Memories

What does the Science Museum mean to you?

Share your favourite memories of the Museum and read what some famous friends have to say...

Do you have a favourite Museum experience or object? Has the Museum inspired you or helped shape your life? Whatever the Museum means to you, we’d like you to share it with us.

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  • Celebrity memories

    • Adam Hart-Davis

      Broadcaster, writer and photographer

      My memories of the Science Museum
      ‘I visited the Science Museum when I was perhaps eight or 10 and was fascinated by the Foucault pendulum. The idea has stayed with me ever since.’
      When
      1950s
      Tags
      Foucault pendulum
      Profile
      Adam Hart-Davis has presented a number of television programmes including the series What the Ancients Did for Us and How Britain Was Built and radio shows including Eureka Years and Reinventing the Wheel.
      Adam Hart-Davis
    • Ben Miller

      Actor, writer and director

      My memories of the Science Museum
      ‘My enduring memory of the Science Museum is of rows and rows of buttons. Buttons that illuminated lamps; buttons that made noises; buttons that set mechanical gizmos in awe-dropping motion. My son, today, loves the buttons. Let there always be a Science Museum. Let there always be buttons.’
      When
      Present day
      Tags
      Buttons, Childhood
      Profile
      Ben Miller, whose TV credits include BBC’s The Worst Week of My Life and ITV’s Primeval, studied for a PhD in physics (specifically "novel quantum effects in quasi zero-dimensional mesoscopic electrical systems") at Cambridge University, where he was also a member of the Footlights comedy troupe. He reunited with partner Alexander Armstrong for a BBC comedy show in 2007 and is now undertaking his directorial debut.
    • Jools Holland OBE

      Musician and TV presenter

      My memories of the Science Museum
      ‘My favourite piece in the Science Museum is the Jet 1 gas turbine car. I was taken to see this as a small boy by my father and was mesmerised by its purposeful beauty. Some forty-five years later I was invited by a television programme to suggest a dream car that they would build for me. Before answering I slipped into the Science Museum early one morning to take another look at the Jet 1. I was delighted that as soon as I set eyes on it the same feelings of admiration and longing were reignited. The television show was great fun and a delightful copy of the Jet 1 was made. Part of the pleasure of the process was returning to the Science Museum to observe the original. Each time I went back, another interesting object would catch my eye and fire my imagination.’
      When
      1960s
      Tags
      Cars, Childhood, Jet
      Profile
      Pianist and bandleader Jools Holland regularly tours with his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra in between presenting BBC’s Later…with Jools Holland. The ex-Squeeze member holds the unique status of performing with musicians who have achieved success in every decade of the 20th Century.
    • Liz Bonnin

      Biochemist, Wild Animal Biologist and TV Presenter

      My memories of the Science Museum
      I was not lucky enough to visit the Science Museum as a child, having grown up abroad, but the Science Museum was one of the first places I visited when I moved to London. I drove my friends crazy by spending far too much time in each gallery, so I now tend to pop in on my own to wander around at my leisure! It is wonderful to be able to look at so many of the inventions I read about as a child all under one roof and I never cease to wonder at what man is capable of, especially when setting eyes on rockets and satellites that have orbited the earth.  But I am also particularly fascinated by the gallery documenting the history of medicine, from 16th Century medicine chests filled with little bottles (what liquids were in them, I wonder?), to the fantastic artificial arm and noses dating back to the 17th Century.
      When
      2000s
      Tags
      Artificial arm, Medicine, Satellites, Space
      Profile
      Liz, a biochemistry graduate, is presenting this summer's BBC's science show Bang Goes the Theory. Liz has worked in television for five years presenting Science Friction and Wild Trials in her native Ireland, and Top of the Pops and Ri:SE. A chance encounter with a Bengal tiger during filming inspired her to return to her science roots.
    • Trevor Baylis OBE

      Inventor

      My memories of the Science Museum
      ‘The invention I remember being impressed most by when I went to the Science Museum as a boy was the Bessemer Converter which made it easier to produce steel from iron. The process refined molten iron with blasts of air in the Bessemer furnace or converter which was an enormous piece of equipment like a huge bucket - very impressive to a young boy.’
      When
      1940s
      Tags
      Childhood, Inventions
      Profile
      After leaving the army in 1961, Trevor Baylis was a professional swimmer, stuntman and entertainer before becoming the inventor we know today. After watching a television programme about the spread of AIDS in Africa he set about developing the Wind-Up Radio which went on to become one of his most famous inventions. A regular contributor to TV and radio, Trevor Baylis is involved in Trevor Baylis Brands which helps inventors find routes-to-market.
    • James May

      TV presenter

      My memories of the Science Museum
      ‘My favourite memory of the science museum is as a smallish boy in the aviation hall.’
      When
      1970s
      Tags
      Planes
      Profile
      The journalist and TV presenter of BBC’s James May’s Big Ideas and Oz and James’s Big Wine Adventure, is best known for co-hosting motor show Top Gear where his ‘careful’ driving style has earned him the nickname ‘Captain Slow’. He is currently training for his light aircraft pilot’s license.
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