Before School started some of us nerdy folks wanted to check out the museums around town. It’s been nice to get to know some people from class before school, anxiety and rain tears us apart.
The Science Museum
(Great name right?) Being that former colonialist empire means London’s museums (among many other things) got first dibs on so many names!
Let us begin:
A Visit to the Science Museum with fellow Museum Nerds
We went to see an exhibit about the Cosmonauts! Alas, no photos: 💩 I only scored these outside it.
It was nice to see the Space Race from the Russian side. Even in post Cold War America we still get to see the America YES / USSR NO division. To be fair- The Man from UNCLE was a refreshing change. Sup Ilya (call me)?
Here’s a great photo I sneaked of a rocket ship:
(gotta love emojis)
The exhibit was well done. The colour palette emphasized the USSR colours and then moved to white/ grey for the race to the moon and finally ended in a blue future.
Image of Laika (RIP) from Wikipedia
I particularly liked the stuff about the Space dogs- Laika (who died there) and Stvelka (who survived and gave birth to puppies). One of whom was given to JFK. He called it a “pupnik” after the Sputnik program. JFK was HILARIOUS.
Also, I learned a lot about Yuri Gagarin, the first person in space. People got so obsessed with him they went “gaga for Gagarin.” Get it? Hahahahahahah
One thing I missed was the actual science! I wanted to know what the struggles were – not just the stories of the people and the DOGS (which I loved). Like they said that the Luna program (their answer to the Apollo program) failed in the USSR because the rocket engines were flawed ,but I wanted to know WHAT WAS THE FLAW? Was it the fuel? In trying to keep it accessible they missed the audience that was there for the hard science.
The shop at the end was pretty awesome- Russian posters, stuffies of Laika – RIP (WHICH IS MESSED UP- SHE DIED IN SPACE) and super cool backpacks with galaxies on them. I’m amazed I got out of there without spending money. It was a close call.
Churchill looking dramatically over a field. 😎
Churchill’s Scientists exhibit was nice. It explained how Churchill used a crack team to try and stay ahead of the Nazi war machine. Some of them even worked on the Manhattan project (aka the Atomic Bomb). 💥
I liked the 3-D displays that used overlapping photos in light boxes to create dynamic displays. Its hard to make 2-D come alive for the viewer.
Also they did a nice shout-out to Rosalind Franklin! F-You Watson and Crick for not crediting her. Way to go Curator, righting one of the many wronged women of history. Respect.
Here’s a display about common tech. It shows what people in the 1860s-1890s would know and use in their day to day life. Super cool! Though it must flipping suck to clean.
WATCH OUT FOR THE PLANE FLYING IN
The Science Museum is pretty cool though it was not very interactive. There were scale models of stuff but we couldn’t peak inside or anything. It very much shows how older museums were much more focused on *seeing* and reading more than anything else. In the 80′s and onwards there was a much bigger push towards tactility and experimentation in Science Museums and Centres.
It’s always hard to balance the amount of information into what people can understand, what they want to know and the most interesting objects to see. Especially in Science which is so flipping diverse and can get incredibly technical. How can you talk to audiences of various ages, interests and levels of knowledge? Having multiple galleries helps the variety of interests but it will never be enough.
The new wing is much more about the digital age and has play areas which is cool. Some of this thinking has trickled down into the main exhibition spaces but not enough I found.
Pros: AMAZING SHOP, lots of stuff to look at, Cosmonauts special exhibition
Cons: HUGE, not very interactive, could talk more about the SCIENCE please