Science in the Gardens
The gardens at Kew and Wakehurst Place provide the perfect setting for sharing the wonders of plants and fungi and the work of our scientists. We aim to make Kew a world leader among botanic gardens in engaging visitors in new and innovative ways. By communicating through both new and existing channels we will make our science accessible to a broad and diverse audience. Exploiting modern technologies, such as mobile apps and location-specific sensor technology, we will deliver information about our work that can be tailored to different audiences and also allow self-guided themed walks. Emerging technologies are providing the opportunity to transform the way science is communicated to the public, both on-site and through digital channels, and full use will be made of these to encourage Kew’s audience to engage with and seek out information on plants and fungi and the science behind the scenes.
Our vision is for the development of a ‘Virtual Kew’ allowing people to ‘e-walk’ round the Gardens at different times of year, with plants linked to an online portal giving instant access to names and interesting information. In addition, the visibility of Kew’s science and scientists in the gardens will be greatly increased through initiatives including pop-up science sessions, science open days, behind the scenes tours, collaborative science street-theatre events, pop-up microinterpretation with roaming scientists, and practical sessions for children and adults alike. We will also launch an annual Children’s Science Festival from 2016, bringing science to life through fun and informative children’s games and activities.