Science Museum (London)

Science Museum (London)

Overview
The Science Museum is one of the three major museums on Exhibition Road
Exhibition Road
Exhibition Road is a street in South Kensington, London, forming a semi-border between the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and the City of Westminster...

, South Kensington
South Kensington
South Kensington is a district in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in London. It is a built-up area located 2.4 miles west south-west of Charing Cross....

, London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea is a central London borough of Royal borough status. After the City of Westminster, it is the wealthiest borough in England....

. It is part of the National Museum of Science and Industry
National Museum of Science and Industry
The National Museum of Science and Industry is a collection of British museums, comprising:* The Science Museum, incorporating the Science Museum Library and the Wellcome collections of the history of medicine at South Kensington in London....

. The museum is a major London tourist attraction
Tourist attraction
A tourist attraction is a place of interest where tourists visit, typically for its inherent or exhibited cultural value, historical significance, natural or built beauty, or amusement opportunities....

.

Like other publicly funded national museums in the United Kingdom, the Science Museum does not levy an admission charge. Temporary exhibitions, however, do usually incur an admission fee.

A museum was founded in 1857 under Bennet Woodcroft
Bennet Woodcroft
Bennet Woodcroft FRS was an English textile manufacturer, industrial archaeologist, pioneer of marine propulsion, a leading figure in patent reform and the first clerk to the commissioners of patents.-Career:...

 from the collection of the Royal Society of Arts
Royal Society of Arts
The Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufacturers and Commerce is a British multi-disciplinary institution, based in London. The name Royal Society of Arts is frequently used for brevity...

 and surplus items from the Great Exhibition as part of the South Kensington Museum, together with what is now the Victoria and Albert Museum
Victoria and Albert Museum
The Victoria and Albert Museum , set in the Brompton district of The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London, England, is the world's largest museum of decorative arts and design, housing a permanent collection of over 4.5 million objects...

.
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Encyclopedia
The Science Museum is one of the three major museums on Exhibition Road
Exhibition Road
Exhibition Road is a street in South Kensington, London, forming a semi-border between the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and the City of Westminster...

, South Kensington
South Kensington
South Kensington is a district in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in London. It is a built-up area located 2.4 miles west south-west of Charing Cross....

, London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea is a central London borough of Royal borough status. After the City of Westminster, it is the wealthiest borough in England....

. It is part of the National Museum of Science and Industry
National Museum of Science and Industry
The National Museum of Science and Industry is a collection of British museums, comprising:* The Science Museum, incorporating the Science Museum Library and the Wellcome collections of the history of medicine at South Kensington in London....

. The museum is a major London tourist attraction
Tourist attraction
A tourist attraction is a place of interest where tourists visit, typically for its inherent or exhibited cultural value, historical significance, natural or built beauty, or amusement opportunities....

.

Like other publicly funded national museums in the United Kingdom, the Science Museum does not levy an admission charge. Temporary exhibitions, however, do usually incur an admission fee.

Origin and history


A museum was founded in 1857 under Bennet Woodcroft
Bennet Woodcroft
Bennet Woodcroft FRS was an English textile manufacturer, industrial archaeologist, pioneer of marine propulsion, a leading figure in patent reform and the first clerk to the commissioners of patents.-Career:...

 from the collection of the Royal Society of Arts
Royal Society of Arts
The Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufacturers and Commerce is a British multi-disciplinary institution, based in London. The name Royal Society of Arts is frequently used for brevity...

 and surplus items from the Great Exhibition as part of the South Kensington Museum, together with what is now the Victoria and Albert Museum
Victoria and Albert Museum
The Victoria and Albert Museum , set in the Brompton district of The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London, England, is the world's largest museum of decorative arts and design, housing a permanent collection of over 4.5 million objects...

. It included a collection of machinery which became the Museum of Patents in 1858, and the Patent Office Museum in 1863. This collection contained many of the most famous exhibits of what is now the Science Museum. In 1883, the contents of the Patent Office Museum were transferred to the South Kensington Museum. In 1885, the Science Collections were renamed the Science Museum and in 1893 a separate director was appointed. The Art Collections were renamed the Art Museum, which eventually became the Victoria and Albert Museum
Victoria and Albert Museum
The Victoria and Albert Museum , set in the Brompton district of The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London, England, is the world's largest museum of decorative arts and design, housing a permanent collection of over 4.5 million objects...

