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 Science Festival

Join us at Kew's 2017 Science Festival!

22–23 July – Science Festival at Wakehurst

4–6 August – Science Festival at Kew Gardens

Come and meet our scientists to get hands-on with the world of plants and fungi. Showcasing Kew's world-leading scientific discoveries and work, this family friendly festival will bring science to life in the gardens.

Learn how to clone a cauliflower, discover how chocolate was introduced to Britain, meet Kew's bee experts, take special 'behind-the-scenes' tours, become a molecular explorer, go on a plant safari or join BBC TV presenter Stefan Gates at his incredible Gastronaut Live show packed with fun food science and quirky edible delights.

This year, the festival’s focus is on bringing to life the vital conservation work that Kew does around the world; from searching for coffee in Ethiopia to discovering new species in Madagascar. Come and find out how plant biodiversity has a real impact on our everyday lives, and even get an opportunity to contribute to the vital science projects yourself. Don’t forgot to watch out for Charles Darwin!

Kew's 2016 Science Festival

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.

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.


Project information

Output Leader: Mark Nesbitt

Funded by: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew 

For opportunities to fund this output and help us reach our target, please contact the Output Leader.

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.