WE THE CURIOUS ANNOUNCE PLAN TO BUILD UNIQUE EXHIBITION, BASED ENTIRELY ON 10,000 CURIOUS QUESTIONS FROM THE PEOPLE OF BRISTOL
Friday 15 September | Jen Forster
Science centre and educational charity We The Curious (formerly At-Bristol) reopens its doors today as it announces plans for a groundbreaking new project that will bring its new vision to life.
Following the first-phase refurb of the entrance, the new, welcoming public space will be open to the public today, along with a brand-new interactive exhibit that celebrates the city of Bristol as a playful and curious place to live and be.
Further refurb over the next year or so will also see the the ground floor exhibition experience completely redesigned. This new exhibition, which will open in 2020, will be designed from 10,000 curious questions gathered from people across the city of Bristol and beyond. It is believed to be the first major science centre exhibition generated entirely by the curious questions of its city’s residents.
Curious questions will be collected by We The Curious teams as they visit locations across the city, inviting and supporting as many new communities and individuals as possible to participate. The teams will be joined on their tour by the Curious Cube – a large, mirrored cube installation which recently popped up in Cumberland Basin, Clevedon beach, a skate park in Bedminster and on Clifton Down. It will be touring the city reflecting the questions already being asked, in a bid to celebrate the curiosity of the people of Bristol and inspire more people to submit questions they want to feature in the new exhibition.
The ambition to collect 10,000 questions in and around Bristol has been kick started already with hundreds left by visitors to the science centre over this summer’s Festival of What If, including “why do more cats not get their hair cut like people?”, “who invented maths?” and “how do stars stay up in space?”.
To help meet its ambition, We The Curious was recently awarded £3million in funding from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and Wellcome’s ‘Inspiring Science’ Fund, a capital fund that helps science centres realise compelling new visions in what they do and what they offer to the public.
Anna Starkey, creative director at We the Curious, says:
“Our inspiration for this project comes from the amazing questions we’re asked by our visitors each and every day. Our mission at We The Curious is to empower everyone to ask questions, and to open up the way science works, to enjoy it culturally as well as educationally. “We” is you, me, everyone. With the new funding we’ve been awarded, we have an exciting opportunity to create a new space together, and get curious about what we can do beyond that too.
The exhibition will connect science, culture, citizens and research in a unique collaboration for the city, providing everyone with a chance to ask questions of the world around them.
It will also create opportunity for Bristolians to get more deeply involved in the design of future exhibits and experiences - and when the space is up and running, to participate and have a voice in real scientific research that’s going on in the city.
It will be interesting to see what questions people are asking over time, maybe start to map the curiosity of our city. And what happens when real scientific research becomes something that’s more regularly carried out in conversation with a diverse range of participants in a public space.
The important thing is that we find out together.”
If you’re curious to know more, have public research you’d like to carry out in a new space or have a question you’d like to submit, you can pop into We the Curious for a chat, get in touch through our social channels, using the hashtag #WeTheCurious, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
We The Curious is an evolution of the science centre as a creative, multi-disciplinary space and movement, and aims to be a leading player in the global drive to champion the value of curiosity for everyone.
NOTES TO EDITORS
We The Curious was previously known as At-Bristol Science Centre; an educational charity with an aim to “make science accessible to all”, it opened in 2000, and welcomed over 5 million visitors in the past 17 years. At-Bristol relaunched as We The Curious in September 2017, with a new vision that is committed to creating a culture of curiosity.
We The Curious is an idea and a place for everyone. Our venue on Bristol’s harbourside is a bit like an indoor festival, with all sorts of different experiences, where you can interact with exhibits, test stuff out and participate rather than just visit. We’re all about empowering everyone to ask questions and get creative - with boundaries removed between science, art, people and ideas - a culture of curiosity.