BAS - British Antarctic Survey

04/29/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 04/30/2024 06:43

Hold polar ice at Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition

29 April, 2024 News stories

British Antarctic Survey, in partnership with the University of Cambridge, will be at the 2024 Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition, showcasing how, using Antarctic ice cores to unlock the past, we can understand more about the future of our planet in a changing climate.

This annual celebration of cutting-edge science is an exciting opportunity to meet world-leading researchers across the UK. The Society's flagship event will feature mind-blowing science, thought-provoking talks and jaw-dropping demonstrations, with more than 250 leading scientists on hand to answer questions and talk about their innovative work. Themes this year include bodies and brains, understanding our universe and tech for the planet.

BAS' and University of Cambridge's exhibit is called Antarctica: unlocking the past. Our planet could be on the cusp of a climate change 'tipping point', with scientists warning of the potential for a sudden and catastrophic loss of Antarctic ice that could have knock-on impacts as population centres around the world, including here in the UK, face flooding. As well as talking to researchers about the threats facing parts of the Antarctic ice sheet, and the consequences for people around the world if it were to melt, visitors will have the opportunity to explore a 3D-model of Antarctica and hold a piece Antarctic ice and listen as ancient air, thousands of years old, escapes as the ice slowly melts.

Dr Thomas Bauska, a polar ice core expert and Royal Society Fellow at British Antarctic Survey, says:

"We're so excited to be brining Antarctic ice to the Summer Science Exhibition. Antarctica is so remote and is a place most people will never visit, and it can be hard to equate something happening so far away to our everyday lives. However, the threats facing the West Antarctic Ice Sheet are great, and were we to lose large parts of it because of climate change, it would have consequences for every one of us.

Holding a piece of Antarctica in your hand and hearing the distinctive 'crackle and pop' of ancient air escaping as the ice melts is such a powerful way to connect with this remote and special place. Even though it's my day job to melt this ancient ice, I never get tired of how cool it is!"

Cosmologist Carlos Frenk, Fellow of the Royal Society and Chair of Public Engagement Committee, says:

"Visitors to this year's Summer Science Exhibition are in for a real treat. This year's event promises to be one of our best yet. From innovative research looking at the evolutionary past of our human brains, to cutting-edge technology attempting to define what dark matter actually is, and in doing so, solve one of the universe's greatest mysteries - there truly is something for everyone.

"Science is vital in helping us understand the world we live in - past, present and future. I urge visitors of all ages to come along with an open mind, curiosity and enthusiasm and celebrate incredible scientific achievements that are benefiting us all."

The Summer Science Exhibition will open with an adults only Lates event on Tuesday 2 July at 6pm at the Royal Society, Carlton House Terrace, London, SW1Y 5AG. The exhibition will open its doors to the wider public from 10am on Wednesday 3 Julyto Sunday 7 July 2024. The event is free and open to the public - no ticket required, but please register your interest via Eventbrite so we know you're attending. Show your registration confirmation on arrival to receive a free Royal Society tote bag. Twitter Hashtag: #summerscience

To find out more, visit the events page on our website.