Science Festival

Science in the Gardens

We will use new technologies, behind the scenes tours and events featuring our scientists, and a new, annual Science Festival to bring science to life for our visitors.

Kew's Science Festival

Each summer, visitors of all ages can join Kew's scientists as they bring their science out of the labs and into the gardens for a special weekend extravaganza.


We held our 2017 Science Festival, which showcased Kew's world-leading scientific work in the Gardens. Activities took place at Wakehurst on 22 and 23 July and at Kew on 4, 5 and 6 August 2017. 


In August 2016, we launched our first annual Kew Science Festival featuring a whole range of science activities, games, interactive experiments, talks and behind-the-scenes tours.

Project output

Output leader: Mark Nesbitt

Funded by: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew 

For opportunities to fund this output and help us reach our target, please email Mark Nesbitt:

The gardens at Kew and Wakehurst provide the perfect setting for sharing the wonders of plants and fungi and the work of our scientists. We want to make Kew a world leader in visitor engagement, bringing science to life in new and innovative ways, and inspiring curiosity across diverse audiences. Our vision is for all visitors to leave the gardens understanding why plants and fungi matter to the world and, why we need to study and conserve them.

Emerging digital technologies are providing the opportunity to transform the way science is communicated to the public, both on- and off-site. We will use these technologies to encourage visitors to engage with and seek out more information on plants, fungi and our science behind the scenes. Using mobile apps and location-specific sensor technology, we will develop self-guided themed walks and activities tailored to different ages and interests. We also aim to develop a ‘Virtual Kew’, allowing people to ‘e-walk’ round the Gardens at different times of year, with plants linked to an online portal giving instant access to names and interesting information. 

The visibility of Kew’s science and scientists in the gardens will be greatly increased through pop-up science sessions, science open days, tours, collaborative science street-theatre events, live micro-interpretation with roaming scientists, and hands-on activities for children and adults alike