The Pain Less Exhibition

The Royal College of Anaesthetists is delighted to be working in collaboration with the Science Museum in an exhibition entitled

'Pain Less: the future of relief'


Pain Less is a new exhibition featured in the Antenna – Science News gallery. It investigates the future of pain relief and opens on 8 November 2012.

Last year, nearly 6 billion painkillers were sold in the UK. Pain is a constant reality for some people, especially if you're one of the 1 in 5 who suffer from relentless chronic pain.

We treat pain with drugs that haven’t really changed for decades. Is there a better way to control pain?

Explore pain through the stories of extraordinary people who deal with it every day – from the patient who suffers with chronic pain in his missing limb, to the man who feels no pain at all.

How are scientists working to create the perfect pain relief? Geneticists decode DNA to find out how pain works in the body. Neuroscientists examine brain activity to discover how emotion affects how we feel pain. Researchers ask, do we really feel no pain during surgery under anaesthetic? Or do we simply not remember it? How might this affect us?

Pain Less will introduce you to the latest pain research, through personal stories, scientific discovery, fascinating objects, films and even games.

Want a sneak peek? Check out our blog to explore the content and creation of Pain Less.

A large print version of the gallery text is available at

The Exhibition supporters


Principal funder:

Major funders:
The Royal College of Anaesthetists
The Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland

With additional support from:
British Journal of Anaesthesia
Anaesthesia, Journal of the AAGBI
Association of Paediatric Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland
Obstetric Anaesthetists' Association
The British Pain Society


Visitor information
Science Museum
Exhibition Road
London SW7 2DD

Opening hours:
Every day Monday to Sunday until 6.00 pm
0870 870 4868


The Professional Standards Department at the College encompasses all aspects of work relating to clinical standards and quality in anaesthesia. Please contact for specific enquiries.

Unfortunately the College is unable to give individual advice regarding treatment.  If you do require specific advice then you are advised to contact your GP or hospital where you are being treated.

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