This exhibit covers:

  • the air in our climate
  • the air inside our bodies
  • particles in the air around us, including pollen, spores and microbes
  • the properties of light in air
  • air's role in the evolution of life and the carbon cycle
  • air pollution and human health
  • how air interacts with the senses of us and other animals.

Narrative from the exhibit

Earth’s protective, nourishing skin… and its temperature regulator, exchange and water circulation medium. We take around 20,000 breaths of air a day, extracting the oxygen we need to live. Microbes and plants also harness other gases from the air which subsequently supply our food and build our bodies. 

Within air, float particles: cloud makers, flower pollinators and occasionally less desirable pollutants. The wind carries the scents of the world on the air waves. Imagine being a dog, which can smell better than we can see…what an extraordinary story the air would weave!              

‘The air cannot be owned, controlled or contained. It has no borders or boundaries. It is hot or cold, thick or thin, heavy or light, wet or dry …. It spins, rises, falls, swirls … stays or rests …. It is as quick to change as dirt is slow. It penetrates the soil, it mixes up the sea …It changes the world. It changes the fate of creatures and the destiny of peoples.’
From Air: The Restless Shaper of the World by William Bryant Logan

Lead scientific advisor: Professor Enda Hayes, Professor of Air Quality and Carbon Management, Director of the Air Quality Management Resource Centre, University of the West England, Bristol (UWE).