Upcoming events

22 July 2014

Call for papers for a major conference
Being Modern: Science and Culture in the early 20th century
Institute of Historical Research, London 22–24 April 2015

Engagement with science was commonly used as an emblem of “Being modern”, across culture in Britain and the western world in the years around the First World War. Today, historical studies of literature, art, design, lifestyle and consumption as well as of the human sciences are exploring intensively, but frequently separately, on that talk of “science”. Historians of science are exploring the interpenetration of discourse in the public sphere and expert communities. This pioneering interdisciplinary conference is therefore planned to bring together people who do not normally meet in the same space. Scholars from a range of disciplines will come together to explore how the complex interpretations of science affected the re-creation of what it was to be modern.

Please see the website for more details

Submissions for four types of presentation and discussion are sought:

  1. Disciplinary panels of three x 15 minute papers and discussion
  2. Cross-disciplinary panels of three x 15 minute papers and discussion
  3. Focus on research presentations of five minutes plus two minute discussion each will provide opportunities particularly for graduate students
  4. Poster sessions

Closing date 19 October 2014. Get in early – competition will be strong!
Submissions to: research@sciencemuseum.ac.uk
Enquiries to: Robert.bud@sciencemuseum.ac.uk

22 April 2014

EAMHMS conference 4–6 September 2014
Science Museum, Director's Suite 

The European Association of Museums of the History of Medical Sciences Congress (EAMHMS) biennial meeting will be held in London, jointly hosted between the Science Museum, the Royal College of Surgeons (Hunterian Museum) & the Wellcome Collection. The 2014 Congress will focus on medical collections and audiences. We will be looking at how medical heritage is used to intrigue, problematise, teach, and stimulate interaction and reflection about medicine of the past and of today along with looking at who engages with our collections and which new audiences are we innovating ways to engage with.  Our visitors are not passive spectators, but rather participants in the creating of and telling of stories about medical heritage – so what does that mean for the future of curating medical collections & displays?

Book tickets

A registration form is required to be downloaded and completed; and then returned to: research@sciencemuseum.ac.uk

22 April 2014

BBC2: Origins; Influence; Audiences
Public lecture by Joe Moran,author of Armchair Nation: An intimate history of Britain in front of the TV
Science Museum, Lecture Theatre, 25th April 18.00–19.45

As part of our series of talks celebrating the 50th anniversary of BBC2, we are organising a free public lecture and screening with Joe Moran author of Armchair Nation: An intimate history of Britain in front of the TV
The lecture will take place in the Lecture Theatre at the Science Museum from 18.00 until 19.45 and will be followed by a drinks reception. 
To register for this event please email 
research@sciencemuseum.ac.uk. Places are limited.

22 April 2014

'Blindness', an event at the Science Museum organised by the London Interdisciplinary Group and supported by the Research and Public History department
Director's Suite 07 May 2014 

How can the non-blind understand blindness? How can blindness be represented? These questions and other aspects of blindness will be explored by writer and theologian John Hull, neuroscientist Colin Blakemore, philosopher Ophelia Deroy and filmmakers James Spinney and Peter Middleton (who are currently making a film about John Hull’s experience of blindness). Each speaker will give a short presentation on blindness, and there will then be time for discussion and audience questions. 

Further details can be found on the Dana Centre website.

07 April 2014

BBC2: Origins; Influence; Audiences
Science Museum 25–26 April

Join us to celebrate the 50th anniversary of BBC2, find out more information about the conference and book tickets here.

There will also be a free public lecture followed by a drinks reception at the Science Museum on the 25 April at 18.00 by Joe Moran author of Armchair Nation: An intimate history of Britain in front of the TV. To register for the evening write to research@sciencemuseum.ac.uk. Places are limited.

01 April 2014

'Order/Disorder' an event in the Dana Centre organised by the London Interdisciplinary Group and supported by the Research and Public History department
Dana Centre, 15 April 2014

Where do we draw the line between order and disorder? What is the significance of this, and how might it differ from one area of knowledge to another? How do varying conceptions of order and disorder across diverse practices and disciplines affect our overall understanding of the relationship between them?Join the London Interdisciplinary Discussion Group to explore this topic from a range of disciplinary perspectives, considering what it means for those working across the humanities, sciences, arts and medicine.

Further details can be found on the Dana Centre website

26 March 2014

Call for contributions: ‘Interpreting the Information Age’: new avenues for research and display
Science Museum, 3–5 November 2014

In autumn 2014, the Science Museum will open a new permanent gallery, Information Age. The gallery will expose, examine and celebrate how information and communication technologies have transformed our lives over the last 200 years.

To mark this launch, the Museum is hosting a three day conference which will discuss how the history and material culture of information can be made relevant for today’s audiences.

