Presentation at the Cité des sciences et de l'industrie extended to May 24, 2024.

Presentation video (3:09)

An exhibition that puts the behaviour of crowds under the microscope!

With the Crowds exhibition, for the first time Universcience is tackling a phenomenon that has never been broached in a scientific exhibition.

Because the crowd is not only a sum of individuals: their interactions give rise to a little something more, which this exhibition looks to decipher. To this end, it calls on a variety of disciplines: fluid mechanics, granular physics, mathematics, behavioural science and social psychology.

The exhibition’s scientific curator, Mehdi Moussaïd, provides a multidisciplinary perspective on this subject, on which he is both a specialist researcher and educator for his YouTube subscribers and readers since the publication of the bestseller “Fouloscopie, ce que la foule dit de nous” in 2019.

The crowd is a subject that speaks to everyone: everyone has experienced it, at least once in their life, a striking experience, whether happy or otherwise.

The crowd is not something monstrous that sweeps us along despite ourselves; nor is it the mere juxtaposition of individuals.

The exhibition will shine a light on certain mechanisms of these emerging phenomena, while revealing the basic principles of physical crowd movements.

The exhibition’s originality lies in its twofold approach: visitors successively find themselves at the heart of the crowd, feeling it physically, then outside it to better grasp and discover its inner workings. Interactions of all kinds are at work in it and reveal the social character of the human species.

In scientific partnership with the Max Planck institute.


This artistic installation illustrates density, a key concept in crowd studies. It even allows visitors to play at feeling what 3 people times m² means.

The exhibition’s interactive elements allow visitors to experiment with the mechanisms of physical crowds and learn that crowd phenomena are also at work remotely.

While it is true that collective movements can be a stage for the worst, they also give rise to solidarity and intelligence. An immersive audiovisual show presents an intersection of historical, sociological, political, psychological and anthropological approaches.

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