Cambridge Science Centre


Press Release: Perception Exhibition

Written on 28 Oct 2013 in Press Release

The Cambridge Science Centre opens a new major exhibition on Perception
Families! Get your senses in a muddle as you explore new hands-on exhibits and interactive gallery shows.

Wednesday October 23rd, Cambridge: The Cambridge Science Centre presents an extraordinary sensory experience opening this Saturday October 26th, 2013, just in time for school half-term holidays. The new exhibition, ‘Perception’, will see the public discovering a range of illusions that shed light on how our sense organs and brain work together to make sense of the world around us. Can you really believe what to see and feel around you?

Revealing just a few of the tricks the Science Centre has in store, visitors will be able to experience exhibits where they mistake a rubber hand for their own, or distort their view of the world by watching spinning discs, or hear a musical note that just seems to keep going up and up and up forever. Family and schools audiences will have their senses twisted by our on gallery shows running throughout the exhibition which include Wonky Vision and What's the Flavour?

“This half term, families will be able to experience how they make sense of the world.” Dr Katia Smith- Litière, Co-founder and Director of Strategy and Partnerships. “I am really looking forward to seeing our visitors of all ages trying out our new ‘Perception’ hands-on exhibits which includes current research on senses and the active role our brains play in perception.”

Since opening in February this year the Cambridge Science Centre at 18 Jesus Lane has had over 15,000 visitors, significantly more than projected. The ‘Perception’ exhibition is a major update to the exhibition floor and it offers a great experience to new and repeat visitors. A number of exhibits offer a window into current research at the University of Cambridge and local companies, including developments in automated emotion recognition in computers and cochlear implant technology.

“On gallery, people will be able to see and test out our emotion recognition software we have developed in our department. They will see how well computer programmes allow electronic devices to perceive human emotions, something we take for granted but which is incredibly hard to do by a machine.” Professor Peter Robinson of the Computer lab, University of Cambridge. “Displaying Cambridge based research like this to the public is important as it lets the non-scientists see and interact with our work more easily. We are so pleased the Cambridge Science Centre approached us to develop our prototype into an exhibit”

Highlights of the events programmes from ‘Perception’ include:

  • What’s the flavour? & Wonky Vision – Family Audience - Throughout the run of the exhibition, our new gallery shows will be getting visitors to muddle their sense of taste and vision. Visitor will be testing out some special prism glasses and tasting some strange flavour while having their noses closed.

  • Naked: Art and Anatomy - October 31– Adults only - Find out more about how Art and Anatomy are linked with this nude life drawing class with a twist, as we will be projecting anatomical images from MRI scans across their body.

  • Get a whiff of this – Nov 13 – Adults only - We will be serving up a platter of interactive activities, scientists and discussion exploring the sense of smell and taste. Come and taste the basics, find out whether you’re a super taster and what it is like to experience food without a sense of smell.

Full programme details, information on whether you need to book in for various events and workshops, and pre-booking of tickets is available on the Centre website at: or contact the team at the Centre at: 01223 965 967

The ‘Perception’ exhibition will run for six months.

Supporters of Perception!

The Cambridge Science Centre would like to thank for their support of the exhibition the following companies: Abcam, Amgen and MedImmune. Our programme of adult, family and schools events is made possible through the support of the Wellcome Trust.

General Info about the Cambridge Science Centre:

The Cambridge Science Centre is a registered educational charity (No. 1146349) providing year round public access to hands-on science through public exhibitions, events and schools outreach. The aims of the charity are to: inspire visitors to learn more about science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), to reach underserved communities with engaging hands-on activities, to help the public better understand current research, and to motivate people to apply scientific observation and reasoning in day- to-day life. The Centre is located in central Cambridge at 18 Jesus Lane, Cambridge, CB5 8BQ. The Centre is a member of the UK Association for Science and Discovery Centres. To find out more on programmes and events visit: or follow on Twitter (@camsciencecntr)

About the Wellcome Trust

The Wellcome Trust is a global charitable foundation dedicated to achieving extraordinary improvements in human and animal health. It supports the brightest minds in biomedical research and the medical humanities. The Trust’s breadth of support includes public engagement, education and the application of research to improve health. It is independent of both political and commercial interests.

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