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The Appliance of Science

Swansea-born Edward Bowen was the driving force behind the invention of radar for aircraft, helping the RAF defend Britain during World War Two. His work also led to the invention of the microwave oven.


When Martha Hughes was born in 1857, there were no female doctors in Britain. Leaving her native Wales for Utah in the USA, she found that women were rarely admitted to college. She bucked the trend, gaining a medical degree and setting up her own clinic, and later became the first woman elected to an American state senate.


Alfred Russel Wallace’s work as a naturalist led him to devise a theory of natural selection which he shared with his colleague Charles Darwin. Darwin expanded on the theory in “On the Origin of the Species”. Today Wallace is largely overlooked, but for many of us he is least Darwin’s equal.


This country has a proud history of nurturing scientists who change the world and deepen our understanding of it. Someone has to inspire the next generation, and Oriel Science is meeting that challenge.


This Swansea University project celebrates the University’s research in engaging, interactive exhibits. What might previously have seemed inaccessible is brought within reach at Oriel Science’s city-centre base. Two years ago Swansea University marked its centenary in unusual circumstances, with periods of lockdown denied students a face to face learning experience. Today normal service at the University has been resumed, and Oriel Science is taking it a step further by bringing education to the community.


Professor Chris Allton’s research in theoretical particle physics teaches us priceless lessons on the building blocks of nature and the laws that shape our universe. He’s a seeker of knowledge and truth. As Director of Oriel Science, he conveys that passion for learning to young people in our city, and he and his team offer this free of charge


As a popular venue for school trips, Oriel Science welcomes visitors who are often bombarded with unreliable information from multiple sources. We live in a world of subjective, unfounded opinions. We live in a world of fake news. We live in a world in which public figures can court popularity by saying “I think we’ve had enough of experts”.


If we want the next generation of leaders to make evidence-based decisions – and we certainly should – we need to set them an example.


Oriel Science does precisely that, and makes it fun. A series of workshops throughout August delighted visitors of all ages, covering topics as diverse as the combination of hydrogen and oxygen atoms to make water, the principles of designing a moving vehicle and the mechanics of the human skeleton.



Children come away from these workshops excited about science, excited about learning and with a renewed belief in their own ability to pursue a STEM career. Girls and boys are having their eyes opened to what’s possible for them, and what’s possible for all of us when we seek something worth finding.


Truth matters. Science matters. We haven’t had enough of experts. We need their expertise to inform us and inspire us. Visit Oriel Science and be inspired.


Oriel Science, 21-22 Castle Street, Swansea SA1 5AE

For opening hours click here

To arrange a school trip your students won’t forget, click here.

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