.

When Queen Victoria laid the foundation stone for the new building for the Art Museum, she stipulated that the museum be renamed after herself and her late husband. This was initially applied to the whole museum, but when that new building finally opened ten years later, the title was confined to the Art Collections and the Science Collections had to be divorced from it. On June 26, 1909 the Science Museum, as an independent entity, came into existence. The Science Museum’s present quarters, designed by Sir Richard Allison
Richard Allison (architect)
Sir Richard John Allison was a Scottish architect. From 1889 he was associated with the government Office of Works in London, and from 1914 was its Chief Architect.-Selected works:* The Science Museum, London...

, were opened to the public in stages over the period 1919–28. This building was known as the East Block, construction of which began in 1913 and temporarily halted by World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

. As the name suggests it was intended to be the first building of a much larger project, which was never realised.

Collections




The Science Museum now holds a collection of over 300,000 items, including such famous items as Stephenson's Rocket
Stephenson's Rocket
Stephenson's Rocket was an early steam locomotive of 0-2-2 wheel arrangement, built in Newcastle Upon Tyne at the Forth Street Works of Robert Stephenson and Company in 1829.- Design innovations :...

, Puffing Billy
Puffing Billy (locomotive)
Puffing Billy is an early railway steam locomotive, constructed in 1813-1814 by engineer William Hedley, enginewright Jonathan Forster and blacksmith Timothy Hackworth for Christopher Blackett, the owner of Wylam Colliery near Newcastle upon Tyne, in the United Kingdom. It is the world's oldest...

 (the oldest surviving steam locomotive), the first jet engine
Jet engine
A jet engine is a reaction engine that discharges a fast moving jet to generate thrust by jet propulsion and in accordance with Newton's laws of motion. This broad definition of jet engines includes turbojets, turbofans, rockets, ramjets, pulse jets...

, a reconstruction of Francis Crick
Francis Crick
Francis Harry Compton Crick OM FRS was an English molecular biologist, biophysicist, and neuroscientist, and most noted for being one of two co-discoverers of the structure of the DNA molecule in 1953, together with James D. Watson...

 and James Watson's model of DNA
DNA
Deoxyribonucleic acid is a nucleic acid that contains the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all known living organisms . The DNA segments that carry this genetic information are called genes, but other DNA sequences have structural purposes, or are involved in...

, some of the earliest remaining steam engine
Steam engine
A steam engine is a heat engine that performs mechanical work using steam as its working fluid.Steam engines are external combustion engines, where the working fluid is separate from the combustion products. Non-combustion heat sources such as solar power, nuclear power or geothermal energy may be...

s, a working example of Charles Babbage
Charles Babbage
Charles Babbage, FRS was an English mathematician, philosopher, inventor and mechanical engineer who originated the concept of a programmable computer...

's Difference engine
Difference engine
A difference engine is an automatic, mechanical calculator designed to tabulate polynomial functions. Both logarithmic and trigonometric functions can be approximated by polynomials, so a difference engine can compute many useful sets of numbers.-History:...

 (and the latter, preserved half brain), the first prototype of the 10,000-year Clock of the Long Now
Clock of the Long Now
The Clock of the Long Now, also called the 10,000-year clock, is a proposed mechanical clock designed to keep time for 10,000 years. The project to build it is part of the Long Now Foundation....

, and documentation of the first typewriter
Typewriter
A typewriter is a mechanical or electromechanical device with keys that, when pressed, cause characters to be printed on a medium, usually paper. Typically one character is printed per keypress, and the machine prints the characters by making ink impressions of type elements similar to the pieces...

. It also contains hundreds of interactive exhibits. A recent addition is the IMAX
IMAX
IMAX is a motion picture film format and a set of proprietary cinema projection standards created by the Canadian company IMAX Corporation. IMAX has the capacity to record and display images of far greater size and resolution than conventional film systems...

 3D Cinema showing science and nature documentaries
Documentary film
Documentary films constitute a broad category of nonfictional motion pictures intended to document some aspect of reality, primarily for the purposes of instruction or maintaining a historical record...

