Astonishing Science. Spectacular museum.
Industrial Research was a form of scientific activity newly encountered in early 20th century Britain. It is now attracting historical attention from scholars concerned with science, business, management, technological change and their interfaces.
Although rooted in chemistry and electrical engineering it was widely conceived as reaching out much further, for instance to management and to psychology. With expectations that “research” was required of a modern company and a widespread belief that it had the potential to transform an industry, Corporations often combined mundane requirements for urgently-needed information. It was supported both by the large companies of the era and by industrial associations and scientific bodies.
Benefiting from a rich range of new work in the area, workshop participants will have a rare opportunity to focus on these special forms of industrial research before The War and on a specifically British context, at the same time recognising its broader international filiation.
Download the programme
Attendance, including lunch, is free but please register here .
Space will be limited so to avoid disappointment please register as soon as possible.
This workshop is supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council
Music and Noise: events open to all
We have reached the third and final workshop in our 2015 AHRC-funded workshop series, Music, Noise and Silence, in which scholars and musicians from across the world have been discussing potential high-level narratives for a future exhibition on sound, science, and music. The workshops, which celebrate the 80th anniversary of the Science Museum’s landmark 1935 Noise Abatement exhibition, are intended as a way of addressing music in the era of industrial modernity.
Our partners are the Royal College of Music and the University of Nottingham.
Music and Noise, The Science Museum, 23 and 24 April
If, categorically, the opposite of music is said to be noise, in what ways has the boundary between music and noise been policed? Is there a simple ratcheting effect in which more and more of the sonic spectrum has been included within music? How do minority, 'popular' noise music genres compare with the 'classical' avant garde? What cross-communication has there been between them?
There are two open sessions:
A Concert of New Historical Noise Music, Director's Suite
Thursday 23 April, 19.00, Director's Suite, Science Museum
Provocations; and discussion on music and noise from three prominent academics
Friday 24 April, Director’s Suite, Science Museum, 14:15–17:30
Download the programme
The first of three AHRC-funded workshops, Silence and Music, proposes that silence is the ‘absolute zero’ of both music and acoustics. The workshop explores the idea that modern ‘quiet’ musics (including ambient) are responses to industrial modernity, and examines the role of technology in realising these musics.
The workshop has three events open to the public:
Silence and Music Concert, Royal College of Music
18:00 on 25 February
Free but tickets are required. Book tickets here.
A Few Silence Concert, Holy Trinity Church on Prince Consort Road
19.15 on 25 February
Free. Find out more.
14.00 on 26 February
Presented by David Toop, author of 'Ocean of Sound: Aether Talk, Ambient Sound and Imaginary Worlds' and Hillel Schwartz, author of 'Making Noise: From Babel to the Big Bang and Beyond'.
Free but tickets are required. Book tickets here.
Read more on the Science Museum blog
A special event organised by the Public History Convenors Group (Institute of Historical Research) in conjunction with the Science Museum, the National Museums and Galleries Heads of Research and the AHRC.
A screening, presentation and panel discussion revealing the ways that museums, galleries, libraries and archives, with help from the AHRC’s ‘Connected Communities’ theme, have been working with many kinds of communities to tell new kinds of stories about collections, linking personal stories into the fabric of museum displays and the stories of objects. Followed by Questions and Answers from the speakers and other Museum participants in Connected Communities projects and a drinks reception.
All welcome. Admission is free but places are limited. Please register to attend before 2 February 2015 by sending an RSVP e-mail to: email@example.com.
Find out more about Museums and Communities Today: Opportunities of the AHRC ‘Connected Communities’ Theme.
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. This conference will be held on the exact centenary of the first use of poison gas on the Western Front.
Join distinguished historians of literature, design and culture exploring how the complex interpretations of science affected the re-creation of what it was to be modern early in the 20th century.
Book your ticket online or call our Call Centre on +44(0)207 942 4000
Download the conference programme.
One of the most successful exhibitions in our field in recent years, ‘Ships, Clocks & Stars: The Quest for Longitude’, at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich (until 4 January 2015) will soon be closing. The Science Museum has invited five people, involved as researchers, staff and visitors, to reflect on what has been achieved, both by the exhibition and by its associated research project on the Board of Longitude.
Katy Barrett will talk about mounting the exhibition and Sophie Waring about digitisation. Eóin Phillips adds his reflections from afar (current research having taken him there), while Katherine McAlpine will talk about her work on the programme of events. Seb Falk will offer his impressions as a visitor and reviewer.
Katy Barrett, ‘Exhibiting Longitude’
Sophie Waring, ‘Fixing Longitude’
Eóin Phillips, ‘Remembering Longitude’
Katherine McAlpine, ‘Programming Longitude’
Seb Falk, ‘Visiting Longitude’
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
In October 2014, the Science Museum will open a new permanent gallery, Information Age: Six Networks That Changed Our World. 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 free, three-day conference which will discuss how the history and material culture of information can be made relevant for today’s audiences.
Find out more about the Interpreting the Information Age conference
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:
Closing date 19 October 2014. Get in early – competition will be strong!
Submissions to: email@example.com
Enquiries to: Robert.firstname.lastname@example.org
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?
A registration form is required to be downloaded and completed; and then returned to: email@example.com
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
firstname.lastname@example.org. Places are limited.
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.
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 email@example.com. Places are limited.
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
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
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
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
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.
THE CALL FOR PAPERS IS NOW CLOSED
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.
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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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: email@example.com.
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
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
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