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Where else can you find life-changing objects from Stephenson’s Rocket to the Apollo 10 command module, take in a science show, catch an immersive 3D movie, enjoy the thrills of a special effects simulator, introduce children to science with fun, hands-on interactives and encounter the past, present and future of technology in seven floors of galleries? At the Science Museum you can find all this and more!
Museum, Science centre
Closed 24-26 December
Admission to the Museum is free but charges apply to the IMAX 3D Cinema, simulators and some special exhibitions and events.
The Science Museum has over 300,000 objects in its care, with particular strengths in the history of western science, technology and medicine since 1700.
It has been uniquely placed to acquire objects recording the Industrial Revolution, and now holds unrivalled collections in this area. Medical artifacts from all periods and cultures also form an important part of its holdings.
Items from this collection
World Cultures, Toys and Hobbies, Social History, Science and Technology, Natural Sciences, Medicine, Maritime, Land Transport, Inland Waterways, Industry, Fine Art, Film and Media, Design, Costume and Textiles, Coins and Medals, Aviation, Archives, Agriculture, Weapons and War
Key artists and exhibits
- Who Am I
- Apollo 10
- Difference engine
- Fly Zone
Cosmos & Culture
- 23 July 2009 — 31 December 2015 *on now
Explore how astronomy has changed the way we see our universe - and ourselves - through this object-rich exhibition. From ancient heritage to cutting edge technology, trace the history of people and the stars through different stories drawn from around the world.
Cosmos & Culture uses a new multimedia display environment that allows you to explore objects in depth and find out about key scientific concepts. See how different instruments work, discover the stories of the people who made and used them, and enjoy beautiful models, illustrations and photographs.
Exhibition supported by the Patrons of the Science Museum with additional support from the Science and Technology Facilities Council, STFC.
Unlocking Lovelock: Scientist, Inventor, Maverick
- 9 April 2014 — 9 April 2015 *on now
Delve into the archives of James Lovelock, one of Britain’s most important living scientists and inventors, in our new exhibition.
Featuring previously unseen materials acquired by the Science Museum in 2012, the exhibition gives a unique insight into Lovelock’s creative mind, personality and unconventional ideas.
James Lovelock’s career has spanned scientific fields as diverse as medicine, environmental science, atmospheric chemistry and space exploration. He is most famous for formulating the Gaia hypothesis – the idea that Earth is a self-regulating system. This theory has been both hugely influential and controversial. It has profoundly shaped how environmental scientists view issues such as climate change and loss of biodiversity.
Among the highlights of the exhibition are Lovelock’s laboratory notebooks, drafts of his papers and equipment from the laboratory in his back garden, where some of his most important work was done. The exhibition also features tools used by Lovelock to build many of his inventions, including a watchmaker’s lathe and the home-made gas chromatography equipment that journeyed to the Antarctic and back and proved crucial to scientists’ current understanding of global atmospheric pollution.
Unlocking Lovelock provides a unique insight into the life of this extraordinary man and illustrates the enormous value of archives as a resource for future research.
- Any age
- 1 October 2014 — 31 December 2016 *on now
Information Age is be the first museum gallery in the UK dedicated to the history of communication and information technology, celebrating over 200 years of inventions and innovations that have transformed how we communicate. The gallery takes over the largest single space in the Science Museum and features over 800 unique objects from our world class collections.
From the laying of the first transatlantic telegraph cable between the UK and North America, to the birth of satellite communications and the smart phone, Information Age explores the major technological advances that have helped shape the connected world we live in today. Remarkable personal stories about how these developments have transformed peoples’ lives are brought to life through sophisticated interactive displays, film and audio.
- Family friendly
Cosmonauts: Birth of the Space Age
- 1 November 2014 — 1 May 2015 *on now
Discover dramatic stories of Russian space exploration this new temporary exhibition.
For the first time in the UK, the remarkable story of Russian scientific and technological ingenuity that kick-started the space age is explored in a landmark exhibition at the Science Museum.
Cosmonauts brings to life the stories of Russian space endeavour to dramatic life through a unique collection of space artefacts, many of which have never before been seen either outside Russia.
In 1957 Soviet Russia launched Sputnik, the world's first artificial satellite, and four years later it sent the first human into space - Yuri Gagarin. However, the story of Russian space exploration is much older. Cosmonauts explores the science and technology of Russian space travel in its cultural and spiritual context, revealing a deep rooted national yearning for space that was shaped by the turbulent early decades of the twentieth century.
Amongst the star objects on display are real, cosmonaut-flown spacecraft, pioneering rocket engines, space suits and other life support systems. There are also examples of the personal and poignant - memorabilia belonging to some of the biggest names in spaceflight.
Cosmonauts represents a major collaboration between the Moscow State Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics and the Federal Space Agency, Roscosmos, and draws on the support of many institutions and individuals in the UK and Russia to bring together the most significant collection of space artefacts ever to leave Russia.
- Any age
Drawn by Light: The Royal Photographic Society Collection
- 2 December 2014 — 1 March 2015 *on now
From serene landscapes to exquisite nudes, this new exhibition brings together over 200 extraordinary highlights from the collection of the world’s oldest surviving photographic society, by some of the greatest names in photography.