, most of them in 3-D
3-D film
A 3-D film or S3D film is a motion picture that enhances the illusion of depth perception...

, and the Wellcome
Henry Wellcome
Sir Henry Solomon Wellcome FRS was an American-British pharmaceutical entrepreneur. He founded the pharmaceutical company Burroughs Wellcome & Company with his colleague Silas Burroughs, which is one of the four large companies that merged to form GlaxoSmithKline...

 Wing which focuses on digital technology. Entrance has been free since 1 December 2001.

The museum houses some of the many objects collected by Henry Wellcome
Henry Wellcome
Sir Henry Solomon Wellcome FRS was an American-British pharmaceutical entrepreneur. He founded the pharmaceutical company Burroughs Wellcome & Company with his colleague Silas Burroughs, which is one of the four large companies that merged to form GlaxoSmithKline...

 around a medical theme. The fourth floor exhibit is called "Glimpses of Medical History", with reconstructions and diorama
Diorama
The word diorama can either refer to a nineteenth century mobile theatre device, or, in modern usage, a three-dimensional full-size or miniature model, sometimes enclosed in a glass showcase for a museum...

s of the history of practiced medicine. The fifth floor gallery is called "Science and the Art of Medicine", with exhibits of medical instruments and practices from ancient days and from many countries. The collection is strong in clinical medicine, biosciences and public health. The museum is a member of the London Museums of Health & Medicine
The London Museums of Health & Medicine
The London Museums of Health & Medicine is an organization that brings together some of the activities of some of the museums in London related to health and medicine...

.

The Science Museum has a dedicated library
Library
In a traditional sense, a library is a large collection of books, and can refer to the place in which the collection is housed. Today, the term can refer to any collection, including digital sources, resources, and services...

, and until the 1960s was Britain's National Library for Science, Medicine and Technology. It holds runs of periodicals, early books and manuscripts, and is used by scholars worldwide. It has for a number of years been run in conjunction with the Library of Imperial College, but in 2007 the Library was divided over two sites. Histories of science and biographies of scientists are still kept at the Imperial College in London. The rest of the collection which includes original scientific works and archives are now located in Wroughton, Wiltshire.

The Science Museum's medical collections have a global scope and coverage probably not bettered in the world. Strengths include Clinical Medicine, Biosciences and Public Health. The new Wellcome Wing, with its focus on Bioscience, makes the Museum the world's leading centre for the presentation of contemporary science to the public.

Some 170,000 items which are not on current display are stored at Blythe House
Blythe House
Blythe House is a listed building located at 23 Blythe Road, West Kensington, London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, UK. Originally built as the headquarters of the Post Office Savings Bank, it is now used as a store and archive by the Victoria and Albert, Science and British Museums.-Post...

 in West Kensington. Blythe House also houses facilities including a conservation laboratory, a photographic studio, and a quarantine
Quarantine
Quarantine is compulsory isolation, typically to contain the spread of something considered dangerous, often but not always disease. The word comes from the Italian quarantena, meaning forty-day period....

 area where newly-arrived items are examined.

See also Collections of the Science Museum.

The Dana Centre


In November 2003, the Science Museum opened the Dana Centre. The centre is an urban bar and café annexed to the museum. It was designed by MJP Architects
MJP Architects
MJP Architects is a private British architectural practice based in Spitalfields London established in 1972 by Sir Richard MacCormac. The practice officially changed its name from MacCormac Jamieson Prichard to MJP Architects in June 2008....

.

In October 2007 the Science Museum cancelled a talk by the co-discoverer of the structure of DNA
DNA
Deoxyribonucleic acid is a nucleic acid that contains the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all known living organisms . The DNA segments that carry this genetic information are called genes, but other DNA sequences have structural purposes, or are involved in...

, James D. Watson
James D. Watson
James Dewey Watson is an American molecular biologist, geneticist, and zoologist, best known as one of the co-discoverers of the structure of DNA in 1953 with Francis Crick...

, because he claimed that IQ test results showed blacks to have lower intelligence than whites. The decision was criticised by some scientists, including Richard Dawkins
Richard Dawkins
Clinton Richard Dawkins, FRS, FRSL , known as Richard Dawkins, is a British ethologist, evolutionary biologist and author...

