Art and science have collided in the heart of the capital, as King’s College London opened a new permanent cultural venue – Science Gallery London – on 21 September in London Bridge, just moments from the iconic Shard building.
The first of its kind in the UK, Science Gallery London is a vibrant, creative hub where rigorous scientific research is made accessible to visitors young and old through innovative installations and a diverse programme of exhibitions and events.
Visitors to the free-to-visit Science Gallery will be asked to examine urgent global issues through the creative responses of artists working in collaboration with King’s researchers and scientists. Open to all and with 15-25 year olds the primary target audience, Science Gallery London aims to capture the imagination of young adults and inspire them to consider their world in a new way.
Science Gallery London’s Young Leaders, a group of 15-25 year olds from Southwark and Lambeth and King’s student community, will play a crucial role in the direction of the gallery. Young Leader and King’s neuroscience student Bella Spencer believes the new gallery will draw in young people from south London and beyond.
“Science Gallery London will challenge us all to think about the big issues affecting our world”, said Bella. “It will be a vibrant, interactive space where science isn’t hidden away in labs and art isn’t behind a velvet rope. Through Science Gallery London, King’s is making science and culture accessible to everyone, allowing young people the chance to interact with new discoveries and original thinking.”
King's academic research is central to Science Gallery London’s purpose. Professor Edward Byrne, President & Principal of King’s College London said:
“King’s Science Gallery London represents a new vision for the role of the university in the 21st century. It will take critical new research on urgent issues beyond the university walls and bring them to life through science and art. Science Gallery London will see new collaborations between artists and scientists challenge the status quo and capture the imagination of King’s local communities, students across the capital and visitors young and old.”
Science Gallery London will host three seasons a year and its inaugural exhibition HOOKED will delve into the complex world of addiction and recovery. From gambling to gaming and smartphones to social media, HOOKED will question what makes the human race vulnerable to addiction and interrogate the underlying factors and routes to recovery.
Science Gallery London, which features exhibition spaces, an auditorium, a café and a shop, has been designed by LTS Architects and is situated on the site of Boland House, part of the historic 18th century Guy’s Hospital in London Bridge. During the project the last undeveloped Georgian courtyard in London has been transformed from a car park into a newly-landscaped public square.
This project has been made possible thanks to funding from Shard Funding Limited, in recognition of HH Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the father Emir; Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity; and the Wellcome Trust.
Science Gallery London is part of the Global Science Gallery Network, launched in 2012 with the support of founding partner Google.org.