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10 things to look forward to at the Museum in 2018

From mammals to Moon rock, there will be plenty of natural history to explore at the Museum and beyond in 2018.

It's set to be a year full of touring dinosaurs, late night science events and new, online collections to explore. Whatever you're into, there will be something for everyone.

1. Stepping into Blue Planet II at Lates

Were you inspired by the BBC's spectacular Blue Planet II series? Come and meet the team that made it all possible at this special late event.

On 26 January, producers and researchers who created the series will join Museum scientists to host a range of talks, activities and interactive experiences. Entry is free and rarely-seen specimens from the Museum collections will be on display for one evening only. 

2. Going starry-eyed over a new exhibition

You can still catch Whales: Beneath the surface and Venom: Killer and cure before they close this year. 

A new exhibition opens in July and will explore the behaviours that allow animals to flourish in the dark - at night, underground and in the deep sea.

3. Exploring the Museum in virtual reality

In partnership with Sky VR, the Museum is launching a virtual reality experience featuring Sir David Attenborough and exceptional specimens from the collections.

Available later in the year, the experience mixes interactive video game technology and TV documentary. Hold up, peer inside, tilt and look closely at the objects, which include fossils, bones and skulls, with Sir David Attenborough as your personal guide.

4. Catching a dinosaur on tour

Dippy the Diplodocus cast will be touring the country, starting in Dorset County Museum in February. The dinosaur skeleton will then arrive in Birmingham in May, and Ulster in September. Get the date in your diary and go on a natural history adventure.

5. Seeing award-winning imagery at Wildlife Photographer of the Year

The fifty-fourth instalment of this much-loved exhibition will open in the autumn, bringing us another round of beautiful and inspiring photography.

See the fifty-third exhibition before it closes in May.

6. Saying hello to new researchers

More than 300 scientists work in the Museum's research labs, collections, library and archives. They care for more than 80 million specimens and publish hundreds of scientific papers every year.

2018 will see even more experts joining our teams, including new dinosaur specialists and researchers working on human origins.

7. Discovering the creatures of Britain's woodlands

The Natural History Museum at Tring will host three temporary exhibitions this year. Once Wildlife Photographer of the Year Highlights draws to a close later this month, the space will be home to a new display on British woodland wildlife.

Touch, smell, listen and look as you explore outdoor and indoor woodland spaces to discover what’s hiding there and hone your nature detective skills.

It will be followed by two further exhibitions later in the year.

8. Exploring new parts of the collection online

The digital collections team are busy digitising millions of specimens held at the Museum. It means that information about our planet is becoming available to citizen scientists, researchers and data analysists around the world.

British and Irish butterflies have already been digitised, along with Mesozoic palaeontology collections, plants and lice. And there will be plenty more to come this year.

9. Visiting the dinosaurs

Our dinosaur fossils aren't going anywhere. Visit the free gallery and learn to distinguish a T. rex from a Triceratops

10. Watching a film underneath a blue whale

Settle in for an evening of cinema underneath a vast blue whale skeleton in Hintze Hall. Science fiction films will be showing throughout February and March, including Alien, Gravity, Star Trek and Star Wars.

Experience these heart-warming classics, dystopian adventures, terrifying alien encounters and a journey through the vastness of space, in an unbeatable setting.

  • by Katie Pavid
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