, as well as supported by other scientists, including Steven Rose
Steven Rose
Steven P. Rose is a Professor of Biology and Neurobiology at the Open University and University of London.-Life:...

.

Science Night


The Science Museum also organises "Science Night", "all night extravaganza with a scientific twist". Up to 380 children aged between 8 and 11, accompanied by adults, are invited to spend an evening performing fun "science based" activities and then spend the night sleeping in the museum galleries amongst the exhibits. In the morning, they're woken to breakfast and more science, watching an IMAX
IMAX
IMAX is a motion picture film format and a set of proprietary cinema projection standards created by the Canadian company IMAX Corporation. IMAX has the capacity to record and display images of far greater size and resolution than conventional film systems...

 film before the end of the event.

Floor Directory

5th floor 4th floor 3rd floor 2nd floor
1 The Science and Art of Medicine

2 Veterinary History
1 Glimpses of Medical History

2 Psychology - Mind Your Head
1 Flight

2 Health Matters

3 In Future

4 Launchpad

5 Motionride Simulator

6 Science in the 18th Century
1 Computing

2 Dan Dare & The Birth of Hi-Tech Britain

3 Energy

4 Mathematics

5 Ships

6 Atmosphere
1st floor Ground floor Lower Ground floor Basement floor
1 Agriculture

2 Challenge of Materials

3 Cosmos & Culture

4 Listening Post

5 Measuring Time

6 Plasticity

7 Telecommunications

8 Who Am I?
1 Antenna - What's New in Science?

2 Energy Hall

3 Exploring Space

4 Fast Forward

5 Force Field

6 IMAX 3D Cinema

7 Making the Modern World

8 Pattern Pod

9 The Theatre
Cloakroom 1 The Garden

2 The Secret Life of the Home

3 Things

Galleries


The Science Museum is made up of a number of galleries, some of which are permanent, and some of which are temporary.

Power: The East Hall



The East Hall is the first area that most visitors see as they enter the building, stretching up through three floors. On the ground, the area is mostly filled with iconic steam engines of various sorts, including the oldest surviving James Watt beam engine
Old Bess (beam engine)
Old Bess is an early beam engine built by the partnership of Boulton and Watt. The engine was constructed in 1777 and worked until 1848.The engine is most obviously known simply for being an early example of an engine built by Boulton and Watt...

, which together tell the story of the British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 industrial revolution
Industrial Revolution
The Industrial Revolution was a period from the 18th to the 19th century where major changes in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transportation, and technology had a profound effect on the social, economic and cultural conditions of the times...

. Up in the air, suspended from the ceiling is a giant metallic ring, the inside of which is covered in white LEDs
LEDS
LEDS can be initials for:* Law Enforcement Data System* Link Eleven Display System* Low Energy Dislocation Structure* Land Electronic Defence System * LEDs * Life-Events and Difficulties Schedule...

 which form patterns and display messages typed into kiosks by visitors in the Energy gallery. From 30 April 2008 until 1 November 2010 the hall houses Dan Dare & the Birth of Hi-tech Britain, an exhibition which "explores the role played by technology in creating post-war Britain."

Exploring Space


Exploring Space is a historical gallery, filled with rockets and exhibits that tell the story of human space exploration
Space exploration
Space exploration is the use of space technology to explore outer space. Physical exploration of space is conducted both by human spaceflights and by robotic spacecraft....

 and the benefits that space exploration has brought us (particularly in the world of telecommunications).

Making the Modern World



Making the Modern World is a relatively new gallery, in which some of the museum's most iconic objects, including Stephenson's Rocket
Stephenson's Rocket
Stephenson's Rocket was an early steam locomotive of 0-2-2 wheel arrangement, built in Newcastle Upon Tyne at the Forth Street Works of Robert Stephenson and Company in 1829.- Design innovations :...

 and an Apollo spacecraft
Apollo 10
Apollo 10 was the fourth manned mission in the American Apollo space program. It was an F type mission—its purpose was to be a "dry run" for the Apollo 11 mission, testing all of the procedures and components of a Moon landing without actually landing on the Moon itself. The mission included the...

, are imaginatively displayed along a timeline chronicling man's technological achievements.

