Centre for Life
The Centre for Life is a science centre located in the city centre of Newcastle upon Tyne, England. It is an educational charity which aims to promote greater interest and engagement in science as well as supporting scientific research. The complex contains an exhibition space, medical clinics, research laboratories used by Newcastle University, offices and lab space for biotechnology companies and a conference centre.

The complex encloses Times Square, where several entertainment venues and bars are found, as well as ample space for outdoor events. Times Square is located close to Newcastle Central railway station.

The variety of events attract many tourists as well as local people. In the winter months, Times Square is host to an open-air ice rink and during major sporting events such as The Football World Cup a big screen is installed to display televised matches. The square is often used for promotional purposes by various companies and corporations, for example the Qashqai Urban Challenge in 2007 and the BBC Blast! tour. Times Square accommodates the marquee for the cabaret show The Ladyboys of Bangkok every September. In March 2009 it was the main venue for the UK's first Maker Faire, run as part of the Newcastle ScienceFest. The 2010 Newcastle Maker Faire was held at the Centre for Life and the nearby Discovery Museum.

The Centre was officially opened by The Queen in 2000 and offers an annual programme of exhibitions, lectures, workshops and family events with over 200,000 visitors every year. The Science Centre's permanent exhibition focuses on different aspects of human life; its origins, adaptation to extreme environments, as well as some of the challenges humanity may face in the future. Every summer a major temporary exhibition is hosted, usually a touring exhibition such as "Myths and Monsters" from the Natural History Museum, or "Grossology". During the winter months, smaller scale exhibitions are hosted, either on loan from other museums or created in-house. As well as the exhibitions, The Science Centre contains shows throughout the year. The "Life Theatre" hosts live science demonstrations linked to the main exhibition, and "The Dome" is unique in the North-East of England, for its 360° domed ceiling and immersive projections. The shows are created and presented in-house, with many of the staff holding science-related degrees, some even to Ph.D. level.

Educational aims
Learning programmes are offered to schools, aiming to raise standards in science education for young people and reach up to 40,000 school children annually. Workshops aimed at specific levels from Key Stage 1 to Key Stage 4 are offered to tie in with various aspects of the national curriculum, while the Centre also teaches the practical component of an MSc in Genetics at the Institute of Human Genetics. School groups who visit the Centre for a lab or workshop are also able to enter the exhibition at a discounted rate. As well as workshops on-site, the Centre for Life also operates an Outreach Programme. Scientists from the Centre visit schools who do not otherwise have access to laboratories or science equipment, often in impoverished or extremely rural areas. A variety of educational activities are also open to the public. There is a monthly "Science Club" for children aged 8-14, and a free lecture series aimed at adults.

Medical research
Newcastle Fertility Centre was established in 1991 at the RVI, later moving to the Centre for Life and officially opened by Professor Lord Robert Winston on 22 February 2000. As well as treating infertile couples, it carries out research and development into new fertility treatments. Scientists based at The Centre for Life are the first people in Europe - and only the second in the world - to get a license for stem cell research on human embryos. The license will allow work on new treatments for conditions including diabetes, Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease.


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