Drumming research on display at The Royal Society’s Summer Science Exhibition


Academics from Hartpury University will join more than three hundred scientists over six days to present exciting research at The Royal Society’s annual Summer Science Exhibition from 4 - 9 July 2023. The exhibition offers a free-to-attend interactive experience for anyone curious about the latest advances in science and technology. 

Academic Dean at Hartpury University, Professor Stephen Draper, will be on hand to showcase and explain the story of the influential Clem Burke Drumming Project. The project was co-founded in 2008 by legendary Blondie drummer Clem Burke, as well as Professor Draper himself and Professor Marcus Smith from the University of Chichester.

What initially set out as a project to examine the physiological demands of playing the drums ‘live’ during one-off (i.e. Glastonbury) and multiple gigs (i.e. World Tour), grew quickly into exploring the physical, mental and health benefits of drumming.

Those in attendance will have an opportunity to learn more about the neuroscience behind the act of learning to drum and the impact of drumming in autism spectrum disorder and other populations.

Professor Stephen Draper said: “We’re really looking forward to attending the exhibition and sharing this hugely important and influential piece of research with more people. 

“As an institution, we’re committed to sharing the research we do with our local community and want to show how research really makes a difference in practice. Who knows, an event like this may also inspire the next generation of students and researchers, encouraging the many young people in attendance to pursue a career in STEM.”

The Drumming Project was also the centrepiece of Hartpury University’s inaugural annual lecture in December 2022 and the institution continues to strengthen its research outputs including through Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) and its upcoming Research Conference (14 July 2023). Hartpury’s second annual lecture will return later in the year.

In addition to the drumming research, visitors to the Summer Science Exhibition can check out advances in technology exploring how to predict the next eruption of a quiet volcano, operating on the human eye using micro-surgical robotics in virtual reality or exploring how Raman spectroscopy can detect both bone diseases and life on Mars. 

Find out more about the exhibitors' research. The exhibition will take place at The Royal Society, 6-9 Carlton House Terrace, London, SW1Y 5AG. 

Research at Hartpury

Research carried out by Hartpury University, submitted as part of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021 process, was recognised as ‘world-leading’ and ‘internationally excellent’, placing Hartpury amongst a prestigious group of well-established institutions. The REF is a UK-wide assessment of the quality of research in universities undertaken by expert review panels and is undertaken on behalf of the Government by the funding councils for higher education.

Earlier this year, the institution also introduced its first Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) opportunities. KTPs are an excellent way for organisations to carry out research supported with funding from Innovate UK and the academics, resources and facilities provided by Hartpury.

Undergraduate and postgraduate students are exposed to research opportunities throughout their studies, able to carry out or support research into areas that can have real impact on an area of their industry.