form part of a new COVID-19 display in Medicine: The Wellcome Galleries, alongside a timeline of key objects from the history of vaccination and displays about other infectious diseases such as Ebola, polio and the Plague. 

As we emerge from the coronavirus pandemic, this extraordinary year has shown the relevance of science to all our lives. We can’t wait to inspire our visitors once again with the ideas and innovations that continue to shape our world, and find solutions for a better future.

Jonathan Newby, Acting Director, Science Museum

The vital collecting project undertaken by curators across the Science Museum Group is just one of a number of ways in which the museum has been at the forefront of the latest developments in the pandemic and the worldwide response. This includes hosting an NHS vaccination centre in the museum, publishing a popular blog series charting the pandemic since March 2020, and online public engagement and events, including a popular discussion about vaccine hesitancy featuring Dr Anthony Fauci and the UK’s COVID-19 Vaccine Deployment Minister Nadhim Zahawi MP. 

Building on this, new events announced today explore the incredible endeavour undertaken by medical scientists to develop and deploy multiple COVID-19 vaccinations in less than a year. Featuring experts at the frontline of this achievement, including Kate Bingham, Sarah Gilbert, Emily Lawson, Patrick Vallance and Chris Whitty, the events will provide fascinating insight into the process of creating the fastest vaccine in history, and what is still to come.

By Benjamin Lewis

Benjamin Lewis is the executive producer of UTCR.Live.

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