Science Tourist: Science Museum in London

Sorry for taking you to yet another museum (next week I’ll take you on a geology-themed hike) but I saw zombies at the Science Museum in London last week so we have to go there first.

Science Museum

There aren’t always zombies in the museum. It was part of a special event. The start of “Zombie Lab” was a room with agricultural dioramas (part of the permanent display, one presumes) between which zombies were being checked by doctors. It felt like we just walked onto the set of a very low budget movie. Where was the science?

Science Museum
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Science Tourist: Cambridge Science Centre

Most of the science museums in Cambridge are like the Sedgwick museum I wrote about a few weeks ago: very interesting, and full of things to look at, but mainly historic and academic. They celebrate science as things that have been done before. What Cambridge doesn’t have is a more educational and hands-on museum about science. But not for long: on February 8, the Cambridge Science Centre will open a small exhibition space, filled with interactive displays, in a temporary location in the centre of Cambridge. It’s the birth of a new science museum.

CSC_light

Ultimately, the Cambridge Science Centre hopes to find a larger, more permanent space, but for the next few years they’ve taken over the space of a former shop with levers, pulleys, buttons, sounds and lights.
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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?


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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”