The Power of Poison: an interactive exhibition

Date Posted: 18/03/2015

A new exhibition called The Power of Poison is opening at the Old Truman Brewery, London from 16th May.

Pupils will discover the terrifying role of poisons and how they affect everyday lives through nature, myth, medicine and healing.

They will have the opportunity to learn about the power of poison through engaging and interactive components, models, multimedia and live animals, and will be encouraged to take part in a live theatre presentation to help unravel a real-world case of poisoning.

The exhibition will be beneficial for both History and Science lessons as it explores how poison is used in the natural world as well as the evolutionary history behind it.

The exhibition will have five main sections:

Poison in nature – Organisms use poison to protect themselves or capture prey. Pupils can walk through Columbia’s Choco Forest exhibit and observe toxic species of plants and animals whilst considering: What is it? How does it use poison, and why?

Poison in myth and legend – Stories of dramatic poisonings intrigue because they are mysterious and frightening, and because many contain a kernel of truth. Examine here the reality behind fascinating tales such as the Witches of Macbeth and Snow White.

Detecting poison – Pupils will step inside the Victims and Villains Gallery and discover how, from Cleopatra to Napoleon, history is filled with famous poisonings, many of which remain unsolved.

Poison by accident – Intentional poisonings are rare today, but accidental poisonings do happen. Using iPads pupils can investigate evidence, compare clues and weed out red herrings to figure out what poisoned a dog, an owl and Captain Cook.

Poison for good – Toxins extracted from plants and animals, including venoms, are being studied to treat conditions such as high blood pressure, multiple sclerosis and cancer. Here pupils will have the chance to explore how poisons are increasingly becoming beneficial to humanity.

The exhibition runs until 6th September.

For more information visit

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