IMG_4792 When I suggested to my family that we visit National Park Hoge Veluwe in the Netherlands, I was thinking about the wonderful art museum and the free bicycles, but I completely forgot that there is also an interesting small natural history museum in the park – or rather, UNDER the park.

Museonder” is a pun on the Dutch words for “museum” and “under” (which, as you might have guessed, are almost the same as the English words, except under is “onder”). The entire museum is underground, and can be accessed from the visitor center, through a sloping tunnel.


Continue reading “Museonder”

Get your art on(line)

The Getty has made 1000s of images of artwork that is in the public domain available online. Like Philosophy Presenting the Seven Liberal Arts to Boethius (c. 1460-1470CE) by the “Coëtivy Master”*:

“Philosophy Presenting the Seven Liberal Arts to Boethius” (c. 1460-1470CE) by the Coetivy Master

Like other museums that share portions of their collection online, this make an experience of the Getty’s collections available for people around the world, who cannot actually visit the Getty. While the works of art themselves are in the public domain, the Getty might claim copyright over the scans/photos of the art. Instead, they have taken the step of making clear that this images are available for the public to use and adapt as we see fit.

The Getty makes available, without charge, all available digital images to which the Getty holds the rights or that are in the public domain to be used for any purpose. No permission is required. – The Getty “Open Content Program”

I don’t know if letting me print 300dpi images of classic art will hurt The Getty’s bottom line due to reduced gift shop sales of postcards (not from me, the gift shops never have the pieces I want). Hopefully, The Getty’s program will inspire other museums to consider following suit.

*The results of a search for “science” were a bit disappointing, but I suspect that this is mainly due to the age of many of the works. Using a historically relevant term, like “philosophy” was much more productive.
**Hat tip to Hannah Williams.

Wellcome Collection

C0017129 Medicine Man Exhibition displaysThe Wellcome Collection bills itself as a “destination for the incurably curious”, and indeed, the last time I was there I spent a good few minutes opening the drawers of a large cabinet, one by one, to reveal strange old medical prints inside.

Henry Wellcome founded Burroughs Wellcome & Company in the late 19th century. The company later merged into what is now Glaxo Smith-Kline. When he died, he left his share of the company to trustees, to spend on health projects. The Wellcome Trust is currently one of the main funders of biomedical research in the UK.

The Wellcome Collection, however, is the result of Wellcome’s hobby, not of his work. Henry Wellcome collected medical artefacts from all over the world. Continue reading “Wellcome Collection”

Exploratorium opens in a new location

Tomorrow, the Exploratorium in San Francisco opens its doors in a new location at Pier 15.

Look how incredibly awesome the new building is going to be.

Because it isn’t yet open, no science tourists have been there yet, but it’s a good time to look back at both the old venue and some of the Exploratorium’s online ventures.

I visited the old location, at the Palace of the Fine Arts, in 2008, but I had virtually met the museum before that.

For a few years, the Exploratorium website listed a selection of interesting science websites. They put up a new list once every while, and yours truly once made the list! was one of the “ten cool sites” on the Exploratorium website in June 2007! (That was when I updated it much more often…)

Proof from the WayBackMachine!
Screen shot 2013-04-14 at 23.06.10

So when I visited in 2008, I knew I would like the museum, because the museum liked me! And indeed, I saw some cool stuff there:

Lessons from the lab
Continue reading “Exploratorium opens in a new location”

Citta della Scienza Fire – Hope of future Science Tourism

Before the fire
Before the fire

Instead of your regular Science Tourist post, here’s some bad news about one particular destination which nobody can visit at the moment.

Last week, on the evening of March 4th, a fire started in the Città della Scienza in Naples. It quickly spread throughout most of the museum, and by Tuesday morning the entire building was destroyed. The cause of the fire is not known yet, but Neapolitans suspect a case of arson.

Before the fire, the museum attracted 350,000 visitors per year. School children would go here to play with the interactive exhibits and use the associated educational facility to learn about science the same way other kids around the world do in their local science centres. The museum was built in a former industrial area, and was widely used as an example of the transformation and modernization of Naples. On a global scale, the museum is small – smaller than the ones I’ve written about here before – but for the city of Naples this is an enormous loss. Continue reading “Citta della Scienza Fire – Hope of future Science Tourism”

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