Flight


Flight is another longstanding gallery, up towards the western end of the third floor. Contained in the gallery are several full sized aeroplanes and helicopter
Helicopter
A helicopter is a type of rotorcraft in which lift and thrust are supplied by one or more engine-driven rotors. This allows the helicopter to take off and land vertically, to hover, and to fly forwards, backwards, and laterally...

s, including Alcock and Brown
Alcock and Brown
British aviators Alcock and Brown made the first non-stop transatlantic flight in June 1919. They flew a modified World War I Vickers Vimy bomber from St. John's, Newfoundland, to Clifden, Connemara, County Galway, Ireland...

's transatlantic Vickers Vimy
Vickers Vimy
The Vickers Vimy was a British heavy bomber aircraft of the First World War and post-First World War era. It achieved success as both a military and civil aircraft, setting several notable records in long-distance flights in the interwar period, the most celebrated of which was the first non-stop...

 (1919), Spitfire
Supermarine Spitfire
The Supermarine Spitfire is a British single-seat fighter aircraft that was used by the Royal Air Force and many other Allied countries throughout the Second World War. The Spitfire continued to be used as a front line fighter and in secondary roles into the 1950s...

 and Hurricane
Hawker Hurricane
The Hawker Hurricane is a British single-seat fighter aircraft that was designed and predominantly built by Hawker Aircraft Ltd for the Royal Air Force...

 fighters, as well as numerous aero-engines and a cross-section of a Boeing 747
Boeing 747
The Boeing 747 is a wide-body commercial airliner and cargo transport, often referred to by its original nickname, Jumbo Jet, or Queen of the Skies. It is among the world's most recognizable aircraft, and was the first wide-body ever produced...

.

Launchpad


One of the most popular galleries in the museum is the interactive Launchpad gallery. Redesigned and reopened in November 2007, the new look gallery houses over 50 interactive exhibits illustrating many different concepts in physical science. The gallery is staffed by Explainers who are available to demonstrate how exhibits work, conduct live experiments and perform shows to schools and the visiting public.

Touring exhibitions


The Science Museum has developed many touring exhibitions over the years. The Science Box contemporary science series toured various venues in the UK and Europe in the 1990s and from 1995 The Science of Sport appeared in various incarnations and venues around the World. In 2005 The Science Museum teamed up with Fleming Media to set up The Science of...
The Science of...
The Science of... is the consumer brand of Science and Media LLP, a commercial/cultural partnership between the Science Museum and Fleming Media. The Science of... tackles some of the big questions in science through exhibitions and other media projects. Their aim is to make science and...

who develop and tour exhibitions including The Science of Aliens
The Science of Aliens
The Science of Aliens is a touring exhibition that launched at the London Science Museum in October 2005. It was developed by a company called The Science of... set up by The Science Museum and Fleming Media...

, The Science of Spying
The Science of Spying
The Science of Spying is a touring exhibition produced by The Science of..., a joint venture between the Science Museum and Fleming Media. The Science of Spying opened at the Science Museum on 10 February 2007 and a duplicate exhibition opened in the Children's Museum of Indianapolis on 16 March...

and The Science of Survival
The Science of Survival
The Science of Survival — Your Planet Needs You is the third exhibition project from The Science of..., a joint operation between the London Science Museum and Fleming Media...

.

In 2008, The Science of Survival exhibition opened to the public and allowed visitors to explore what the world might be like in 2050 and how humankind will meet the challenges of climate change and energy shortages.

Location


The museum is adjacent to the Natural History Museum
Natural History Museum
The Natural History Museum is one of three large museums on Exhibition Road, South Kensington, London, England . Its main frontage is on Cromwell Road...

 and used to be connected to it by a public corridor, which is now closed. The closest London Underground
London Underground
The London Underground is a rapid transit system serving a large part of Greater London and some parts of Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Essex in England...

 station is South Kensington
South Kensington tube station
South Kensington is a London Underground station in Kensington, west London. It is served by the District, Circle and Piccadilly lines. On the District and Circle lines, the station is between Gloucester Road and Sloane Square, and on the Piccadilly Line, it is between Gloucester Road and...

; a subway connects the museums to the station.

At the front of the museum to the east is Exhibition Road
Exhibition Road
Exhibition Road is a street in South Kensington, London, forming a semi-border between the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and the City of Westminster...

