Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition 2024

Join us this summer as Me, Human showcases cutting-edge research investigating how we became (through evolution) … and become (through development)… the upright walking, talking, tool-using great apes that we are today.

Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition 2023

Professor Gilly Forrester chats about her research with children, gorillas, chimpanzees and orang-utans for Summer Science Live 2023

Glastonbury Festival 2023

Me, Human at Science Futures, Glastonbury Festival 2023
The Great Ape Challenge returns for 2023 alongside the Baby Grow project and the Hot or Not Thermal Imaging Exhibition
The Great Ape Challenge took to the Laboratory Stage where audience members competed for giveaways if they could beat the times of our chimpanzee, gorilla and orangutan cousins.

Glastonbury Festival 2022

The Great Ape Challenge – Science Futures, Futurarium 2022
The Laboratory Stage, Soapbox Short Talks, Science Futures, Glastonbury 2022
Feedback from festival-goers, Glastonbury 2022

Bluedot Festival 2022

After postponing Bluedot 2021 due to the pandemic, Me, Human will return for Bluedot 2022 with Live Science Experiments, Soapbox Shorts and ‘adults only’ Psyched! talks: ‘You Make Me Sick‘ and ‘Blah Blah Blah

Two Psyched! shows are slated for Bluedot 2022 focusing on the disgust and language.
Me, Human at Bluedot Festival 2022
Where else do you get three female professors discussing the evolution of language and lust to a packed audience?! (Professors Forrester, Loveday and Kirkham)
Soapbox Short talks by the Me, Human team featured subjects from myth busting to infant development and from mindfulness and memory to visual illusions and the evolution of the human brain.


Check out coverage of Me, Human events at Norwich Science Festival from Birkbeck, University of London and the University of Westminster. Team members conducted Live Science experiments, Soapbox Shorts and an ‘adults only’ Psyched! show

Fascinating live science experiments, soapbox short, and an ‘adults only’ Psyched! talk show all created and delivered by the Me, Human team educated visitors on the human brain and behaviour. 

Dr Simon Green shares his expertise on Neanderthals in a Me, Human Soapbox Short talk.

A team of 22, ranging from secondary school children to senior academics from Birkbeck and three other universities, recently led a number of events at Norwich Science Festival, an annual celebration of science that offers hands-on science activities for all ages and levels of knowledge.   

The Me, Human team of academics, students and volunteers at Norwich Science Festival 2021

Birkbeck academics who also attended the event were: Professor Natasha Kirkham, Dr Simon Green and Dr Georgina Donati from the Department of Psychological Sciences; Dr Lisanne Schroer and Dr Brittney Chere from Birkbeck’s Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development; and Cosmin Stamate from the Department of Computer Science and Information Systems.  

The events were centred around the Me, Human project, founded in 2019, that explores who humans are and how they are connected to the natural world. Me, Human is a multi-institutional project for citizen science research, public engagement and mentorship, with team members based at Birkbeck; University of Westminster; City, University of London and University of Kent (Canterbury). 

Live science experiments, short talks, and panel discussions by experts inspired visitors by giving them insights into the cutting-edge research being done into the evolution of human social and communication abilities. A series of fun experiments revealed to visitors how their two brain hemispheres affect movements and decisions, and visitors came away with an understanding of how ancient vertebrate brain traits still underpin some of our most human unique behaviours.  

An interactive (socially-distanced) Psyched! show on the evolution and development of language ‘Blah Blah Blah‘ at Norwich Science Festival 2021

Between our Live Science experiments, Soapbox Shorts and our sold out Psyched! show, we estimate we saw over 2000 visitors in two days. We want to thank Natalie Bailey, Director of Norwich Science Festival, and Professor Ben Garrod for getting us involved – and we cannot wait for next year!” 

You Versus the Zoo

We had a great 2 days with collaborators at Twycross Zoo engaging with the public about great apes and the research project. Visitors to the zoo were encouraged to take part in the puzzle box challenge, to see if they could solve the problem like the great apes could.

The research project, Hand to Mouth: The Role of Tool-Use in the Evolution and Development of Language, is funded by the Leverhulme Trust.