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  1. by on - Reflections on research

    Calling on the Science Museum’s First World War exhibition Wounded: Conflict, Casualties and Care, this article outlines the challenges of curating a coherent display within such a vast context. It also explores how the narrative and interpretive approaches taken were influenced by an earlier, unrealised proposal – one whose bold concept was reflected in the rewarding and sometimes unexpected qualities that emerged in the final exhibition.

  2. by on - Research

    A close examination of James’ Watt’s workshop, preserved in the Science Museum’s collections since 1924 and redisplayed in 2012, suggests a richer, more nuanced interpretation of his contribution to Britain’s Industrial Enlightenment as both philosopher and practical maker.

  3. by , on - Research

    A 3D chart of electricity demand in Manchester, 1951–54, is a tangible record of past practice, both of the electricity supply industry and its consumers. We offer a close inspection of the object, and generate ideas about the chart’s use and users.

  4. by on - Object focus

    This paper proposes the analogy of ventriloquism as a way of extending the discussion about how objects speak and are used to tell different stories to audiences in museums as ‘material polyglots’. It explores how the Science Museum has changed the voices, stories, and physical and instrumental functions of a particular object – the ‘Trainbox’ version of the Douglas Hartree’s Differential Analyser – since it was collected in 1949.

  5. by on - Discussion

    This paper explores the material culture, electrical standards, and romance of early cable telegraphy as described in renowned physicist James Clerk Maxwell’s slightly tongue-in-cheek 1860 poem 'Valentine from A Telegraph Clerk ♂ to a Telegraph Clerk ♀'.

  6. by , on - Research

    In this piece Anna Geurts and Oli Betts explore the concept of micro-fellowships, thinking about what short-term, high-yield collaborations between universities and museums can do to enhance the research capabilities of both.

  7. by , on - Discussion

    This in-conversation piece reveals the nature, rationale and context of the recent collaboration between film artist Bill Morrison and the Museum of Science and Industry for the exhibition Electricity: The spark of life. The development of Morrison’s art installation, Electricity, had an impact on the thinking processes and practices of both artist and curator, producing new shared interpretations of electrical energy and power.

  8. by on - Research

    The author describes and contextualises the Hugh Davies Collection (HDC) – a collection of self-built electro-acoustic musical instruments and other electronic sound apparatus formerly owned by the English experimental musician, instrument inventor, and live electronic music pioneer Hugh Davies (1943–2005).

  9. by on - Research

    Drawing upon experience of being a Collaborative Doctoral Partnership (CDP) student at the Science Museum, this article reflects on the value of collections with limited cataloguing in historical research and offers ways to overcome the problems of interpretation.

  10. by , on - Discussion

    This paper investigates how the development of new contacts and partnerships has contributed not only to the loan of material of historic significance to the Science Museum’s exhibition, but more broadly changes perceptions about Russia and its space programme in the western world.

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