. Immediately to the south is Museum Lane
Museum Lane
Museum Lane runs between two of London's leading museums in South Kensington, namely the Science Museum to the north and the Natural History Museum to the south. It runs to the west off Exhibition Road. Opposite is the Henry Cole Wing of the Victoria and Albert Museum.Museum Lane provides disabled...

 and the Natural History Museum. To the rear is Queen's Gate
Queen's Gate
Queen's Gate is a major street in South Kensington, London, England. It runs from Kensington Road south, intersecting with Cromwell Road, and then on to Old Brompton Road....

 and to the north is Imperial College.

Transport connections

Service Station/Stop Lines/Routes served
London Buses Kensington Museums 360
London Buses route 360
London Buses route 360 is a Transport for London contracted bus route in London, United Kingdom. The service is currently contracted to Go-Ahead London.-History:...

Victoria & Albert Museum 14
London Buses route 14
London Buses route 14 is a Transport for London contracted bus route in London, England. The service is currently contracted to Go-Ahead London.-History:...

, 74
London Buses route 74
London Buses route 74 is a Transport for London contracted bus route in London, United Kingdom. The service is currently contracted to Go-Ahead London.-History:...

, 414, C1
London Buses route C1
London Buses route C1 is a Transport for London contracted bus route in London, United Kingdom. The service is currently contracted to London United.-History:The route has always been operated by minibuses since London Transport operation...

London Underground South Kensington
South Kensington tube station
South Kensington is a London Underground station in Kensington, west London. It is served by the District, Circle and Piccadilly lines. On the District and Circle lines, the station is between Gloucester Road and Sloane Square, and on the Piccadilly Line, it is between Gloucester Road and...




Refurbishment


The Science Museum underwent a series of refurbishments as part of a vision to update the museum. The East Hall has been finished and the renovated museum shop opened in October 2005.

Online


The Science Museum's website has a variety of features, including collections information and the award-winning Launchball
Launchball
Launchball is a physics-based Flash game produced by the Science Museum in London, to coincide with the reopening of their hands-on gallery 'Launchpad'....

 game.

Environment


The museum joined the 10:10
10:10
Drono Acharya composed the film's songs and Ritam Sen, Sandip Chakrabarty, Padmanabha Dasgupta, Rana Basu Thakur and Rangeet wrote the lyrics.-External links:* IMDB Title* * *...

 project in 2009 in a bid to reduce its carbon footprint. One year later it announced that it had reduced its carbon emissions (according to 10:10's criteria) by 17%.

Centennial volume: Science for the Nation


The leading academic publisher Palgrave Macmillan published the official centenary history of the Science Museum on 14 April 2010. The first complete history of the Science Museum since 1957, Science for the Nation: Perspectives on the History of the Science Museum is a series of individual views by Science Museum staff and external academic historians of different aspects of the Science Museum's history. While it is not a chronological history in the conventional sense, the first five chapters cover the history of the museum from the Brompton Boilers in the 1860s to the opening of the Wellcome Wing in 2000. The remaining eight chapters cover a variety of themes concerning the Museum's development.

Directors of the Science Museum



The Directors of the South Kensington Museum were:
  • Henry Cole
    Henry Cole
    Sir Henry Cole was an English civil servant and inventor who facilitated many innovations in commerce and education in 19th century Britain...

     CB (1857–1873)
  • Sir Philip Cunliffe-Owen
    Philip Cunliffe-Owen
    Sir Francis Philip Cunliffe-Owen KCB, KCMG, CIE was an exhibition organizer and the Director of the South Kensington Museum in London.- Biography :...

     KCB KCMG CIE (1873–1893)


The Directors of the Science Museum have been:
  • Major-General Edward R. Festing CB FRS (1893–1904)
  • William I. Last (1904–1911)
  • Sir Francis Grant Ogilvie
    Francis Grant Ogilvie
    Sir Francis Grant Ogilvie CB was a British scientist and museum curator.Ogilvie was born in Aberdeen, the eldest son of the Reverend Alexander Ogilvie, headmaster of Robert Gordon's College. He was educated at the University of Aberdeen and the University of Edinburgh and then became Assistant...

