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David Rooney

Handley Page ‘Gugnunc’ aircraft, built to compete in Daniel Guggenheim’s Safe Aircraft Competition, 1929.

Hanging at the centre of Mathematics: The Winton Gallery is the Handley Page ‘Gugnunc’, an experimental aeroplane built in 1929. Curator David Rooney explores the story of this eloquent, striking and powerful embodiment of the mathematics of risk.

Clock of the Long Now. Credit: Rolfe Horn, courtesy of the Long Now Foundation

The Science Museum’s curator of time, David Rooney, reflects on the ‘Clock of the Long Now’, a prototype of which is on show in the museum’s Making the Modern World gallery.

Curator David Rooney is preparing to take our Twitter followers on a rather unique tour. Last June, we opened our Codebreaker exhibition, which reveals the life and legacy of a truly remarkable man, Alan Turing. The opening coincided with Turing’s 100th birthday, and over the last 12 months it has been a pleasure to read your comments and welcome so many of you to our exhibition. To anticipate Turing’s birthday this year, I’ll be giving a live tour of the […]

A Portrait of Alan Turing from the National Physical Laboratory archive

David Rooney, curator of the Science Museum’s award-winning Codebreaker exhibition, discusses mathematician Alan Turing’s contributions to science and society as part of LGBT History Month

A couple of weeks ago I talked about how we got the aircraft into our Flight gallery, in response to a Twitter question. I said I’d been to our photo archive to see if we had any pictures of the 1960s aircraft installation, and I turned up lots of great images. Well, the scans have just arrived, so for those interested in how to get a Supermarine S6B world-speed-record-breaking aeroplane into a third-floor gallery in central London in 1961, here goes… […]

Last week one of our visitors asked us a question via Twitter while looking round our third-floor Flight gallery: Help me settle a debate @sciencemuseum, how did you get the planes in the flight exhibit into the building? Good question. First opened in 1963, the gallery was refurbished in the 1990s when a couple of new planes (including our Hawker jump-jet and a Hawker Siddeley executive jet) were added. To get the aircraft into the gallery, we took some windows out, built […]

I visited Tate Britain last weekend to see a pair of fighter planes newly on show in the gallery’s central halls. Created by British artist Fiona Banner, Harrier and Jaguar sees a Sea Harrier suspended like a ‘captured bird’, according to the gallery, with a Jaguar nearby ‘belly up on the floor, its posture suggestive of a submissive animal’. It’s an arresting display. There’s nothing else. Just the two jets, one stripped bare, flipped over and defenceless, the other hanging menacingly as […]

Stories From The Stores is one year old today. Woo hoo! Over the past twelve months, we’ve told 200 stories about science, technology, engineering and medicine as captured in our remarkable collections of objects, pictures, books and archives. Our history – your history and mine – is embedded in the objects we’ve invented, made and used. Time flies, and we might forget this history if we didn’t collect stuff. Here, for instance, is a state-of-the-art aircraft flight exactly a century […]

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