Port Sunlight Museum awarded Royal Society ‘Places of Science’ grant

Port Sunlight Museum awarded Royal Society ‘Places of Science’ grant

Port Sunlight Museum has been chosen as one of thirty-six small museums across the UK to be awarded funding of up to £3,500 by the Royal Society in the latest round of its Places of Science scheme to engage communities with their local science stories. 

Places of science aims to celebrate projects that will evoke curiosity, interest and enthusiasm by exploring science in a creative way, while also contributing to the museum sector’s recovery. From family days at the museum, through community-led creation and curation, to workshops for schools and documentary filmmaking, projects offer an exciting way for people to engage with science in the local area and beyond.

Port Sunlight Museum’s ‘The Sunlight Soap Challenge’ will give children aged 11-14 the chance engage in the battle of suds and explore the science of soap production, focusing on sustainability and historic significance in society. The challenge will involve designing a soap product, from the make-up of the soap itself to the packaging, marketing, and distribution, to present to a panel of experts. Winners will be invited to create their very own soap prototype to display in a youth-led popup exhibit in the village’s SoapWorks museum

Jean Milton, Director of Heritage at Port Sunlight Village Trust, said: “We’re very grateful for this funding from the Royal Society, which will provide an exciting opportunity for young people to get creative and bring to life the soapy science that helped to build this special village. We’re looking forward to getting started on the project later this year and seeing what marvellous soap prototypes the young people come up with.”

Professor Russell Foster CBE FMedSci FRS and Chair of the Places of Science allocation panel, said: “We have such an exciting array of themes being explored by the Places of Science awardees this year, from the history of space exploration to maths in the Islamic world and the impact of climate change at a local level.

“It has been wonderful to see so many creative ways of sharing scientific stories that are both engaging and accessible. I hope these projects allow people of all ages to connect with science in new ways and feel a shared sense of ownership of their local scientific history.”

Professor Carlos Frenk CBE FRS, cosmologist and Chair of the Royal Society Public Engagement Committee, said: “The Royal Society Places of Science scheme is now in its fifth round, and once again, the sheer diversity of projects and the creativity of this year’s awardees is astounding.

“Science plays a daily part in all our lives, and I’m delighted to think that new audiences from across the UK will be able to learn about the fascinating ways in which science has shaped their local communities throughout history and the vital role that it continues to play today.”

Full list of 2024 awardees:

Beaminster Museum
Using 3D scanning to improve access and education of heritage objects

Braintree District Museum
The Braintree Museum Urban Garden Project

Bruce Castle Museum
Getting the Measure of William Bedwell: Maths, Measurement, and the Arabic world

Chippenham Museum and Heritage Centre
Communicating conservation science at Chippenham Museum

Coleraine Museum
The Evolving Science of Digging Up the Past

Congleton Museum
Our Disappearing Nature!

Dr Jenner’s House, Museum and Garden
Jenner & The Oxford Vaccine

Epworth Old Rectory
Cures from the Garden: 18th century medicine at home

Gilbert White & The Oates Collection
Migrant Journeys

Herschel Museum of Astronomy
Amazing discoveries planetarium project

Highland Museum of Childhood
Exploring the Science behind Strathpeffer’s Victorian Spa

John Moore Museum
Natural Curators

Mid-Antrim Museum
Matilda’s Laboratory Challenge!

Milford House Museum
Milford House the story of electricity and the wonder of its age!

Much Hadham Forge Museum
Forging Links with Science at Much Hadham Forge Museum

Museum of Dartmoor Life
A Shroud for Mother Nature – Is Dartmoor Dying?

Museum of North Craven Life
Ground Nest Fest 2024

Museum of Welsh Cricket
Urban microclimates and their potential impact on summer sport in future

National Mining Museum United Kingdom
“The Rescuers” Tackle Climate Change

North Lincolnshire Museum
Beneath Our Feet: exploring the geology and history of North Lincolnshire, from the ground up

North Lincolnshire Museum (Rural Life Museum)
The Science of Stubbs project

Pannett Art Gallery
Look Closer, see the Extraordinary

Peace Museum
Caring for our world

Port Sunlight Museum
The Sunlight Soap Challenge

Sir Joseph Banks Society CIO
Richard Hill

Stromness Museum
Mineral Minds

Teign Heritage
Sun, sea and shifting sands – how the weather impacts the Teign Estuary

Tetbury Police Museum & Courtroom
Criminal Science and its relationship to Social Justice and Community

The Apsley Paper Trail
Recycling Paper: not a new invention

The Diving Museum
Diving into the Future at the Diving Museum

The Museum of Royal Worcester
The science of historic ice-cream: a hands-on workshop with the Museum of Royal Worcester

The Red House
The Science of Sound – creating a new offer for secondary students

Watchet Market House Museum
Waving at Watchet

Wheal Martyn Museum
Inspiring Cornwall’s Minds and Miners for Our Future

White House Cone Museum of Glass
Revitalising Glass: Connecting science and art – a sustainable approach to recycling and renew ability

Wolverhampton Art Gallery
Bilston Journeys: Exploring transport for a sustainable future



Brian Pilkington
Marketing and Communications Manager
[email protected]

For further details about the Places of Science scheme or to arrange interviews with any of the spokespeople, please contact the Royal Society press office:

Amrita Pal
Press Officer
[email protected]

For more details on the induvial projects or to arrange interviews with museum spokespeople, please get in touch with the museum directly.

About the Royal Society

The Royal Society is a self-governing Fellowship of many of the world’s most distinguished scientists drawn from all areas of science, engineering, and medicine. The Society’s fundamental purpose, reflected in its founding Charters of the 1660s, is to recognise, promote, and support excellence in science and to encourage the development and use of science for the benefit of humanity.