21 August 2013 16:38

The delicate exquisiteness of frost flowers, a captivating aurora seen through a fish eye lens and the fascinating flow of lava will feature in an amazing new exhibition designed to enthrall all.

The exhibition, the first of its kind for Lancaster University, will bring gown to town at The Storey in a spectacular collection designed to inspire, intrigue and surprise.

‘The Beauty in Science’ will feature 100 curious images capturing all aspects of science research from the gamut of science departments at Lancaster University.

Not all the pictures are quite so tasteful – an invasion of parasites in a sand fly gut provides an interesting image – but all are guaranteed to capture attention.

The three-week-long spectacle, in the Storey’s main Gallery and Music Room, will also feature a free programme of engaging short talks by accomplished speakers covering everything from modelling a heartbeat to tracking down where the rain goes.

The exhibition is the brainchild of Dr Hannah Newton, a Research Associate at the Lancaster Environment Centre, who was inspired by a similar show at the Manchester Science Festival.

Dr Newton, who is heading up the exhibition team, said: “We just want to get people excited generally about science without pressing details on them.

“We want to bring science to life for people who might not consider themselves ‘sciencey’ but who have a natural curiosity and who will appreciate the exhibition.”

“All the images, which have come from virtually every Lancaster University science-related department, are sure to intrigue. We want visitors to be impressed but, if they then ask why a picture has been taken, we can sneak in some science background.”

The free show, funded by Lancaster University Research Committee, will feature a combination of photographs, digital displays, slide shows, time lapse sequences, sound bites and model animations.

A display cabinet will house an array of intricate equipment used in the process and appliance of science together with a wide-ranging selection of scientific samples including an amazing installation showcasing soils from around the world

“We want a wide spectrum of people to walk through the doors,” added Dr Newton. “We would love schools and colleges to come along to see what we do and we would really like to engage with the business community too

The Music Room will also showcase details (displays and leaflets) of current research projects, which, it is hoped, will be of particular interest to schools and businesses.

“This will be a more informative room with some very cool images,” explained Dr Newton. “And we also hope school visits will link this to their classroom work too.”

 ‘The Beauty in Science’ will open with a private viewing on Thursday, 19th September when the Mayor of Lancaster, Councillor June Ashworth, will attend and the University’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Mark Smith will give an opening address.

The display will then open to the public on Friday, 20th September and will run to Saturday, 12th October.

To book a free visit, please register at the Visitor Information Centre in The Storey. To find out more please contact Dr Hannah Newton on 01524 593993 or go to http://www.lancs.ac.uk/gallery/the-beauty-in-science-exhibition/ for more information

  • The first additional picture shows Frost flowers form on the surface of fresh marine ice in the Polar Regions. This image, supplied by Dr Crispin Halsall, of the Lancaster Environment Centre, was taken on ‘new’ ice in the Amundsen Gulf of the Canadian Arctic.
  • The second additonal picture shows highly ornamented silica cell walls of four freshwater diatom species (magnified x1000). Diatoms are single-celled, photosynthetic algae. The image is supplied by Megan Webb and Maria Snell, who are undertaking PhD research into water quality.