Have Science Will Travel

Eva has been trotting the North-Western Hemisphere visiting science museums, parks, and other science-themed tourist traps. You can follow her travels on our custom Have Science Will Travel Google Map:

Eva cannot visit everywhere. If you are interested in writing a guest post, especially focusing on a science tourism destination in the Eastern or Southern Hemispheres (ie, the continents other than North America and Europe), contact The Finch & Pea here.

Royal Ontario Museum

The Royal Ontario Museum collection is part natural history, part cultural history. I lived within walking distance for seven years, but I’ve only visited a few times. One of those times was in the summer of 2007, at the opening of a new section of the building.

The ROM hired Daniel Libeskind to design a new extension to the museum. The winning design, the “Crystal”, drew some criticism: it looks a little bit as if a spaceship crashed into the building.

ROM Crystal East

I vaguely recall that I didn’t like it at first, but it’s grown on me and now I think it fits the location. The side of the building with the new extension is directly at an upscale shopping district, in the neighbourhood where the annual film festival is held. But the museum is located on university grounds, and the rest of the museum still looks suitably academic and old. Continue reading “Royal Ontario Museum”

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”

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
Continue reading “Science Tourist: Science Museum in London”

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”

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