Delve into the archives of James Lovelock, one of Britain’s most important living scientists and inventors, in our new exhibition.
Featuring previously unseen materials acquired by the Science Museum in 2012, the exhibition gives a unique insight into Lovelock’s creative mind, personality and unconventional ideas.
James Lovelock’s career has spanned scientific fields as diverse as medicine, environmental science, atmospheric chemistry and space exploration. He is most famous for formulating the Gaia hypothesis – the idea that Earth is a self-regulating system. This theory has been both hugely influential and controversial. It has profoundly shaped how environmental scientists view issues such as climate change and loss of biodiversity.
Among the highlights of the exhibition are Lovelock’s laboratory notebooks, drafts of his papers and equipment from the laboratory in his back garden, where some of his most important work was done. The exhibition also features tools used by Lovelock to build many of his inventions, including a watchmaker’s lathe and the home-made gas chromatography equipment that journeyed to the Antarctic and back and proved crucial to scientists’ current understanding of global atmospheric pollution.
Unlocking Lovelock provides a unique insight into the life of this extraordinary man and illustrates the enormous value of archives as a resource for future research.