UKRI Superheroes vs Superbugs live at the Science Museum


Next week (Weds 25 April), leading researchers from the MRC and UK research councils will join the Science Museum’s free, adults-only, late opening of the Superbugs: The Fight for Our Lives exhibition.

The exhibition, which is sponsored by UKRI, looks at the causes and challenges of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), and why previously effective drugs are no longer winning the battle against some infections.

From the tiniest of newborns to our growing elderly community, antibiotics underpin nearly every aspect of modern medicine. But as news spreads about the growing resistance of some common bacteria to antibiotics, the search is on to find ways to prevent and treat infections that now seem impervious to the drugs in our medicine cabinet.

Join in the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) superhero funfair for a light-hearted, hands-on experience to find out why public-funding is vital for the fight, and what you can do to help stop the spread of superbugs. Hear personal stories of how UKRI researchers and innovators are helping to tackle the global threat of AMR.

  • Mega Magnification - Be transported into the hidden world of bacteria. Use VR to shrink yourself, meet mighty bacterial proteins and reveal their microscopic secrets.
  • Superhero Arcade - Roll up, roll up! Try your luck at the Superhero Arcade and survive the most dangerous game in the world. Using your skin as a shield, try to stay alive until 2050.
  • Swab and Send - Many of the antibiotics we use today are produced by bacteria and fungi which can be found anywhere and everywhere. Help us search for the next antibiotic producing microbe by taking part in Swab and Send. Carefully swab an area of the museum where you think lots of microbes may be living and we will see if we can find microbes producing antibiotics from it.
  • Decoys, Distraction and Resistance/ Antibiotic Evaders - Dodge the decoys to explore the tactics used by bacteria to evade antibiotics. Try your hand at bacterial ‘DNA Jenga’ and spin the wheel of microbial resistance.
  • Antibiotic Hunters - Dig deeper into the hunt for new antibiotics. See the environments being explored for novel drugs and uncover the importance of soils in the quest for new antibiotics.
  • Barbershop-o-gram - Warm up your vocal cords with the finest barbershop quartet in London. Barbershop-o-gram will treat you to an exclusive Superbugs acapella performance about microbial resistance - song sheets are available and participation is encouraged.
  • Photo-fantastic - Dress up as a Superbug Superhero and strike a pose in our photo booth. From farmers to explorers, lab technicians and medics, see the range of experts involved in beating antimicrobial resistance.

The Superbugs exhibition is open until Spring 2019 and can be visited by the whole family during normal museum opening hours. The Museum late event is for one night only on the 25 April, 18:45-22:00.

Find out more about how UKRI is tackling AMR.


The Medical Research Council has been at the forefront of scientific discovery to improve human health. Founded in 1913 to tackle tuberculosis, the MRC now invests taxpayers’ money in some of the best medical research in the world across every area of health.

MRC [Medical Research Council]