Science for the Nation Perspectives on the History of the Science Museum

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  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2013-08-23
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

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Science for the Nation is a unique look at the history of a great national institution as well as a study of the changing roles of museums and the perceived public role that a museum of science and technology plays within larger society. It illuminates the ways in which we think about the collecting and display of scientific objects, and explores the changing and often difficult relations between the state, business and industry, and museum funding. The essays also examine the Science Museum in the context of other national museums in London, and show the key differences affecting their chosen paths and individual development.

Author Biography

PETER MORRIS is Head of Research across the NMSI family of museums. He has published widely on the history of chemistry and the chemical industry and is currently completing a history of synthetic rubber in Germany. Morris is also editor of the leading history of chemistry journal, Ambix. He was given the Edelstein Award for excellence in the history of chemistry by the American Chemical Society in 2006.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Notes on Contributors
Foreword; S.Schaffer
Introduction; P.Morris
1. Infected by the Bacillus of Science: The Explosion of South Kensington; R.Bud
2. The First Years: The Science Museum at War and Peace; T.Scheinfeldt
3. The Science Museum and the Second World War; T.Parsons III
4. Ambition and Anxiety: The Science Museum, 1950s to 1983; S.Anthony
5. Parallax Error? A Participant's Account of the Science Museum, c.1980-c.2000; T.Boon
6. Waves of Change: How The Science Museum's Library Rose, Fell and Rose Again; N.Wyatt
7. 'A Worthy and Suitable House' Science Museum Buildings and the Temporality of Space; D.Rooney
8. Exhibiting Science: Changing Conceptions of Science Museum Display; A.Nahum
9. Beyond the Children's Gallery: The Influence of Children on the Development of the Science Museum; A.Bunney
10. 'An Effective Organ of Public Enlightenment': The Role of Temporary Exhibitions in the Science Museum; P.Morris
11. Collecting for the Science Museum: Constructing the Collections, the Culture and the Institution; R.Bud
12. Lifting the Stone: Housing the Collections; J.Liffen
13. The International Context and the Context of Internationalism; T.Scheinfeldt
Afterword: The Museum of the Future; C.Rapley
Appendix1: List of Temporary Exhibitions from 1912 to 1983
Appendix2: List of Senior Staff from 1893 to 2000
Appendix3: Visitor Figures for the Science Museum from 1909 to 2008

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