Essential info
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Life Science Centre is currently closed. This decision has been made in the interests of the health and wellbeing of our staff and visitors. It is a preventative measure only; Life is not aware of any specific risk to its visitors or staff in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic. Thank you for your understanding in these exceptional circumstances.

Updates, including information on when we are re-opening, will be displayed here and shared in our enews. You can subscribe to enews at

For science centre enquiries, or for information regarding educational bookings, please email

To contact a member of our Meetings and Events team, please email

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Life Science Centre is currently closed. Please see our 'Essential info' tab for more details.

Science Centre ticket prices


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Trustees and Senior Management

The International Centre for Life is governed by a Board of Trustees who contribute their time and expertise to help ensure that Life fulfils its mission. Take a look at the 2019 Trustees' Report and Financial Statements for further information:

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Alastair Balls CB DL, Chair

“Life is unique in that it’s home to world-class scientific research, an award winning Science Centre, a host of small business spin-outs and  a meetings and events centre that hosts major political and scientific conferences. I am immensely proud to be associated with what it has achieved, what it continues to achieve and what it will achieve in the future.”


Professor Joris Veltman

Director, Institute of Genetic Medicine, Newcastle University
“I look forward to contributing my skills and working with Life to inspire children and young adults to choose a career in STEM.”

Professor Jane Robinson

Dean of Engagement and Place, Newcastle University

“Life creatively combines world-leading science with education in a way that is fun and relevant for people of all ages and background. It shows what we can achieve when we work together.”

Lucy Winskell OBE DL

​Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Employability and Partnerships), Northumbria University
​“Life is a fabulous asset for the region and, speaking as a non-scientist, I appreciate that its exhibitions and events make me look at the world differently.”

Professor Roy Sandbach OBE

President, Royal Society of Chemistry Industry Council
“Science is the story of our world and our Universe; Life tells us that story brilliantly, every day.”

Fiona Cruickshank OBE

Angel investor and non-executive director, pharmaceutical manufacturing businesses
​“I have always valued the importance of engaging children in science. Life creates an opportunity to sustain that spark of interest with a varied and constantly changing programme.”

Paul Smith

Technology entrepreneur and writer
"Life has been integral to my children's science education, and to mine. I'm determined we continue to foster the next generation of scientific entrepreneurs and technologists."

Councillor Irim Ali

Legal assistant and elected councillor for the Wingrove Ward in Newcastle
"As a local councillor, I want to contribute to the work and development of Life and help promote the centre within the local community. I am thrilled to serve on a Board that has a variety of skills and experience to offer."

Liz Mayes

Chief Executive, The Common Room of the Great North
"It's a privilege to join the Board and I'm excited to get involved in how Life can impact even more on developing young people's STEM skills to inspire everyone to explore science."

Emerita Professor Katie Bushby

Newcastle University (John Walton Muscular Dystrophy Research Centre)
“After a lifetime’s work in scientific research and medicine (much of it based at Life) I am delighted to join the charity as a Trustee and work towards the goal of access to science for all.” 

Honorary President: The Right Honourable Viscount Ridley

Matt Ridley is a distinguished author and science journalist. His books, including The Rational Optimist and The Evolution of Everything, have sold over a million copies, been translated into 31 languages and won several awards. His TED talk When Ideas Have Sex has been viewed more than two million times. He writes a weekly column in The Times (London) and writes regularly for the Wall Street Journal.

Honorary Vice-President: Professor Ian Fells CBE

Professor Fells is Emeritus Professor of Energy Conversion at Newcastle University and former Chairman of New and Renewable Energy Centre (NaREC) in Blyth, UK. He has published over 200 papers on a varied range of topics including rocket combustion and energy economics.

Did you know Life is a charity? Support us

​Senior Management Team

Linda Conlon MBE, Chief Executive

Linda’s background is in marketing and prior to joining the science centre world she worked in regional development and urban regeneration. She was one of the original team who helped transform a once derelict area of Newcastle into the vibrant science village of Life. She’s now one of the most respected figures in the international  science centre community, travelling all over the world to give lectures and advise other bodies on setting up science centres. She has contributed to many boards and external organisations, one of the most significant being the Association of Science and Technology Centres (ASTC) – the US-based professional body that represents more than 600 science centres from over 50 countries. That’s quite an accolade for a Newcastle-based business leader with no science background! In 2016, Linda was awarded an MBE for her outstanding service to science and science education in North East England.

Claire Adams, Property and Corporate Services Director

With a legal career in the public and private sector – latterly specialising in commercial land matters and regeneration – Claire is the director responsible for the Centre’s diverse property portfolio, its income generation and its upkeep (no mean task!) and for keeping our tenants happy.  Property provides vital income for the Centre, as it receives no funding from local or central government – we follow the motto ‘there’s no mission without the margin’.  Claire’s responsibilities also include corporate governance matters and human resources.  In effect, Claire is the person who does the regulatory stuff as well as the hiring and (hopefully not very often) the firing, too.

Liz Dean, Trading and Operations Director

Being in charge of trading and operations means that every day is different. Trading covers all commercial activities, including the ice rink, concerts in Times Square and weddings. Commercial activities provide further income for the Centre to help achieve its charitable mission.  Operations covers the day-to-day running of the Centre, ensuring we're open on time, everything is working, toilets are clean, staff are ready to rock. Liz is also in charge of health and safety site-wide. Because of the nature of the role, with many fingers in lots of different pies, Liz works closely with her fellow Directors.

Julia Hankin, Marketing and Communications Director

Whether it's marketing dinosaurs, exhibitions of dead bodies or robots, or organising visits by astronauts, Nobel Prize-winning scientists or prime ministers, Julia has the T-shirt(s).  She's responsible for all areas of marketing and communications for Life including the Science Centre, the wider public engagement and schools programmes, plus the promotion of commercial activities including Life Meetings and Events. She’s also tasked with raising awareness of the wider on-site activities and, given the range and breadth of activities, that’s a challenge. Julia has extensive marketing experience in education, industry and tourism and spent 14 years with the BBC as a radio presenter.

Kate Little, Finance Director

Kate looks after all aspects of the financial health of the Trust and its subsidiary commercial company. From overseeing the day-to-day finances, to planning investment strategy, meeting statutory reporting and filing obligations, ensuring adequate insurance cover, tax planning and cash flow – there’s not much that Kate can’t achieve when armed with a calculator and a spreadsheet! Kate spent many years in practice (as a partner in two local practices, Rainbow Gillespie and Haines Watts North East) before moving into the not-for-profit sector in 2010. Kate has a degree in biotechnology, making her career move to Life a "coming-full-circle" story.

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