New exhibition presents historical objects and art that showcase the human capacity to adapt to our ever-changing environment
Climate Changing Stories is the new exhibition opening at the Science Museum on 27th June with a different story to tell - from nineteenth century inventions that paved the way for today’s new technologies - to contemporary art and film which show us a glimpse of futuristic adaptations.
Combining science and imagination, artwork and artefact, the exhibition will bring together different periods and perspectives to show the range of ingenious ways humans have and will respond to the changing world around them.
The exhibition includes:
A story of five fictional plants from the near future
Artist collective Troika’s Plant Fiction tells the stories of five fictional plants that have been genetically modified to improve the world around us – including a creeper that sprawls across the city sensing airborne viruses and a weed that reclaims gold from disused computer circuits as it grows over landfills. Drawing inspiration from current biotechnology research, Troika play with myth and fiction to create a radical rethinking of our relationship with nature.
The very human story of resistance to change
A timeline display of light bulbs from 1890 marks the completion of the phasing out of the incandescent light bulb across the European Union at the end of 2012. Our light bulbs may be changing, but there’s a perceptible grumble about the speed and brightness of the new low-carbon bulbs. Rewind to the 1880s and there was a similar reluctance to swap the friendly flicker of the gas lamp for the incandescent electric bulb...
The surprisingly old story of London’s first ever electric taxi
Challenging the common perception of electric cars as a modern invention, the first self-propelled vehicle for hire, the Bersey taxi, actually appeared on the city’s streets in 1897. Now, electric transport is firmly back on the agenda with charging points in London set to double in the next six months and a futuristic ‘driverless electric taxi’ in the offing. Could the car of our great-great-great-grandparents present a solution for greener cities today?
The dizzying heights of modern power
The sheer size of modern day wind turbines is staggering. The public can fully appreciate the enormity of these devices by visiting the 14 metre long wind turbine tip also going on display. Despite its impressive size this tip belonged to a turbine blade that was an astonishing 40 m long. Taking advantage of the three-fold increase in blade length over the past 20 years, older, smaller wind turbines are being replaced with larger and fewer models – raising questions about how to use retired turbines sustainably.
The story of an uncertain future in Essex
Artists Nina Pope and Karen Guthrie have created a specially commissioned edit of their new documentary “Jaywick Escapes” for Climate Changing Stories. The short film and accompanying installation explores Jaywick’s evolving history. Once famous as a holiday destination it is now one of the most deprived towns in the UK, facing flood warnings due to rising sea levels amidst painful local memories of the 1953 flood disaster.
Other highlights include designer Thomas Thwaites’ thought-provoking Toaster Project, one of the bright orange Sno-Cat vehicles used by Sir Vivian Fuchs in the perilous 1955–58 crossing of Antarctica, science-fiction-inspired 1936 visions of the future which have become a reality, the march of steel pylons across Britain’s countryside, a camera journey into the atmosphere, and the first recorded look at London’s climate.
Dr. Susan Mossman, Project Leader, said: ‘Climate Changing Stories offers a fresh perspective on our changing climate through the history of invention - showcasing the amazing human capacity to create and adapt in the face of change. The Science Museum collection shows the great feats of science and engineering throughout the ages, alongside possible visions of the future.’
Climate Changing Stories is a free trail throughout the museum that forms part of the Science Museum’s three-year Climate Changing programme – a series of thought-provoking events that accompany the Atmosphere ...exploring climate science gallery*. The free display will open on 27 June and run for a year until June 2014.
For more information visit www.sciencemuseum.org.uk
On 27 June the Science Museum will also open an exhibition about the Climate Science Outreach Project, a three year project designed to engage 13 – 14 year olds using science communication to explore climate issues. The three day exhibition will feature the work of 48 UK schools who were invited to submit a piece of investigative journalism about climate change in their area, uncovering issues from river pollution to community opposition to wind farms.
The touring Outreach exhibition first opens at the National Railway Museum, York on 13th June, before touring to @Bristol between the 20th and 24th June and the Science Museum between the 27th and 30th June where it will be on show on the second floor outside the temporary exhibition space. The exhibition will finally travel to the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry between the 4th and 9th July.
