2019/20 writing prize for early career scholars

Remember to prepare your papers now for submission to the 2020 Science Museum Group Journal writing prize for early career scholars and professionals! The deadline for next year’s competition is 1 March 2020. A first prize of £500 is awarded annually to the author of the best original research article which addresses research questions around history of science, heritage, exhibitions, communications and public engagement. We also aim to publish winning papers in the Journal so this is a great chance for early career scholars to make a splash. Further details about the writing prize are available here

Issue 11

The latest issue of the Journal is out now. Issue 11 (Spring 2019) presents 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.

Books and articles

The highlight publication of Autumn 2018 was Being Modern: The cultural impact of science in the early twentieth century. Edited by the Science Museum Group’s own Research Keeper Robert Bud, along with co-editors Paul Greenhalgh, Frank James and Morag Shiach,and published by UCL Press, this major book was launched at the Science Museum in October 2018. It is the result of over three years of detailed collaborative research exploring the ways in which engagement with science has been seen as emblematic of modernity.Addressing the breadth of cultural forms in Britain and the western world from the architecture of Le Corbusier to working-class British science fiction, Being Modern paints a rich picture. Seventeen distinguished contributors from a range of fields including the cultural study of science and technology, art and architecture, English culture and literature examine the issues involved. You can purchase Being Modern here

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Recently published by Uniform Press is For Science, King & Country, edited by Roy MacLeod, Russell G Egdell and Elizabeth Bruton, the Science Museum’s Curator of Technology and Engineering. Killed in action at Gallipoli in the Dardanelles Campaign of 1915, aged just twenty-seven, Henry Gwyn Jeffreys Moseley was widely regarded as the most promising British physicist of his generation. His pioneering measurements of X-ray spectra provided a firm basis for the concept of atomic number and re-cast the periodic table of the elements into its modern form. Had he survived, he seemed destined to win a Nobel Prize.

This book is a commemoration of Moseley’s life, work and legacy in which thirteen historians and scientists chart his experience of Manchester and Oxford; his military service; the reception of his work by the scientific community; and the impact of his work upon X-ray spectroscopy in physics, chemistry, and materials science. The book is available here.

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Invitation to contribute to the Journal

We invite scholars and museum professionals to submit original research, discussion or review papers relating to subjects that chime with the interests of the Science Museum Group and the wider science museum community for forthcoming issues of the Journal. Issue 12 (Autumn 2019) has a deadline of 31 May 2019 and Issue 13 (Spring 2020) has a deadline of 30 September 2019. Submission guidelines are provided on the ‘How to submit’ pages of the JournalIf you have general questions about article submission or if you would like to contribute an article, discussion or review piece please don’t hesitate to contact the editorial team at


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The Dana Research Centre and Library

The Dana Research Centre is located in the Wellcome Wolfson Building at the rear of the Science Museum, in South Kensington, London. Opened in 2016, the Dana Research Centre aims to promote the Science Museum as an important centre for scholarly research and it is home to the Museum’s Research & Public History Department, and to the Museum’s students and funded research projects. The Centre also provides a library with a selection of books and journals, a reading room and public access to the Science Museum’s electronic resources. Here the public can access and order items from the Museum’s extensive and rich library and archive collections stored at Wroughton (the Group’s large storage facility near Swindon). Do come and visit us to pick up a library card and browse the collection. More details, including the address can be found here. General questions about Library aspects may be directed to, and more general research programme enquiries to

Collaborative Doctoral Awards

This month we will be advertising our consortium’s AHRC-funded Collaborative Doctoral Award projects for commencing in Autumn 2019 here. Please contact us at if you wish to develop a proposal for future deadlines. Further details about the doctoral awards is given on the Science Museum’s Research and Public History webpages here. 

Research Seminars

The Science Museum’s Research & Public History department continues to support a range of workshops, conference and seminars. See the full timetable here.


Keep up to date with all the latest research news, events and SMG Journal articles by following us on twitter: @SMGresearch