Download details of the call for contributions

20 February 2014

Puffing Billy 200
Science Museum 26 March 2014

A study afternoon marking the 200th anniversary of Puffing Billy and exploring the history of this remarkable relic. 

This event is free but tickets must be booked in advance and are limited. Attendees might wish to stay on for the Science Museum’s Lates evening, which will have a transport theme and is open to all without prior booking.

See our website for further details and to book tickets

4 February 2014

BBC2: Origins; Influence; Audiences
Science Museum 25–26 April

Conference marking the 50th anniversary of BBC2 and exploring its origins, programmes and legacy.

Further details can be found on our website and on the conference website.

Click here if you would to book tickets

Past events

6 November 2013

 Call for Papers: 'Between medical collections and their audiences'
EAMHMS Congress, London 2014

The European Association of Museums of the History of Medical Sciences Congress biennial meeting will be held in London, September 4th – 6th 2014, jointly hosted between the Science Museum, the Royal College of Surgeons (Hunterian Museum) & the Wellcome Collection.


14 October 2013

 Patriotism and Profit during World War One

A lecture by Graeme Gooday and Elizabeth Bruton, University of Leeds

When: Saturday 2 November 2013, 11.00
Where: Fellows' Room, Science Museum, London

This lecture explores the different motivations of individuals, the military, industry, and commerce in relation to World War One telecommunication innovations – were they motivated by patriotism, profit, or both? Wartime developments in telecommunications were especially reliant on pre-war commercial development and innovation. But what motivated commercial companies such as the Marconi Company and others to assist with wartime military demands for telecommunication? Was it, as was often claimed during and after the war, patriotism or did the pursuit of profit and expectation of post-war reward also motivate their contributions to Britain's wartime efforts?

Based on material from BT archives and IET archives we will explore the roles of individuals, members' institutions, state bodies, the military, and commercial bodies in the development of telecommunications during World War One. We will also draw out a strong degree of tension between military demands, civilian innovations, and commercial profit. We will uncover voices left out from the traditional narrative of wartime patriotism and explore how wartime activities influenced post-war developments, successes, and technologies.

Download the event flyer for further information

Supported by the AHRC-funded project:Innovating in Combat: telecommunications and intellectual property in the First World War University of Leeds and Museum of the History of Science, Oxford.

27 September 2013

Collaborative Doctoral Partnerships Open House 2014

Meet all the organisations with Collaborative Doctoral Partnership funding to discuss potential projects.

Science Museum Dana Centre, London on 28 October

165 Queen's Gate, South Kensington, London SW7 5HD

Please see location map

All those interested in supervising a Collaborative Doctorate with any of the CDP-holding organisations, or interested in being one of our doctoral students, are invited to attend.

Cafe open for hot and cold drinks, snacks and meals from 10:00 and throughout the day.

11:00 Plenary Session
The Collaborative Doctoral Partnership Scheme outlined, the partnerships introduced, some existing projects described.

11:45 General Q&A

12:15 CDP Surgery
All CDP Organisations will be represented. This is an opportunity to meet representatives of the CDP-holding organisations to discuss potential topics for doctorates in the coming year, for submission by 13th December to the individual organisations.

14:00 Close

Pre-registration is mandatory: Please send an e-mail with the heading 'CDP Open Day 2014' with a brief description of your proposed doctoral subject area(s) to: research@sciencemuseum.ac.uk by 21st October.

There is a parallel meeting at Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh on 30th October 2013. Please check that your target CDP organisation is represented at this event before booking.

Please contact Hazel Johnson at Historic Scotland to book: hazel.johnson2@scotland.gsi.gov.uk.

We hope that all organisations will be represented at both meetings.

The organisations are:
The British Library; The British Museum; English Heritage; Glasgow Life; Imperial War Museums; The National Archives; The National Portrait Gallery; National Maritime Museum; The National Gallery; The National Museum of Scotland; The National Galleries of Scotland; Historic Scotland and Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland; Science Museum Group (including Science Museum, National Railway Museum, National Media Museum); BT Archives; Tate Galleries (including Tate Modern, Tate Britain, Tate St Ives and Tate Liverpool); The Royal Geographical Society (with IBG); The Royal Society; and The Victoria & Albert Museum

18 July 2013

The Return of Biography: Reassessing Life Stories in Science Studies (Science Museum London)

To coincide with the close of the biographical exhibition Codebreaker: Alan Turing's Life and Legacy, the Science Museum invites participation in a one-day workshop on the role of biography in science studies.

Find out more about The Return of Biography workshop

17–18 June 2013

Making the History of the Computer Relevant (Science Museum London)

The aim of this conference is to discuss what needs to be done to make the history of computing relevant and interesting to the general public today.

Find out more about Making the History of the Computer Relevant conference