Project What If is the UK’s first major science centre exhibition to draw its content entirely from local people: over 10,000 questions have been collected from every postcode in Bristol to inform the show’s content.

68 new exhibits and 25 art pieces form part of the experimental, multi-disciplinary format which is seeking to reimagine what a science centre visitor experience can offer.

Bristol exhibition content guided by curiosities of visitors and local community

After “14 months of closure and a false start in November”, We The Curious CEO Donna Speed says she “can’t wait for our venue to kick back into life, and to be able to welcome our visitors back again”.

Project What If, Speed continues, is the “result of three years’ work, focused around our vision to create a future where everyone is included, curious and inspired by science to build a better world together”.

The exhibition’s purpose, she adds, is placing visitors “at the heart of science and present the real world of science – a world that is creative, collaborative, uncertain and inspiring, and arguably, has never been more important than right now”.

Project What If at We The Curious © Lisa Whiting Photography

Having initially been awarded a £3 million grant from the Inspiring Science Fund – a partnership between UK Research and Innovation and Wellcome – Project What If also received £900,000 in donations to make its vision for the future of scientific exhibitions a reality.

With lockdowns having eviscerated plans made by We The Curious, emergency Covid support has since been awarded to ensure the site could stay afloat. £1,052,000 from the government’s Culture Recovery Fund was bolstered by a further £99,800 grant secured as part of the Heritage Emergency Fund from National Lottery Heritage Fund.

We The Curious will readmit the public on Saturday 22nd May and will then be open Wednesday to Sunday between 10am and 5pm during school term time, with hours extended to 6pm in school holidays.

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