     CB (1911–1920)
  • Colonel Sir Henry Lyons FRS (1920–1934)
  • Colonel E. E. B. Mackintosh
    E. E. B. Mackintosh
    Colonel Ernest Elliot Buckland Mackintosh DSO was a Director and Secretary of the Science Museum in London, England.Mackintosh was appointed Director and Secretary of the Science Museum in succession to Sir Henry Lyons, who retired in October 1933....

     DSO (1933–1945)
  • Dr Herman Shaw
    Herman Shaw
    Dr Herman Shaw was a British geophysicist who was Director of the Science Museum in London, England.He was a founder member of the British Society for the History of Science in 1947.- Books :...

     (1945–1950)
  • Dr F. Sherwood Taylor
    F. Sherwood Taylor
    Dr Frank Sherwood Taylor, PhD was a British historian of science, museum curator, and chemist who was Director of the Science Museum in London, England....

     (1950–1956)
  • Sir Terence Morrison-Scott
    Terence Morrison-Scott
    Sir Terence Charles Stuart Morrison-Scott DSC DSc FMA was a British zoologist who was Director of the Science Museum and the British Museum of Natural History in London, England....

     DSc FMA (1956–1960)
  • Sir David Follett
    David Follett
    Sir David Henry Follett FMA was a Director of the Science Museum, London from 1960 to 1973.David Follett attended Rutlish Grammar School . He then studied physics in the Clarendon Laboratory at Oxford University as a student at Brasenose College.Follett joined the Science Museum in 1937 as an...

     FMA (1960–1973)
  • Dame Margaret Weston
    Margaret Weston
    Dame Margaret Kate Weston, DBE, FMA was the Director of the Science Museum, London, UK.- Life :Margaret Weston was born in Oakridge, Gloucestershire, the daughter of a headmaster....

     DBE FMA (1973–1986)
  • Sir Neil Cossons
    Neil Cossons
    Sir Neil Cossons OBE FSA FMA is Pro-Provost and Chairman of the Council of the Royal College of Art, of which he has been a Governor since 1989. From 1986 to 2000 he was the Director of the Science Museum, London, UK, the National Museum of Science & Industry...

     OBE FSA FMA (1986–2000)
  • Dr Lindsay Sharp
    Lindsay Sharp
    Dr Lindsay Sharp is a museologist and writer living near Berry in the coastal hinterland of New South Wales in Australia, working on two large novels....

     (2000–2002)


The following have been Head/Director of the Science Museum in London, not including its satellite museums:
  • Jon Tucker (2002–2007, Head)
  • Prof. Chris Rapley
    Chris Rapley
    Prof. Christopher Graham Rapley CBE is a British scientist. He was Executive Director of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme IGBP from 1994 to 1998, and Director of the British Antarctic Survey from 1998 to 2007. He was appointed Director of the Science Museum in 2007...

     CBE (2007 – present, Director)


The following have been Directors of the National Museum of Science and Industry
National Museum of Science and Industry
The National Museum of Science and Industry is a collection of British museums, comprising:* The Science Museum, incorporating the Science Museum Library and the Wellcome collections of the history of medicine at South Kensington in London....

, which oversees the Science Museum and other related museums, from 2002:
  • Dr Lindsay Sharp (2002–2005)
  • Jon Tucker (2005–2006, Acting Director)
  • Prof. Martin Earwicker
    Martin Earwicker
    Professor Martin John Earwicker FREng CCMI was Director of the National Museum of Science and Industry group of British museums from 2006 until 2009...

     FREng (2006–2009)
  • Molly Jackson
    Molly Jackson
    Molly Jackson was acting director of the National Museum of Science and Industry in England, from 6 April to 23 September 2009. From June 2004 she was managing director of NMSI Trading Ltd...

     (2009)
  • Andrew Scott
    Andrew Scott (museum director)
    Andrew John Scott CBE was Director of the National Railway Museum in York, part of the National Museum of Science and Industry in England...

     CBE (2009–2010)
  • Ian Blatchford
    Ian Blatchford
    Ian Blatchford is the Director of the National Museum of Science and Industry, which oversees the Science Museum in London, England, and other related museums. He was previous Deputy Director of the Victoria and Albert Museum, opposite the Science Museum on Exhibition Road in South Kensington,...

     (2010–)

External links