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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.
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
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.
Hidden Structures – 100 Years of X-ray Crystallography
- 7 March 2013 — 1 January 2014 *on now
This display celebrates the centenary of X-ray crystallography, a technique developed by father-and-son team William H. Bragg and W. Lawrence Bragg in 1913.
X-ray crystallography was central to molecular biology, the science of proteins, viruses and other bio-molecules that developed in the years after World War II. Hidden Structures explores the stories behind some of the most striking molecular models from this golden age of X-ray crystallography, including DNA, insulin and haemoglobin.
Opening in time for International Women's Day, Hidden Structures also discusses the complex role of women in molecular biology and displays key models by Kathleen Lonsdale and Dorothy Hodgkin.
Shackleton’s Man Goes South
- 24 April 2013 — 25 April 2014 *on now
Shackleton’s Man Goes South is the title of a new novel by author Tony White, premiering exclusively at the Science Museum, that explores how climate change could affect the world we live in. It is also the title of a display in the Atmosphere gallery that charts the literary and scientific inspiration behind the writing of the book, Shackleton’s Man Goes South, which is premiering exclusively at the Science Museum.
White was inspired by the chance discovery of a little-known science fiction story about ‘climate change’ published in the ‘South Polar Times’, the shipboard newspaper on Robert Falcon Scott’s ill-fated 1911 Antarctic expedition. The author, polar explorer and meteorologist George Clarke Simpson, went on to become a leading atmospheric scientist and director of the Met Office. In this display White shows how tales from the heroic age of exploration inspired a thought-provoking work of fiction that explores the political, social and cultural impacts of climate change now.
Visitors to the Atmosphere gallery will be able to download Shackleton’s Man Goes South as a free e-book as part of this innovative arts project and digital publishing initiative. The e-book will be available from 24 April 2013.
Climate Changing Stories
- 27 June 2013 — 27 June 2014 *on now
From the climate of 19th century London to science fiction inspired visions of the future, to wind turbines and the almost obsolete incandescent light bulb, the exhibition will take visitors on a fascinating journey through some of the Museum's best-loved galleries to discover objects and stories that reflect the human capacity to adapt to the challenges of our climate changing world.
Among the highlights of the display is the Bersey Cab - the first self-propelled vehicle for hire that appeared on the streets of London in 1897. Now, electric transport is firmly back on the agenda with charging points in London set to double in the next six months and a futuristic ‘driverless electric taxi’ in the offing. Could the car of our great-great-great-grandparents present a solution for greener cities today?
- Any age
Oramics to Electronica: Revealing Histories of Electronic Music
- 29 July — 31 December 2013 *on now
Discover the history of electronic music from the 1950s until today. This exhbition has been co-produced with a group of musicians and with the help of people who made electronic music in the 1960s. Back then, electronic music was still an avant-garde experiment. How did it become part of the musical mainstream?
The exhibition celebrates the boundless creativity and ‘make do and mend’ mentality of musicians and engineers. It shows iconic instruments alongside home-built synthesisers and one-off inventions. New instruments such as synthesisers and samplers not only changed the sounds musicians could make, but also influenced the way they composed and performed their music.
The exhibition highlights the work of three British studios that produced electronic music in the 1960s and 1970s. Electronic Music Studios (EMS) experimented with computer music while developing some of the earliest commercial synthesisers to pay the bills. The BBC Radiophonic Workshop introduced electronic sounds to the masses through the theme tunes and sound effects its members made for radio and television. In the meantime, in her private studio in Kent, Daphne Oram developed a technique that allowed her to draw sounds. She called it Oramics, and the unique instrument she developed over the years, the Oramics Machine, is also on display.
Only in England: Photographs by Tony Ray-Jones and Martin Parr
- 21 September 2013 — 16 March 2014 *on now
See the first ever major London exhibition by work of British photographer Tony Ray-Jones, opening in Media Space, September 2013. Featuring over 100 works drawn from the Tony Ray-Jones archive at the National Media Museum, the exhibition will also include 50 rarely seen early black and white photographs by Martin Parr.
The exhibition will explore the relationship between these two important photographers and their fascination with the English.
Between 1966 and 1969 Tony Ray-Jones documented English customs and identity in a remarkable series of photographs. Humorous yet melancholy, these works attracted the attention of the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), London where they were exhibited in 1969. Tragically, in 1972 Ray-Jones died from Leukaemia aged just 30. However, his short but prolific career had a last influence on the development of British photography.
In 1970, Martin Parr, had been introduced to Ray-Jones and was inspired by his work to produce The Non-Conformists. These photographs were shot in black and white in Hebden Bridge and the surrounding Calder Valley. This project explicitly demonstrates the legacy and influence of Tony Ray-Jones.
Media Space is a collaboration between the Science Museum and the National Media Museum. Media Space will showcase the National Photography Collection of the National Media Museum through a series of exhibitions. Alongside this, photographers, artists and the creative industries will respond t the wider collections of the Science Museum Group to explore visual media, technology and science.
Principal founding sponsor
Adults: £8, Conc: £5,
Large Hadron Collider
- 8 November 2013 — 30 April 2014 *on now
The exhibition will explore one of the greatest scientific and engineering endeavours of our time at CERN in Geneva.
In the Large Hadron Collider (a giant particle collider) scientists and engineers work at the extremes of temperature, vacuum and energy to recreate conditions not seen since just after the Big Bang some 13.7 billion years ago.
The museum will be collaborating with designers and theatrical experts to create an experience which immerses visitors in the greatest intellectual adventure on the planet. Details of the exhibition were announced in May 2012 by Prof Rolf-Dieter Heuer, Director General of CERN, at the Science Museum’s annual dinner, an event attended by leaders of science, industry, politics and the media. Guests included Prof Stephen Hawking, David Willetts and Janet Street-Porter.
- Any age
Mind Maps: Stories from Psychology
- 10 December 2013 — 16 September 2014 *on now
Divided into four episodes between 1780 and 2014, the exhibition will look at key breakthroughs in scientists’ understanding of psychological wellbeing and the tools and methods of assessment and treatment that have been developed from Mesmerism to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to recent advances in understanding brain function and activity.
The exhibition will be illustrated through a rich display of objects from the Museum’s world-class medical collections as well as artworks and archive images.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.