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Fuel your curiosity at the Science and Industry Museum

  • Explore the museum after hours during an evening of live music and experimental sounds from Space Afrika, and celebrate 75 years of modern computing by raising a glass to 'Baby' 
  • Discover the remarkable life of a world-renowned theoretical physicist in new display, Stephen Hawking at Work 
  • Indulge in a dose of nostalgia and enjoy five decades of gaming in ultimate gaming experience, Power Up 
  • Uncover Manchester's leading role in modern-day travel and the country's creative industries as part of new displays in Revolution Manchester

Adults interested in exploring Manchester's pioneering past, innovations of the future and ideas that change the world can embrace their curiosity at one of city's top attractions.  

The Science and Industry Museum is currently undergoing conservation works to reveal new spaces and experiences. While some of its buildings are temporarily closed, there is still a wealth of activities that are great for grown-ups looking to indulge their interests. This includes an evening of live music, experimental electro sounds and after-hours access to the museum's best-loved galleries and experiences. New displays also reveal insights into the life of one of the world's most well-renowned theoretical physicists and delve deeper into some of Manchester's most famous journeys, experimental broadcasters and trailblazing musicians.  

For those wanting to awaken their inner child, the museum also offers a host of hands-on opportunities to play, create and learn, including a retro gaming experience that transports players back in time through 50 years of computers and consoles.  

Space Afrika: Live At The Museum and 75th anniversary of Baby 

Wednesday 21 June
19.00–23.00
£15 (£13 concessions) 

On Wednesday 21 June, everyone over the age of 18 is invited to join a celebration of digital innovation and creativity during an immersive evening of live performance, art and gaming at Space Afrika: Live at the museum

Experience the museum in a whole new light at this after-hours event, where visitors will be plunged into the experimental electronic sounds of critically acclaimed Manchester duo, Space Afrika, who will be performing a special live set of their signature ambient techno, inspired by their Northern working class Black British reality. Visitors can also rave to music generated by algorithms as artists Alex McLean and Antonio Roberts unlock the creative potential of digital technology, and immerse themselves in an electroacoustic environment as Manchester-based DJ and broadcaster, Lupini, takes to the stage. 

The performances will take place in the museum's Revolution Manchester gallery inside the New Warehouse. Formerly an industrial railway warehouse, the historic building is now home to objects and stories that explore 200 years of ideas that changed the world. This includes one of the museum's star objects, a working replica of the Manchester Small-Scale Experimental Machine, nicknamed 'Baby'.  

Space Afrika: Live at the museum will take place 75 years to the day after Baby became the first computer to store and run a program from memory, which marked a major milestone in modern computing. Having been built at the University of Manchester, Baby helped to reconfirm the city as an epicentre of ideas and secure its status as a pioneer of computer science, creativity and technology.  

The museum's replica was built in 1998, using vintage electronic components and with guidance from the original designers. Visitors can see the object in action and gain insights from expert volunteers to discover the impact Baby has had on modern-day computing—something they can get to grips with themselves in Power Up, a gallery devoted to hands-on gaming with over 50 years of computers and consoles to enjoy. 

To further mark Baby's anniversary, the museum is recreating the computer's first successful program run. It will take place at 11.00 on 21 June, 75 years to the minute since the original 'Baby' made history in 1948. 

Stephen Hawking At Work 

Open now
Free 

Ground-breaking science is on display in an intimate exploration of 15 specially selected objects from the acquisition of Stephen Hawking's Cambridge University office, which provide insights into Hawking's remarkable life as a scientist, science communicator, and as a person who lived with motor neurone disease.  

Highlight objects on display in Stephen Hawking at Work include a wheelchair he used, a rare copy of his PhD thesis, a wager he made with his peers on whether what falls into a black hole is forever lost to our universe, and an invitation to a party for time travellers that Hawking hosted. He sent the invitation after the party had taken place, using the lack of guests to prove that time travel to the past is impossible. These important items provide insights into a scientist who challenged perceptions of theoretical physics with a playful, imaginative and social approach to work at the same time as living with a neurodegenerative disorder. 

The display also includes details of how Hawking's work connects to Manchester, as discoveries by scientists in the city cleared the path to develop two of the most important ideas about our universe, quantum theory and general relativity.  

Power Up 

Open weekends
£8 (£7 concession) 

Open every weekend, this ultimate gaming experience welcomes players to revel in the very best video games from the past five decades and get hands-on with over 160 consoles. 

Gamers can play their way through an epic interactive journey, rediscover retro arcade classics, such as Pong and Pac-Man, and revive beloved childhood characters, including Sonic the Hedgehog and Super Mario. 

From the Atari 2600 to the latest next-gen virtual reality, players can journey through half a century of consoles, taking on friends or foes during multi-player showdowns or experiencing first-hand how gaming technologies have advanced through the ages. They can also track how people and companies based in Manchester have changed the face of the city's gaming industry in a section dedicated to exploring their legacy.  

Revolution Manchester 

Open now
Free 

The museum's Revolution Manchester gallery is home to some of its most iconic objects, and new displays have recently been unveiled to delve deeper into Manchester's status as an innovator of modern-day travel as well as its revolutionary role in the country's creative industries.   

The extended displays shine a spotlight on the stories of pioneering Mancunians and ideas that have started life in the city and gone on to impact people and places across the world. This includes details of Manchester-born transport innovation from across the last two century up to today’s pioneers of sustainable travel.  

The displays also look at Manchester’s history of trailblazing broadcasting, from the earliest days of radio to the producers, editors, engineers and technicians at MediaCityUK, who are helping to shape today’s media landscape. The city’s world-renowned music scene is also explored through the story of Factory Records and iconic Manchester music venue, Band On The Wall.   

The Science and Industry Museum is currently undergoing a multi-million-pound renovation project across its seven-acre site to open brand new spaces and make significant improvements to some of its best-loved galleries. Although this means some of its buildings are temporarily closed, there is still plenty for visitors to do, see and enjoy. This includes its ever-popular Textiles Gallery, which explores how Manchester's identity is woven in with the cotton industry. 

For more information about what's on at the Science and Industry Museum, visit www.scienceandindustrymuseum.org.uk.  

-ENDS-  

For more information, please contact communications manager, Alex Urmston, on 07741 103 790/alex.urmston@scienceandindustrymuseum.org.uk  

NOTES TO EDITORS 

ABOUT THE SCIENCE AND INDUSTRY MUSEUM  

The Science and Industry Museum tells the story of where science met industry and the modern world began. Manchester was one of the first global industrial cities, and its epic rise, decline and resurrection has been echoed in countless other cities around the world.   

The museum's mission is to inspire all its visitors, including future scientists and inventors, with the story of how ideas can change the world, from the industrial revolution to today and beyond.   

The Science and Industry Museum site is on the site of the Liverpool Road Station terminus of the Liverpool Manchester Railway, the world's first purpose-built passenger railway. Among its internationally significant buildings are the world's first passenger railway station and the oldest existing railway goods warehouse. In total there are two Grade I listed buildings and four Grade II listed buildings on the site.  

The museum is currently undergoing a multi-million-pound regeneration project that will see brand new spaces opened and significant improvements made to some of its best-loved galleries.  

The Science and Industry Museum is part of the Science Museum Group, a family of museums which also includes the Science Museum in London; the National Railway Museum in York and Shildon; and the Science and Media Museum in Bradford. The Science Museum Group is devoted to the history and contemporary practice of science, medicine, technology, industry and media. With five million visitors each year and an unrivalled collection, it is the most significant group of museums of science and innovation worldwide.