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Universities Week gets off to an explosive start

All this week at the Museum, UK universities are presenting groundbreaking research in a series of free exhibits and events.

If you pass by the West Lawn this week, you may be surprised to see a 3m-tall smoking volcano. You may also bump into an independently moving robot named Linda patrolling the length of Dinosaur Way and a group of cyclists powering the production of fruit smoothies.

From 9-13 June, students, researchers and scientists from more than 44 UK universities are discussing their work at stands and events around the Darwin Centre and on the West Lawn. 

The event is organised by Universities UK.

Sleep, dogs and smells

Presentations will also include the science behind sleep, how the sounds you wake up to affect your mood, a vibrating suit to correct posture, the latest technology for guide dogs and the 'smelly internet' - a device connecting to your Smartphone that emits someone's scent when they message you.

The University of Central Lancashire will also be presenting a session on how to maintain the perfect poker face in card games. 

Volcanic eruption

One of the more spectacular displays will be the eruption of the volcano on the West Lawn during a special evening programme on Wednesday 11 June. 

Presented by the Universities of East Anglia and Oxford, the eye-catching performance will highlight prediction techniques and communication within communities affected by volcanoes.

Contribution to the economy

Speaking in the press this week, Prof Sir Christopher Snowden, president of Universities UK, said it was important to highlight the value of UK universities' research to the British economy. Its contribution has risen from £59bn to £74bn in a year.