Meet the scientists tackling the biggest questions on Earth at free environmental science showcase

30 October 2017

NERC is inviting the public to meet the scientists tackling the biggest questions on Earth at free environmental science showcase.

Scientists and children inspecting marine creatures

CEH scientists and children outside Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh, inspect creatures from St Margaret's Loch in Holyrood Park. They will be exhibiting at UnEarthed.

UnEarthed. Explore the world at your feet is an interactive exhibition offering people of all ages the chance to get closer to the environmental science that shapes their lives.

More than 100 scientists will be on hand at Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh, from 17-19 November, to share their research with the public, from the fascinating and fun - fossils and dinosaurs, killer shrimp and sea puffins - to the serious business of cleaning up our air, keeping the lights on, defending our homes from natural disasters and understanding the impact of climate change on our coasts, land and animals.

Event Director Julia Maddock said:

UnEarthed is about the science that shapes the lives of people living in Scotland and beyond, in ways you may already know - like air pollution and flooding - and in ways you may be yet to discover! Come and find out how metals and minerals make your smartphone work, how what you put in your shopping trolley could help protect an orangutan in the tropics, and what could happen as sea levels rise as the world gets warmer.

This is a chance for all - children, families and adults - to get hands on with environmental science and ask big questions of the scientists working on the biggest question of all: How can we understand our changing planet?;

Dr Hermione Cockburn, Scientific Director at Dynamic Earth, added:

We're incredibly excited to welcome NERC to Dynamic Earth for this fantastic event. This is a great opportunity for youngsters to meet the scientists behind the research and pick their brains on anything Earth related. At Dynamic Earth we aim to inspire young people with science and this event is set to do just that!

This kind of event is always very popular, so we would encourage visitors to head down early to avoid disappointment.

More than a thousand pupils from twenty schools are booked to attend the exhibition, which is open and free to the public on Friday 17, Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 November. During the weekend only, entry to UnEarthed includes free entry to the permanent Dynamic Earth exhibits.

Scientists from Scotland, Northern Ireland, England and Wales will showcase their research across more than 30 interactive exhibits, from predicting the weather with the help of the University of Edinburgh's supercomputer technology to protecting our forests with the Royal Botanical Gardens, Edinburgh. Scottish bases of NERC's research centres, the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology and the British Geological Survey, will be offering activities including the chance to gape at the creatures found in Scotland's lochs or build your own wind turbine.

Fascinating scientific equipment will be on display, including a 4-tonne drill used at the bottom of the ocean, and geological research vessel, the White Ribbon, used to map the seabed and understand our coasts.

Brand new science from UnEarthed's flagship citizen science project, Operation Weather Rescue, will be on show thanks to thousands taking part in digitising Victorian weather records made by intrepid volunteers on the side of Ben Nevis more than 100 years ago. Launched in September, thousands have already taken part to help meet our goal of digitising 2 million bits of data by UnEarthed. Take part in Operation Weather Rescue - external link.

And the shortlist of incredible images taken by children, adults and scientists and entered in to NERC's photo competition Picture It: Your Environment will be on display for the public to vote for their favourites.

The full programme of exhibits and events is available on the UnEarthed website - external link.

Tickets to UnEarthed at Dynamic Earth are available on arrival and cannot be booked in advance.

Further information

For information about the event:

NERC Events Team

For media enquiries:

Mary Goodchild
NERC News & Media Officer
01793 411939
07710 147485


1. UnEarthed. Explore the world at your feet
Our environment shapes our lives - and how we live shapes our environment. We at NERC, want to give the Scottish public the chance to see our world-class science up close. During our free interactive showcase UnEarthed at Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh (17-19  November 2017), families and adults can explore the tools used to make science happen and see the extraordinary work of our scientists.

Can't wait for November? Join us on Operation Weather Rescue to recover weather measurements made on Ben Nevis more than a hundred years ago. Visit the UnEarthed website for event details and more about the amazing environmental science at your feet. Find us on Facebook - external link - and Tweet @NERCscience - external link - using #UnEarthed2017.

2. NERC is the UK's main agency for funding and managing research, training and knowledge exchange in the environmental sciences. Our work covers the full range of atmospheric, Earth, biological, terrestrial and aquatic science, from the deep oceans to the upper atmosphere and from the poles to the equator. We coordinate some of the world's most exciting research projects, tackling major issues such as climate change, environmental influences on human health, the genetic make-up of life on Earth, and much more. NERC is a non-departmental public body. We receive around £330 million of annual funding from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy.

3. Five-star visitor attraction Dynamic Earth is the only attraction in the UK solely dedicated to the story of planet Earth.