FLOP: 13 Stories of Failure

21st Oct 2019  -  10th Apr 2020
09:00  - 17:00
Free. Open daily

"Shows the joy and pain of mistakes" - New Scientist

It's something no one wants to talk about, even though it happens to all of us at some point in our lives. Why is admitting to failure so difficult? 

This exhibition shines a spotlight on the subject we’d all rather avoid, from ancient societies to modern day medicine.

Discover the gruesome blood-letting devices and poisonous pills endured by patients in the 19th century; a sword swallower’s oesophagus fatally punctured in an occupational accident (and the sword itself); and the lost Meroitic language, spoken in Sudan in the first millennium BC, which we are still unable to translate today. 

Come and find out where it all went wrong – and what lessons we've learned along the way.


FLOP exhibition Tours 
Join a free tour with curator Thomas Kador at 2pm on 10 December 2019. Places are free, booking is essential. More details to be announced shortly.

FLOPCAST on Apple Podcasts
Our exhibition podcast includes 16 short episodes discussing the topic of failure with a range of experts. From medical wax models that tell us about our failure to erdicate infectious deseases, to the failed invention of Silly Putty.

The Octagon Gallery is a public space under UCL's iconic dome and hosts a programme that highlights the university's interdisciplinary, collaborative and participatory research.


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