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In pictures: The new Grand Discoveries exhibition at the Grand Arcade in Cambridge





An enormous DNA helix, a giant book and a towering atom sculpture are among the attractions at the Grand Arcade following the launch of an exhibition celebrating Cambridge’s rich history of scientific discovery.

Grand Discoveries at the Grand Arcade. Picture: Keith Heppell
Grand Discoveries at the Grand Arcade. Picture: Keith Heppell

Launched last Saturday (July 22), the display runs until September 24 and will give children the chance to learn more about science and some of the famous names behind it, through a visual experience.

From Darwin to Newton, Schultz to Franklin and – of course – Prof Stephen Hawking, the Grand Discoveries exhibition is designed to bring science to life.

And while there, children can also visit the Cambridge Science Centre’s pop-up on the first floor. There is free entry for all and weekly themes until August 25.

And they can get creative at the science drawing station, on the ground floor of John Lewis.

A free trail map is also available covering the city’s iconic sites, from the Cambridge Botanic Garden and the Museum of Zoology to renowned research institutions where famous scientists lived and studied.

Grand Discoveries at the Grand Arcade. Picture: Keith Heppell
Grand Discoveries at the Grand Arcade. Picture: Keith Heppell

On the map, visitors will find offers to redeem in the centre and across the city, from a discount on a punting tour to some treats in the best hotels in town.

Julie Kervadec, marketing manager at the Grand Arcade, told the Cambridge Independent: “It’s our last event exhibition for the summer and we installed it on Friday night [July 21].

“It was a big installation because we installed different sculptures across the centre, including a 25 metre-long piece of DNA, so that was quite something.”

Julie says she saw lots of people, of varying ages, interacting with the DNA sculpture over the weekend, even walking across it.

“We have different posters along the sculpture with portraits of the different scientists who helped to discover DNA and the DNA structure over the years,” she explains. “There is also an explanation about DNA itself.”

Grand Discoveries at the Grand Arcade. Picture: Keith Heppell
Grand Discoveries at the Grand Arcade. Picture: Keith Heppell

While trail maps normally accompany special exhibitions at the Grand Arcade, this time, Julie notes, they focus more on the city of Cambridge, rather than just what’s on display in the centre.

“What we wanted to do this time was for people to have a sense of Cambridge’s scientific heritage – to invite people to go around the city, look at the colleges, know where Darwin studied, which is very close to the Grand Arcade, for example, to know where all the great minds from Cambridge have studied and worked for centuries, including some of them today still discovering brilliant things. So it’s more about what’s within the city,” says Julie.

The science and technology partners for the exhibition are BIOS Health, Cambridge Applied Research, Cambridge University Libraries, Cambridge Science Centre and Raspberry Pi, and Julie says they have all been instrumental in providing scientific content to explain and develop the giant sculptures.

Brian O Halloran, brand manager at Raspberry Pi, said: “The best things come in small packages, as the cliché goes, and that's certainly true when it comes to Raspberry Pi.

“Our outsize scale model Raspberry Pi 4 helps you get a good look at a tiny computer that has had a giant impact. We created it especially for the Grand Discoveries exhibition taking place at the Grand Arcade, the location of our flagship store.”

Laura Greenfield, director of external engagement, Cambridge University Library, added: “Cambridge University Library is proud to be home to the archives of some of the world’s greatest scientists, including Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin and Stephen Hawking.

“The scientific discoveries which happened across Cambridge have changed the world, and these breakthroughs are captured forever in the handwritten papers and, more recently, computerised files we store at the University Library. We are delighted they are being celebrated at Grand Arcade this summer.’’

Grand Discoveries at the Grand Arcade. Picture: Keith Heppell
Grand Discoveries at the Grand Arcade. Picture: Keith Heppell

[Read more: Grand Arcade cinema plans submitted to Cambridge City Council]

To find out more, visit grandarcade.co.uk/events/grand-discoveries/.



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