Science Museum Group Journal
The Science Museum Group Journal presents the global research community with peer-reviewed papers relevant to the wide-ranging work of the Science Museum Group. The Journal freely shares the research of five national UK museums and warmly invites contributions that resonate with their collections and practice.
11 CURRENT ISSUE Spring 2019 - Issue 11
In this Spring 2019 issue of the Journal, we present an eclectic mix of articles: from a discussion of the Crystal Palace dinosaur models as heritage artefacts, to an assessment of a game designed to teach history of medicine to nurses, and a study of the conservation of an eighteenth century clock. You’ll also find a mini-collection of papers on the theme of wounds, in which you can enjoy some fairly gruesome descriptions of early modern facial surgery, a discussion of Ambroise Paré’s innovative treatment of gunshot wounds, and a study of the role of processions in healing societies fractured by plague. We’re very proud to include the winning entry from last year’s writing prize, Jules Skotnes-Brown’s From the White Man’s Grave to the White Man’s home?. The judges were impressed by the way the author cleverly compares visitor accounts and curatorial intentions for the 1924/25 British Empire Exhibition, challenging our understanding of how the exhibition was actually experienced by audiences. Two further articles present research on the Science Museum Group’s own collection – Annie Thwaite’s study of ten significant amulets, and Julie Ackroyd’s search for the provenance of a beautiful seventeenth century medical chest – and we conclude with an obituary of the influential and much-loved academic, Jeff Hughes. We hope you enjoy reading Issue 11.
A history of amulets in ten objects
This article presents a historical survey of ten amulets using objects from the Science Museum collections. What can we learn about the place of amulets in the larger narrative of European healing from the early modern era to the present day?
A discourse with deep time: the extinct animals of Crystal Palace Park as heritage artefacts
This essay addresses the transformation of the prehistoric animal models exhibited in Crystal Palace Park from scientific models, initially yoked to British heritage through rhetoric, to objects recognised as historically significant and worthy of conservation.
From the White Man’s Grave to the White Man’s Home? Experiencing ‘Tropical Africa’ at the 1924–25 British Empire Exhibition
This article analyses the exhibition and reception of Tropical Africa at the 1924–25 British Empire Exhibition, drawing attention to affect, the senses, and spatiality. It emphasises the need to look beyond curatorial intent and consider the multiplicity of potential experiences within World’s Fairs.
‘They had no fever…’ Ambroise Paré (1510–1590) and his method of gunshot wounds management
The paper deals with new surgical paradigm elaborated by French surgeon Ambroise Paré, who proposed a version of wound care where the cauterising was replaced with ligature of vessels and healing balm dressing.
Embedding plurality: exploring participatory practice in the development of a new permanent gallery
This paper contributes to a critical understanding of current language and discourses of participatory and co-creative practices, through a case study of a large, permanent exhibition development – the Science Museum's Information Age gallery – which opened in 2014.
Uncovering the secrets of Canadian Pacific
This article discusses the changing roles of women on the railway from 1850 to the end of the Second World War. It focuses on the Southern Railway and how women’s roles on the railway changed to the extent that many were involved in the construction of Canadian Pacific.
The history of women in engineering on Wikipedia
This paper analyses how the history of women in engineering appears on the online encyclopaedia, Wikipedia. It uses qualitative and quantitative methods to assess what needs to be improved and makes recommendations based on successful initiatives.
The life and material culture of Hertha Marks Ayrton (1854–1923): suffragette, physicist, mathematician and inventor
Suffragette, physicist, mathematician, and inventor: in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century when few women had access to opportunities in STEM, Englishwoman Hertha Marks Ayrton held all these roles and advocated for social justice, including suffrage for women.
Turning energy around: 'energie.wenden' - an interactive exhibition experience
This article presents the conceptual design of the recent travelling exhibition energie.wenden (literal translation: ‘turning energy around’). It uses a highly interactive and emotive approach, chosen to engage museum audiences with the pressing topic of energy transition.