Main Gallery - Project What If

It all starts with a question...

Escape into a world of possibilities in our newest exhibition, Project What If. 

Inspired by questions from the people of Bristol, this is a space where art and science collide.

How Much

Included with day ticket


Level 0

Who for

All ages



The question constellations 

Interactive exhibits, films and installations are clustered around 7 intriguing questions asked by our visitors and community.

From the science of happiness to the nature of time, you’ll find some of life’s big mysteries explored in new and exciting ways.

Come and play, turn invisible, peer inside the Tardis, broadcast a message into space, think about what makes you unique…and then leave us your own burning questions. Who knows where they might lead?

Open City Lab

Our ground floor is also home to Open City Lab, a collaborative working laboratory, where you can meet scientists, join them in their explorations and take part in research.


The John James Theatre of Curiosity

A place for questioning and discussion. Explore questions, discuss ideas and connect with others in one of the daily events here, and leave your own questions in our digital question space. 

Exhibition content

Project What If is inspired by questions from our visitors and community. Many voices have helped to shape the experience. 

As well as traditional science content, you’ll find individual stories and subjects that you might find unusual in a science centre, such as religion, sexuality and mental health. 

One of the questions featured is around the sensitive topic of Illness, featuring striking photography from artist Jack Powley. You may wish to read more about these images and the exhibition content before you visit.

During your visit, you can chat to our Live Science Team on the exhibition floor about any of the content that you see. Please get in touch if you’d like further info




Exhibition story 

Project What If is the first major science centre exhibition in the UK all about the curiosity of a city. Read the full story, starting with a campaign to collect 10,000 questions from the people of Bristol.


Our thanks

Project What If has been supported by a £3m grant awarded by the Inspiring Science Fund – a partnership between UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and Wellcome

The support for the charity and new exhibition has been hugely successful in addition to this, with over £900,000 donated by other generous funders including:

John James Bristol Foundation

Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851

Garfield Weston Foundation

National Lottery Heritage Fund

Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF)

European Regional Development Fund

Nisbet Trust

Charles Hayward Foundation

Britford Bridge Trust

Kirby Laing Foundation

Medlock Charitable Trust

National Lottery Community Fund



Film credit: Woven Films 

Image credits: Lisa Whiting; Julian Welsh; Jack Powley.

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