Culture 24/7: The top Science and Nature exhibitions and events for July 2013

By Ben Miller | 01 July 2013

There are festivals and weekends of fun in Oxford, London, York, Birmingham and Bletchley this month, not to mention Water Under the Bridge in Swansea and a lighthearted affair in Bath...

A photo of some reflective glass on a table
Some of the prisms and lenses favoured by William Herschel will be on show at the museum named after him in Bath this month© Theo Hilton
Water under the Bridge - Welsh Canals, National Waterfront Museum, Swansea, from July 7

The development and evolution of canals during the past 200 years has changed the course of the Industrial Revolution, nature reserves, leisure facilities and motorways. Find out how in this watery survey.

Making Light of It, Herschel Museum of Astronomy, Bath, from July 10

Astronomer William Herschel used the sun, infrared and telescopes to inform his discoveries. Looking at domestic lighting typical of modest town houses of the period, this show reveals, among other things, how sunlight playing on a prism gave Herschel a Eureka moment while he polished workshop mirrors.

Oxford Festival of Nature, West Oxford Community Centre, Oxford, July 12-13

Bat walks, bug hunts, bird spotting and more in Science Oxford’s annual community foray, culminating in the BioBlitz rush to record local species – an important snapshot of the state of the ecosystem in Oxford.

Big Nature Day, Natural History Museum, London, July 13

The largest green-tinted fair of its kind in Britain features experiments, specimens, a wildlife garden, worm charming, ladybird hunts and bug hotels, not to mention science fancy dress and the all-important lowdown on how to attract creatures to your own backyard at home.

Summer Speed, National Railway Museum, York, from July 24

Build a replica of a record-breaking steam engine or whizz off on a steam trail before taking in a science show in this summer programme. See the full line-up.

Summer Bytes Festival, The National Museum of Computing, Bletchley, from July 24

Extended opening hours for a six-week festival of computing fun. Retro and modern games, workshops and talks, daytime astronomy events and the hotly-tipped possible next big thing – 3-D printing – are all on the horizon.

Festival of Ecology, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, July 13-14; Thinktank, Birmingham, from July 29

Created by young curators from Thinktank as part of the British Ecological Society's Centenary year, this Birmingham-focused display explores some of the city’s key natural idiosyncrasies through family activities and more.
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