Manchester and science have a long, intertwined history. The University has nurtured the brilliant minds of atom-splitting physicist Ernest Rutherford, innovative engineer Beatrice Shilling, code-cracking Alan Turing, aeroplane engineer Roy Chadwick, and, of course, Professor Brian Cox.
For science-minded students, Manchester is a city rich in research, innovation, and natural wonder.
Before starting my degree here, I was automatically hooked by Manchester’s scientific achievements. As a former geologist and current MSc Science Communication student, nowhere seemed like a more perfect home than somewhere that so openly nurtures science.
If you’re also taken by the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and maths) side of Manchester, here are a few personal recommendations for exploring the past, present, and future of this city’s scientific achievements.
Explore our world at the Manchester Museum
The Manchester Museum, centrally located on Oxford Road, stole my heart when first touring the University. As mentioned, I have a soft spot for hard rocks, and the museum’s natural history emphasis does not disappoint.
Wander the halls of geologic history, evolution, and archaeological finds, and get lost in the endless treasures of our campus collections.
See the stars with the UoM Astronomy Society
Every Thursday, the University’s Astronomy Society hosts a stargazing and board game event. If learning about what exists beyond Earth is your thing (and if Manchester’s ever-present clouds decide to part for the night), give the group a join.
Learn about Manchester’s industrial history at the Museum of Science and Industry
A museum unique to Manchester’s industrial innovation, the Museum of Science and Industry is a must-visit for aspiring engineers, historians, or just about anyone who wants to understand the city’s brilliant past. Until 18 April, the museum will be hosting a must-see robots exhibition for a small fee. Otherwise, you can explore floors of textiles, aerospace, and trains, all built on the same soil as the world’s first inter-city railway station.
Have a laugh at Bright Club
If there’s one event that makes science fun in Manchester, it’s Bright Club. An organization open to all academic fields, Bright Club hosts a night of gut-splitting comedy. Each researcher presents a monologue about the hilarity of their field, which is not only educational, but wildly entertaining. During the last event, I saw one research programme a computer to tell Dad Jokes, which left me in tears (yes, my sense of humour is that bad). The next event will be in April, so keep your eyes on the website to score tickets to this must-see evening.
Enjoy a drink at Pint of Science
From 14-16 of May, STEM researchers will be sharing their interests… inside of local pubs. Pint of Science is an annual event that invites scientists to give casual, fun talks in a non-academic setting. This year, the event will feature speakers from topics like quantum biology, oceanography, and even art within science, and there’s sure to be a night for everyone. Keep tabs on the event website, where specific topics, speakers, and locations will soon be announced. And get your tickets quickly – Manchester’s Pint of Science is always wickedly popular!
Whether you’re a STEM-centred student or just a curious mind, Manchester offers plenty when it comes to exploring and enjoying science. Although my interests may be biased, I highly encourage every student here to take advantage of the University’s rich history, facilities, and connections. Grow your mind and soul through Manchester’s wild, cosmic, historic, nostalgic, and ever-so silly scientific community!