Science Museum launches Research and Public History Department

12/09/2012

The Science Museum today announced the official opening of its new Research and Public History Department. The Department is the Science Museum’s coordinating home for everything related to academic research, which underpins the Museum’s continuing commitment to studying and preserving its world-class collections and gaining greater understanding of its audiences.

The Department runs research projects, liaises with university departments and other museums, co-supervises students, supports research fellows and associates, publishes papers and books and organises public events, conferences and workshops.

Dr. Tim Boon, Head of Research and Public History at the Science Museum, said, “In research terms, the Science Museum’s collections are almost pure potential, so little in-depth research has ever been undertaken. A museum that does not prioritise research cannot understand the stories its collections tell; how its audiences engage; nor how to slow the deterioration of its objects. Research is the elixir that releases the potential of museums.”

The Research and Public History Department is running a series of events at the Science Museum this Autumn including:

A History of Science on TV and at the Museum – 20 September

This is a workshop day linked to the Arts & Humanities Research Council funded ‘Intermedial Science’ research project delivered by Tim Boon and researcher, Jean-Baptiste Gouyon. The research project is a comparison of the representation of science on television and in the Science Museum in the 1950s and 1960s. The event will consist of a researchers’ round table discusssion followed by an open public event. During the public event, historical science television programmes from the famous BBC’s Horizon series will be screened. Attendees will have the opportunity to discuss the day’s themes with the television science broadcasters involved.

Oramics to Electronica – Talks Series, an Electronic Music Day – 29 September

This one day event looks at the history of electronic music in the UK. A series of talks will highlight the work and lives of a number of electronic music pioneers and at how their work is still influencing musicians today. This special day’s event relates to the Science Museum’s current Oramics to Electronica exhibition and is a must for music, history and science enthusiasts alike.

To contact the Department of Research and Public History e-mail: research@sciencemuseum.ac.uk or publichistory@sciencemuseum.ac.uk

For further information on the Department’s current projects visit: www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/publichistories

For press enquiries contact Laura Singleton, Science Museum Press Office on 0207 942 4364 or e-mail: Laura.Singleton@sciencemuseum.org.uk @LauraSingleton3

Notes to Editors

Science Museum

The Science Museum’s collections form an enduring record of scientific, technological and medical change from the past. 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.