*The Atmosphere gallery and the Climate Changing programme have been made possible by support from Principal Sponsors Shell and Siemens, Major Sponsor Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Major Funder the Garfield Weston Foundation, and with additional support from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Patrons of the Science Museum and members of the Founders Circle: Climate Changing programme: Accenture, Bayer and Barclays.
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Notes to Editors
Notes to Editors
For 100 years the Science Museum has been world-renowned for its historic collections, remarkable galleries and inspirational exhibitions. The Science Museum’s collections form an enduring record of scientific, technological and medical change from the past few centuries. Aiming to be the best place in the world for people to enjoy science, the Science Museum makes sense of the science that shapes our lives, sparking curiosity, releasing creativity and changing the future by engaging people of all generations and backgrounds in science, engineering, medicine, technology, design and enterprise. In 2008/09 the Science Museum was proud to have been awarded the Gold Award for Visitor Attraction of the Year by Visit London and a Silver Award for Large Visitor Attraction of the Year by Enjoy England.
Royal Dutch Shell plc
Royal Dutch Shell plc is incorporated in England and Wales, has its headquarters in The Hague and is listed on the London, Amsterdam and New York stock exchanges. Shell companies have operations in more than 80 countries and territories with businesses including oil and gas exploration and production; production and marketing of liquefied natural gas and gas to liquids; manufacturing, marketing and shipping of oil products and chemicals and renewable energy projects. For further information, visit www.shell.com. Shell runs a series of nationwide social investment programmes and sponsorships. For more information please see www.shell.co.uk/socialinvestment.
Siemens was established in the United Kingdom 169 years ago and now employs 12,972 people in the UK. Last year’s revenues were £4.4 billion*. As a leading global engineering and technology services company, Siemens provides innovative solutions to help tackle the world’s major challenges, across the key sectors of energy, industry, infrastructure & cities and healthcare. Siemens has offices and factories throughout the UK, with its headquarters in Frimley, Surrey. The company’s global headquarters is in Munich, Germany. For more information, visit www.siemens.co.uk
* Data includes intercompany revenue. Data may not be comparable with revenue reported in annual or interim reports.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch Corporate Social Responsibility
Developing solutions for social and environmental challenges is at the core of Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy. In more than 100 markets around the world, we partner with shareholders, clients, customers and employees to create shared value that empowers individuals and communities to thrive, whilst simultaneously contributing to the long-term success of our business. Our CSR platform focuses on: responsible business practices, environmental sustainability, advancing opportunity in local communities through education and employability programmes, investing in global leadership development, and promoting cultural understanding. By harnessing our intellectual capital, sharing knowledge and developing innovative solutions, we can provide opportunities that effect positive change for all. Learn more at www.bankofamerica.com/opportunity and follow us on Twitter at @BofA_Community.
For more Bank of America news, visit the Bank of America newsroom. www.bankofamerica.com
Defra is the government department responsible for policy and regulations on the environment, food and rural affairs. Defra runs the cross-government Adapting to Climate Change Programme, aimed at ensuring that the country is prepared for the challenges and opportunities posed by a changing climate. In May 2011, Defra updated its Climate Change Plan, along with all other government departments in order to assess progress on actions, and set out new priorities. The plan explains what Defra is doing across its policy areas to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to address the risks and opportunities that climate change presents. More information on Defra’s work to adapt the UK to climate change can be found at www.defra.gov.uk\adaptation\.
Founders Circle: Climate Changing Programme
The Founders Circle is an exclusive Corporate Membership offer designed to allow organisations to focus their support of the Science Museum, and enjoy a range of benefits associated with the dynamic Climate Changing programme running in the Museum until 2013. Founders Circle members commit to supporting the Science Museum through an annual fee for a minimum of three years. Current Founders Circle members are Accenture, Barclays and Bayer. For more information please visit www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/corporatemembership
Patrons of the Science Museum
Our Patrons are people who are united by the same aim – to make the Science Museum the best place in the world for people to enjoy science. Annual support from our Patrons enables us to develop cutting-edge exhibitions, innovative new galleries and to continue our inspirational and award-winning learning programmes. For more information please visit www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/supportus