UNESCO UK takes over the Science Museum

28.03.2019 – BY UNESCO

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The UK National Commission for UNESCO and the UNESCO family in the UK took over the Science Museum in March 2019 to showcase the power of science and UNESCO to the UK.



Girls Night Out is one of Jodrell Bank’s many events, returning this October with a special focus on the 50th anniversary of the first explorers on the Moon.

Over 3000 members of the public joined the UK National Commission for UNESCO and the Science Museum at the Science of UNESCO Lates on 27 March 2019.  

During the event UNESCO designations from across the UK, Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories demonstrated the significance of the Science of UNESCO.

The Science of UNESCO Lates provided a unique opportunity for members of the public to better understand the role of UNESCO in science and that the ‘S’ in UNESCO signifies Science. UNESCO promotes science as key for global peace and sustainability.

Attendees discovered how UNESCO uses science and the latest technology to understand the past and safeguard our future, from preserving historic sites like Stonehenge and Maritime Greenwich to the ancient sculptures of Kathmandu in Nepal. The audience explored how autonomous submarines are helping climate scientists map changes in the Antarctic ocean and how lasers could help avert natural disasters. Attendees also learned how scientists are working together to provide access to clean water, avert environmental catastrophes and tackle climate change – an area of the utmost importance. The interactive element of the event allowed attendees to try out expedition equipment for use in Antarctica and to discover the distinguished Boaty McBoatface.

UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) is the United Nations body responsible for coordinating international cooperation in education, science, culture and communication. It aims to ensure that everyone has access to quality education, may grow and live in an environment rich in diversity and dialogue, can fully benefit from scientific advances, and can enjoy full freedom of expression. Did you know that UNESCO is the extraordinary organisation behind CERN and the Tsunami Warning System?


The Lovell Telescope was built in 1957. Photo courtesy of Jodrell Bank.


The centrepiece of the project will be the First Light Pavilion, designed by acclaimed architects HASSELL Studio. These stunning new facilities will house an exhibition gallery, education areas, a projection space and a new cafe situated within the gardens at Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre.

  • Initiate a heritage-themed engagement programme presenting Jodrell Bank’s unique scientific and cultural heritage to wider audiences.
  • Develop a gallery based schools programme, delivering workshops and outreach sessions, special events and activities.
  • Establish an online portal of archive material available for public view.
  • Conserve and restore heritage that is embodied on the South Side side of the site and which is as the heart of the case for World Heritage Site inscription.

To learn more about the First Light Project at Jodrell Bank, visit their official site here.


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The First Light Pavilion is the centre-piece of the project.



The new pavilion will be the centre-piece of the new development. Photo courtesy of Jodrell Bank / HASSELL Studio.

The transformative First Light Project will unlock the potential of Jodrell Bank’s unique and inspiring history.


The project will create a new must-see national heritage destination and will offer spectacular new visitor facilities for audiences, school children and communities alike. The centrepiece of the project will be the First Light Pavilion, a stunning new building constructed in the gardens of Jodrell Bank. The Pavilion, designed by the internationally acclaimed architects HASSELL Studio, will include a new gallery dedicated to telling the story of Jodrell Bank, immersive projection space and auditorium, and a new education hub and cafe.

Inside the First Light Pavilion will be a spectacular exhibition, in which visitors can engage with the stories of the amazing scientists and engineers who have worked at Jodrell Bank over the years, and whose stories continue today.

This innovative and interactive new gallery will include displays, objects and artefacts from the site’s rich history and will incorporate the fabric of the original 1957 surface of the Lovell Telescope. Archive footage and large-scale projections will animate the exhibition and bring the past to life.

A beautiful new 130 seat auditorium will also feature, housing an immersive projection space where visitors will be able to watch an animated history of Jodrell Bank. The auditorium will also serve as a unique new venue for events, evening lectures, live link-ups, planetarium shows, workshops, and plenty more.

A new heritage engagement programme will also be initiated presenting our unique scientific and cultural heritage to wider audiences. This will allow us to open our doors to thousands of extra visitors and school children, providing an inspirational space in which to deliver workshops and outreach sessions, giving more people the chance to reach their potential.


Read more about the First Light Project and the many other projects on Jodrell Bank’s website.


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