2018/19 writing prize for early career scholars

Remember to prepare your papers now for submission to the 2019 Science Museum Group Journal writing prize for early career scholars and professionals! The deadline for this year’s competition is 1 March 2019. 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 10

The latest issue of the Journal is out now. Issue 10 (Autumn 2018) is an open issue discussing topics as varied as Victorian technologies of display, the challenges of exhibiting contemporary science; the changing ‘voices’ of objects over time, and three recent exhibitions by artist Tacita Dean. In addition, a mini-collection of papers in this issue celebrates the role and achievements of women in science and engineering. 2018 is significant both as the centenary of women’s suffrage and the Year of Engineering, and it seems right to spotlight hidden stories of women’s work and achievements, often against the odds. Read about Hertha Ayrton, the first female member of the Institution of Electrical Engineers, and Blanche Thornycroft, who can be considered one of the first female naval architects.  Explore the under-acknowledged role of women in the railways in the early twentieth century, find out what photographs can say about attitudes towards women scientists at the Burden Neurological Institute and discover how well (or not) Wikipedia represents women engineers today.

Books and articles

The highlight publication of the Autumn has been 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 11 of the Journal (Spring 2019) is now full, but we are seeking contributions to issue 12 (Autumn 2019), which has a deadline of 31 May 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

The call for proposals for the 2017 round of AHRC-funded Science Museums and Archives Consortium Collaborative Doctoral Awards is now closed. 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.


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