Live Science

In 2019, we caused a splash at the London Science Museum with a summer of interactive science experiments about the two sides of the human brain. The Me, Human Live Science team was a mix of experienced researchers and enthusiastic student volunteers. Their passion about making science accessible to everyone brought the science alive for some very appreciative visitors.

The exhibition resulted in the largest set of data on brain laterality ever produced. Our researchers are now writing papers based on these findings. Thank you to the thousands of people who took part in Live Science!

Your brain is older than you think

Modern humans emerged about 200,000 years ago. But some parts of your brain are more than 500 million years old. Are these parts more than a leftover? Do they do anything important for us as humans?

Yes. Some of our most important human behaviours, like speaking and recognising faces, have origins linked to this ancient ‘vertebrate brain’.

Live Science gave thousands of Science Museum visitors the chance to use their eyes, ears and hands to find out more about how their ancient brains actually work.

An experience of science research

By coming to the exhibit, visitors got a taste of what it’s like to be a research scientist.

We expected people to stay for 10-15 minutes, doing one or two experiments. But many stayed for a full hour so that they could complete the set, and our team fielded all kinds of thoughtful questions about evolutionary psychology.

Schools and colleges

We welcomed school groups from across the country, including our partner schools in London. These students not only came to participate but created wonderful art for us to display.

Live Science legacy

Because we had such a wide range of experimental subjects – different ages, different cultures, different genetics – the experiments provided an unprecedentedly large and diverse set of data about brain laterality and its relationship to our behaviour.

Academic papers based on Live Science data will be published during 2021-22. Check out our Research Papers page.