Skip to content

exploration

Dr Ellen Stofan, NASA’s Chief Scientist, in front of the Apollo 10 Command Module. Credit: CaSE

Dr Ellen Stofan, NASA’s Chief Scientist, gave the Campaign for Science and Engineering’s 24th Annual Distinguished Lecture at the Science Museum.

Guest post by author Tony White, who writes about his new novel Shackleton’s Man Goes South, the Science Museum’s 2013 Atmosphere commission. Download the novel here. I’m really excited that the moment you turn the corner from the lifts on the 2nd floor of the Science Museum you get a clear view right across the Atmosphere Gallery to a large logo on the opposite wall, twenty-feet high, which seems to be melting or dripping down the wall but which still recognisably spells out […]

UK astronomy enthusiasts are in for a serious case of Venus envy next week, as the planet transits the Sun. People in other parts of the world will have a good view, but while the 2004 transit was seen across the UK, this year’s – the last until 2117 – mostly happens after nightfall in these parts. Only the final stages will be visible at sunrise on 6 June, but that’s not stopping intrepid observers, who will be hoping that […]

Many museums and organisations have been celebrating the centenary of Captain Robert Falcon Scott’s expedition to the South Pole. But have you ever wondered what kind of medicine Scott and his party brought with them to the ends of the earth? Here at the Science Museum we know because we have one Scott’s original aluminium medicine chests. The chest, dated to 1910, was carried by Scott and his party when they set out for the pole in November 1911. This […]

Many objects in our collections weren’t really meant to survive the long-term. Food stuffs are such an example. While food packaging is commonly found in museum collections, food itself is rarer. And if uneaten during their pre-museum life, these objects remain vulnerable. Destructive pests like the Biscuit beetle are so named for a reason. Within our stores are a number of foody objects, collected for a variety of reasons and which have so far eluded the appetites of both the […]

Reading Trilce’s recent post, I was reminded of objects from Sir John Franklin’s Arctic expedition within our vast medical collections. Simple items and anonymous fragments, easily overlooked on their storeroom shelves. But they are reminders of one of the most obvious, yet magical things about museum collections – even the most mundane looking objects can be transformed through association. This razor belonged to a member of Franklin’s team. Physically, it’s virtually indistinguishable from others in our collections. But by association, this simple and very […]

In my previous post I mentioned Sir John Franklin’s doomed expedition to the Canadian Arctic, on which the HM ships Erebus and Terror tragically disappeared with all 129 men on board after the summer of 1845. While we wait and see what Canada’s renewed rescue efforts might discover about Franklin’s last journey, I think there are some items from his more successful voyages in the Science Museum’s stores that deserve a closer look. One such object is a variation compass and […]