Science Tourist: Pacific Science Center

I don’t always seek out science-themed locations when travelling. Sometimes, they’re just there. In October I spent one day in Seattle, during which I ran around all day, trying to see all the sights while fighting off a cold. I saw the world’s first Starbucks, and the wall of gum, and the market, and the underground city, and I had walked all the way to the Space Needle when I suddenly came across a science museum.

The Pacific Science Center is right at the foot of the Space Needle next to the very pretty Chihuly Garden and Glass. I went in less than an hour before closing time, so I didn’t get to see everything, but at least it was nice and quiet.

Unfortunately, if I hadn’t been here so recently, I doubt I would have remembered much of this visit. Not just because I spent very little time there, but because most of the exhibits I saw were quite generic. I just couldn’t get excited about a lot of the permanent exhibits.

Take the dino room. It sounded promising, but when I got there, it was a bit…clunky. Maybe I’m too old for animatronic dinosaurs, or maybe I’ve seen too many exhibits like this. Maybe it was because I wasn’t feeling very well that day. I don’t know. I took a few seconds of video there. What do you think?


Continue reading “Science Tourist: Pacific Science Center”

Science Tourist: Biodome in Montreal

Let’s go to the Olympics! What? Too late? Oh.

Then let’s just go to an Olympic park. We’ll visit the velodrome that was built for the 1976 Olympics in Montreal.

Biodome_Montreal

I wonder what’s inside…

biodome2

What?
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Science Tourist: Sedgwick Museum in Cambridge

I’ve lived in Cambridge, UK, for the past three years. There are many things I don’t like about Cambridge (and I’m leaving soon) but that only makes me more appreciative of the few places I do like very much, and one of those is the Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences.

The Sedgwick Museum is one of the museums of the University of Cambridge. It’s located on one floor of the Department of Earth Sciences, right in the centre of town. The collection of fossils and rocks is on display along two corridors, in imposing cabinets.

Sedgwick1

This could easily have been a terribly boring setup, but the museum has managed to make the most of the small space, and turned the entire museum into a geological timeline! You enter the museum in the Cretaceous Period (65-145 million years ago), and if you turn right you can walk all the way back in time to the Cambrian explosion, 500 million years ago. Along the way, you can see fossils from all over the world. Continue reading “Science Tourist: Sedgwick Museum in Cambridge”

Science Tourist: Cité des Sciences in Paris

I love science and travelling, so I often end up in the local science museum, or at an exhibit explaining the regional geography or flora and fauna. I thought it was time to open my scrapbooks and share some of my favourite science-themed places, starting with the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie in Paris.

When people go to Paris, their first stop is usually the Eiffel Tower or the Louvre. Maybe a stroll past the Seine, or along the Champs-Elyssees, followed by a coffee in a cafe in Montmartre. I do all that, too, when I’m in Paris, but I also try to fit in a visit to Cité de Sciences.

The last time I was there was a while ago, though. It was the summer of 2003. Europe was hit by a heatwave, and over fourteen thousand people died as a result of the heat in France alone. It was too hot to be outside for long, so museums in general were an attractive destination. Science museums outside of the touristy part of town even more so.

Cité des Sciences is in Park de la Villette, a subway ride away from the centre of Paris. It looks nothing like the Paris you know from tourism flyers, and that’s why I like it. This is where the locals take their kids on Saturday afternoon. It’s more “real”, in a way, than picture-perfect postcard Paris.

Geode Continue reading “Science Tourist: Cité des Sciences in Paris”