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Science and Industry Museum reveals jam-packed line-up for 2022

Displays include the key role Manchester played in TV history, Stephen Hawking's work, and the science of music’s mysterious hold over us

The new year is set to be an exciting one for the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester, with a jam-packed schedule of major new exhibitions, festivals, updates to the galleries and activities. 

From this spring, they will be taking part in the celebrations for the BBC’s 100th birthday and the 40th anniversary of Channel 4 with events and displays covering a century of broadcasting and the significant part Manchester played in the nation’s television history and its future.

In the summer, they will be hosting Stephen Hawking at Work, a fantastic display of this influential scientist’s personal items from his office now in the care of the Science Museum Group.

This tour is the first time these objects will be seen by the public and will reveal the working life of one of the world’s most famous physicists.

There’s plenty more, too, from a breath-taking photography exhibition that celebrates the indigenous peoples and varied landscapes of the Brazilian rainforest, a major brand new hands-on exhibition exploring the mysterious relationship humans have with music, and the return of Manchester Science Festival.

Here’s what’s coming up in 2022.

Cancer Revolution: Science, innovation and hope exhibition 

The Cancer Revolution: Science, innovation and hope exhibition was created by the Science Museum Group, with support from expert partner Cancer Research UK. The world-first free exhibition explores the revolution in science that is transforming cancer care – uncovering the past, present and future of how cancer is prevented, detected and treated at the brand-new world-first exhibition. 

Through seldom and never-before seen objects and stories, cutting edge treatment and research, reflection, new artist commissions and installations, film, photography, interactive exhibits and a breadth of personal stories – the exhibition presents the stories of people affected by cancer, together with those who study and treat it.  

From busting myths about the causes of cancer, to revealing it even affected dinosaurs millions of years ago, and how everything from virtual reality to 3D printing, early detection technologies and immunotherapies are advancing cancer care today – it shows just how far we have come. 

January – 27th March 2022, Special Exhibitions Gallery.

Celebrating 100 years of the BBC in Manchester 

2022 marks the 100th anniversary of the BBC and the 40th anniversary of Channel 4. To celebrate they’re looking back at the last 100 years of broadcast and taking a glimpse into the what the future may hold.

A bumper year of exhibitions, displays, online content and events across the museum and sister sites, the Science Museum in London and the Science and Media Museum in Bradford, will explore how trailblazers in broadcast technology have forced the industry to adapt, improve and make room for more voices. 

The Science and Industry Museum will launch the season of celebrations of BBC 100 in Spring with an exhibition showcasing Manchester as a centre of innovation in broadcasting, from 1922 to the present, and looking to the future.

This display will feature Science Museum Group objects and archive material relating to early BBC radio broadcasts in Manchester and the very first station to have a dedicated programme for children, 2ZY, which was founded by Metropolitan Vickers, one of the founding companies behind the original BBC consortium.

The exhibition will then look to the latest developments in broadcasting currently being developed by the BBC at MediaCityUK, showing new technologies that will change the way we watch and listen forever.  

From Spring 2022, Revolution Manchester Gallery.


Sebastião Salgado, winner of the 2021  Praemium Imperiale award for painting, presents  Amazônia, a breath-taking photography exhibition that celebrates the indigenous peoples and varied landscapes of the Brazilian rainforest.   

For seven years, Salgado worked with twelve different indigenous communities to create this magnificent photography exhibition. The result is over 200 powerful black-and-white photographs that uncover Salgado’s vision of the Amazon when the forest is approaching a crucial tipping point in the fight against climate change.  

Delve into stunning portraits of indigenous leaders and their communities, dramatic landscapes taken from intrepid river boat journeys and sweeping aerial shots of the immense waterfalls and stormy skies. Feel immersed in the Amazon rainforest throughout this exhibition by the accompanying soundtrack by renowned composer Jean-Michel Jarre.  

Amazônia is part of an international exhibition tour that began at the Philharmonie in Paris and includes the MAXXI in Rome, SESC in Sao Paulo, the Museum of Tomorrow in Rio de Janeiro and the Science Museum in London. 

From Summer 2022, Special Exhibitions Gallery.

