Science: An Untold Story

Session details


Museum based

Curriculum Links
History (empire, decolonisation)
Science and society

Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5
Suitable for Years 10 & 11 and Years 12 & 13 (post-16)

Length of session
75-90 minutes

Maximum group size
20 students


In this session students will:


  • Learn about links between science and the transatlantic slave trade
  • Find out about the early Royal Society
  • Explore ideas through object handling and archive material


The story of the Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment from a European perspective celebrates individual “geniuses” such as Francis Bacon, Isaac Newton, and Carl Linnaeus.

In this session, we will explore how science and medicine developed hand in hand with colonialism in the 1600s, benefitting from new experimental opportunities, materials, and knowledge from indigenous and enslaved peoples.

We look at links between the early Royal Society—the first professional society of Science in England—its members, and the transatlantic slave trade.