Visitors can see some of the earliest known photographic images dating back to the 1820s, by pioneers of photography such as Roger Fenton, William Henry Fox Talbot and Julia Margaret Cameron, alongside contemporary works by some of modern photography’s most influential figures, such as Don McCullin, Terry O’Neill and Martin Parr.
Key artefacts from the history of photography, such as Nièpce’s heliographs and Fox Talbot’s experimental cameras, will also be on display.
Engineer Your Future
- 17 December 2014 — 1 December 2017 *on now
Young people will be inspired to think like engineers and have their preconceptions challenged in a free interactive exhibition that is to open at the Science Museum this December.
Engineer Your Future, a three-year exhibition opening in the Science Museum’s contemporary science wing, will put visitors’ problem solving skills to the test, exploring engineering through large-scale, high quality interactive games and digital experiences that bring to life the skills engineers use every day.
Visitors will discover some of the fascinating stories of women and men who work in engineering today, with striking objects and an accompanying film illustrating cutting-edge engineering and exploring how engineers design, improve and test their ideas.
- Family friendly
Cravings: Can your food control you?
- 12 February 2015 — 1 January 2016
From the flavours you learned to love in the womb to the very next bite you take, your appetite has been shaped by food. Through personal stories, fascinating objects and cutting-edge science and technology, Cravings explores how food affects your body, brain and eating habits.
This new exhibition reveals how not one but two brains work together alongside the hidden world of gut bacteria to affect your cravings.
Take part in real neurogastronomy experiments and help researchers uncover how what we see, hear, smell, touch and taste can change our desire for food. Explore the potential of technology to internally control appetite through your nerves, compare how baby animals react to sweet foods, and find out about the world’s first poo bank.
- Family friendly
Revelations: Experiments in Photography
- 20 March — 13 September 2015
The influence of early scientific photography on modern and contemporary art is to be revealed in a British exhibition for the first time at Media Space.
Showcasing some of the first and rarest examples of scientific photography, Revelations explores how the incidental aesthetics of ground-breaking techniques pioneered by figures like William Henry Fox Talbot, Eadweard Muybridge and Harold Edgerton have inspired diverse artistic responses.
From the 1840s, scientists were using photography to record phenomena too large, too small or too fast for the human eye to see. William Henry Fox Talbot’s experiments with microphotography, some of the earliest scientific photographs ever made, will be on show alongside striking works by contemporary artists including Hiroshi Sugimoto.
Co-curated by Greg Hobson, Curator of Photographs at the National Media Museum, and Dr Benedict Burbridge of the University of Sussex, the exhibition will explore how art and science have been used to show phenomena which, thanks to the limits of human physiology, were previously invisible.
- Family friendly
The Kraszna-Krasz Book Awards and the First Book Award 2015
- 20 April — 28 June 2015
Media Space is set to host the Kraszna-Krausz Book Awards 2015, a celebration of the very best in photography and moving image publishing from the last year.
At an awards ceremony on 18 May 2015, a £10,000 prize will be split between the winners in the Best Photography Book and Best Moving Image Book categories. The judging panel for the Best Photography Book Award comprises photographer Hannah Starkey, author Geoff Dyer and Chair Mark Sealy MBE, Director, Autograph ABP. Meanwhile, Francine Stock, presenter of BBC Radio 4’s The Film Programme will chair the Best Moving Image Book Award judging panel, joined by Janet Harbord, Professor of Film Studies at Queen Mary University of London and Elisabetta Fabrizi, Curator of Screen Media, Tyneside Cinema.
A display will accompany the awards in the Virgin Media Studio.
- Family friendly
The Hunt for Higgs
Building Bonanza Low Energy House Game
Try to build a "house of the future" by selecting the most environmentally friendly, low-energy materials and features in this online interactive game.
Challenge of Materials
An online exhibition about materials, with interactive elements exploring types of materials, selecting materials, making materials, and 'world-changing' materials.
- Science Museum
- Science Museum
Energy - fuelling the future
A website designed to help KS2 and KS3 children find out about how we use energy, and make the most of a visit to the Energy Fuelling the Future gallery at the Science Museum. Here you will find fascinating facts, quizzes, and a wealth of practical activities developed with teachers who have tested them with their own children in schools. Many of the activities can be adapted for different audiences.
- Science Museum
Energy Info Zone
Kids' Science Book Club
The Kids Science Book Club is a fun and interactive book club to encourage children to read and learn whilst enjoying a literary extravaganza. It’s a great way to learn more about science in a fun way. On Saturdays, monthly at 11.00.
How to obtain
Booking is essential - email email@example.com or call 020 7942 4333.
Making the Modern World: Bridges
This mathematics study module, available online, looks at how differently shaped bridges, built at different periods of time, handle loads and stress.
Making the Modern World: Urban Sustainability - Cities and the Role of Technology
This geography study module, available online, looks at urban development. Case studies are taken from cities around the world, and demonstrate cities as different kinds of systems, sustainability, and how technological developments affect urban life.