Stephen Hawking at Work 

Photo: © Sarah Lee

A new temporary display, Stephen Hawking at Work, will explore Hawking’s remarkable life as a scientist, science communicator, and as a person who lived with motor neurone disease (MND). 

The display will feature significant objects from his office, the extraordinary contents of which were acquired for the nation by the Science Museum Group in May 2021 through the UK government’s Acceptance in Lieu scheme. These important items will provide insights into a scientist who challenged perceptions of theoretical physics with a playful, imaginative and social approach to work.  

In Stephen Hawking at Work, visitors can study Hawking’s rare PhD thesis, his spectacles adapted to aid communication and even an invitation to the time travellers’ party Hawking hosted – the first time the public will be able to see these fascinating items up close. 

The display also explores Hawking’s experience of motor neurone disease. Initially given a two-year prognosis when diagnosed, Hawking lived with MND for more than five decades. 

From the late 1960s he used a wheelchair and from 1986 Hawking used a voice synthesiser after an emergency tracheotomy meant he could no longer speak. On display will be the latest generation of wheelchair used by Hawking: the Permobil F3 model, which he used to communicate his ideas to the world, for ventilation support and his mobile office. As well as his earliest voice synthesiser, adapted to hang on the back of his wheelchair and his spectacles which had an analogue cheek sensor to control his voice software. 

Stephen Hawking at Work is part of a Science Museum Group’s museum tour, which is expected to tour during 2023 and 2024. Global audiences will be able to explore hundreds of remarkable items from Hawking’s working life as this significant acquisition is catalogued, photographed and published to the Science Museum Group’s popular online collection in 2022. 

From Summer 2022, Revolution Manchester Gallery.

The Musical Mind exhibition 

A major new exhibition exploring the science of music’s mysterious hold over us and how it drives us to create, perform, feel and share. 

Prepare to get hands on, with your ears and hearts open. Immerse yourself in music that is forged where creativity and human ingenuity collide and interact with extraordinary, unfamiliar and playful musical instruments and performances, created to explore the science of music and to push the boundaries of what’s musically possible.  

Musical Mind will showcase new music-making opportunities that science and technology have unlocked and the fresh perspectives they are revealing about how music affects our bodies and minds. Through incredible and intriguing objects, musical commissions and interactive experiences, discover how technological advancements continue to push the limits of music and to make playing music more accessible for everyone.

This riotous, hands-on experience will encourage us all to feel, to remember and to reflect on what music means to us and the lives of others.   

The Musical Mind is the headline exhibition for Manchester Science Festival, premiering at the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester before a national and international tour.  

From October 2022, Special Exhibitions Gallery.

Manchester Science Festival 

Photo: The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

The biennial Manchester Science Festival, a highlight of the city’s cultural calendar and one of the most popular science festivals in the UK, will be back with a bang in October 2022. 

Produced by the Science and Industry Museum, Manchester Science Festival 2022 will be exploring what makes us human and asking the question – what might the future hold for humankind?  

21st-30th October 2022.

Experiment Gallery updates 

The Experiment Gallery is having a revamp to create a fresher, livelier space with even  more interactivity and improved accessibility for visitors.  

Look forward to new additions to the Gallery – including a thermal image camera, large-scale shadow box, a buzz wire game and a collaborative ball run wall.  

Ready Spring 2022.

Revolution in progress 

During 2022 there will be ongoing work throughout the Science and Industry Museum as improvements to multiple areas take place. 

Through a multi-million pound restoration programme, they’re revealing inspirational new spaces and perspectives for all to enjoy, play and learn in.

This includes carrying out crucial work to restore and tell the stories of the historic listed Power Hall, 1830 Station and Warehouse; building awe-inspiring new indoor and outdoor experiences for families; bringing to life the story of the revolutionary railway; and using their collections to create new galleries revealing the wonder of how Manchester’s past and present continues to shape the modern world. 

The Revolution Manchester Gallery will also be going through changes to ensure it brings to life highlights from 250 years of ideas and innovations developed by people on this site and in this city that have changed the world and continue to shape our lives. 

Throughout 2022.

For more information about what is on at the museum and to book tickets in advance, visit the museum’s website or call 033 0058 0058.  


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