Imperial College London

Imperial Festival Reflection Zone – here’s what to expect

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An exhibit spelling out the letters of the word 'food'

From shadow puppet shows to out-of-this-world storytelling, Imperial Festival’s Reflection Zone is set to bring science to life.

On the 28-29 April 2018, Imperial’s South Kensington campus welcomes back the seventh annual Imperial Festival, a celebration of the innovative science going on within the College.

The Reflection Zone, taking place in the SAF mezzanine, is one of the places really celebrating science in our society. It looks at science with a critical mind, exploring new ways of communicating science and asks the audience to think, question and engage with what they are seeing. Curated by students on Imperial’s Science Communication Master’s, here’s a bit more on what you can expect to see in the zone.

Unlocking Food Sustainability

'Our boutique public engagement exhibit unlocks food sustainability, exploring current practices and future perspectives. Combining art and science, we want everyone to get thinking, questioning and talking about food.'

This project delves into the topic of food sustainability. A carefully curated piece of artwork, students wanted to create a piece that is visually appealing to look at, while also asking the audience to carefully consider what they’re looking at.


A hand holding a badge with 'Science is revolting' on itGet ready, because Science is Revolting. The double edge-sword of this phrase represents the double edge-sword of science.

Science as we know it has revolutionised thousands of lives, and contributed to developing the society we live in for the better. But, is the scientific process too regimented? Is it possible the way we do things at the moments means we limit our creativity and opportunities for discovery? Should there be rules in Science?

This exhibit will, with their audience, explore these ideas, questioning whether science as we know it currently, is the best way to practice.

A Sky Full of Science

A book with the title 'A sky full of science'‘A Sky Full of Science is an artwork that explores the nature of truth and mythology in the history of science through a beautiful and interactive children’s book.’

This engaging children’s book tells stories of the history of science, linking them to constellations in the Northern Hemisphere. This isn’t any bedtime story though, as the book is accompanied by a planisphere, used to display visible stars and guiding the reader around the night sky. Come and question different interpretations of historic science and have a go at writing your own story.


A magazine with the title 'Ellement'‘In a parallel universe we find ourselves in a matriarchal society, where science is a profession dominated by women, and the men are finally getting their voices heard.’

This group reverse societal norms we see every day with one key implication at the heart of their project: Feminism. Imagine a world where the majority of CEO’s at FTSE 100 are women, where a ‘scientist’ was inherently female and a ‘male scientist’ more of a political statement.

Have a read of this newly curated magazine Ellement which takes on this hypothetical situation and highlights some of the key issues still faced in our society.

Double Exposure

‘Double Exposure is an artwork in the form of a wedding photograph album, a gift to the gods of wisdom that critiques the ideology of scientific progress in the canon of human history.’

If I say ‘vaccine’ what image do you think of? Maybe something similar, perhaps something completely different. Come and examine some stunning photographs which explore themes of science, using superimposition to illustrate how the same theme can be represented in different ways for different people.

Inspired by images across hashtags on social media, this project makes you question your ideals, allowing you to consider scientific topics from a completely new perspective.

Science Feels

Science Feels logoListen to a podcast which tells the story of the discovery of nuclear fission through the words of two scientists: Lise Meitner and Otto Hahn.

The first half of the podcast details the narrative of the discovery and of the scientists’ lives, including the background of the Second World War. The second half uses a more traditional conversational podcast style to discuss the philosophical and social issues around the sciences particularly focussing, in this episode, on the theme of ‘Guilt’. Come, listen and discover the complexities of humanity that can impact on science.

It’s Marvellous After All

Through the medium of a beautiful short art film, this project looks at the way in which we have become desensitised to the extraordinary achievements of science and technology, where in the past they were often lauded as the remarkable technologies they are.

Through the use of animation, accompanied by a soundscape including the voices of proponents of such advances, the film chronicles the journey of science up to the modern day. Come along and reintroduce yourselves to the wonder and romance of innovation.

Fairgroundings of Science

BuntingCome and explore issues within science from several different angles, using the backdrop of fairground amusements.

“Hook a duck” from the Pool of Knowledge to choose your topic which could be anything from science philosophy to climate change. Make reverse writing in the Hall of Mirrors and discover the positive aspects of the topic you’ve picked.

Lastly, discover the more concerning aspects of your topic in the blacklight Haunted House.

The Legend of Science

With a target audience of 15-18 year olds, this shadow puppet theatre show is designed to be a fun educational tool focussing on science philosophy, and in particular the development of the scientific method.

Come and see the philosophers Francis Bacon and Karl Popper in puppet form, as science and science philosophy are tackled with humorous storytelling, backed by musical accompaniment.

Seeking to address the lack of broader scientific social context in the curriculum, this entertaining and engaging piece of theatre looks to introduce young people to the world of science philosophy.

The Reflection Zone will be held in the mezzanine of the Sir Alexander Fleming Building on both days of Imperial Festival.

The Festival will be held on the South Kensington Campus from Saturday 28 - Sunday 29 April. It is free and open to the public. To attend please register in advance.


Rachel Kahn

Rachel Kahn
Communications and Public Affairs

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Bridie Kennerley

Bridie Kennerley
Communications and Public Affairs

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Chloe Slevin

Chloe Slevin
Office of the Provost


Outreach, Strategy-share-the-wonder, Imperial-Festival
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