What is BBC Lab UK?

Many hands waving in the air

BBC Lab UK is an exciting website from the BBC where you can take part in groundbreaking science experiments - and maybe discover something you never knew about yourself at the same time!

BBC Lab UK opens science up to hundreds of thousands of participants

Lab UK was launched on the BBC website in September 2009 to encourage citizen science. Hundreds of thousands of you took part in experiments that led to new insights for you, as participants, and incredibly useful data for scientists.

The first experiment, Brain Test Britain, was a six-week trial designed to discover whether brain training actually worked. It was the largest-scale study on the subject at that time.

Since then, experiments have followed to give insights into personality, risk-taking, money management and job seeking. It has answered questions for participants on how musical they are, on what influences their morals and whether they can compete under pressure.

The largest study, The Great British Class Survey, revealed startling insights into modern society in Britain today.

Each BBC Lab UK experiment was designed in collaboration with leading scientists and high profile BBC programmes, such as Bang Goes the Theory, Child of Our Time and The Virtual Revolution.

The key ingredient to the tests was you, the public. Widespread participation was essential to answering the big scientific questions the experiments were designed for.

In return for your help, we hope we told you something new and interesting about yourself and gave you a greater understanding of the scientific process.

Why BBC Lab UK?

A crowd

By taking part, you are helping create new knowledge

Since 2001, hundreds of thousands of people have participated in online experiments from the BBC.

BBC Lab UK built on this legacy and brought BBC experiments together in one place.

Scientists often rely on relatively small groups of participants to conduct experiments and answer research questions. But generally speaking, the bigger the number of participants, the more accurate and compelling the conclusions the scientists can make.

BBC Lab UK opened science up to hundreds of thousands of participants.

The BBC Lab UK Guarantee

We want you to have complete confidence in BBC Lab UK, which is why every experiment conforms to the BBC Lab UK guarantee. The purpose of BBC Lab UK experiments is to create new knowledge and understanding with the help of the public.

  • BBC Lab UK experiments were based on sound scientific methodology and are run according to accepted ethical standards
  • Data collected for BBC Lab UK experiments has been made available for academic research and educational purposes only
  • Any data submitted to BBC Lab UK experiments was completely anonymous unless you chose to share it or otherwise identify it as yours
  • BBC Lab UK will make the scientific findings of all its experiments publicly available through the BBC website

Also on BBC Lab UK

  • Experiment results

    Find out what Lab UK and the BBC audience has discovered so far.

  • A guide to peer review

    We aim to publish the results of all BBC Lab UK experiments in peer reviewed journals. Find out more about the process scientists use to ensure research is robust.