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The Science Museum tells the history of Western science, technology and medicine from 1700 to the present day through its collection of more than 300,000 original objects.
Making the Modern World gallery at the Science Museum
There are daily tours, live events, science shows and 800 interactive exhibits, as well as simulator rides and an IMAX 3D cinema.
The museum has its origins in the Great Exhibition of 1851, the proceeds of which went towards founding The South Kensington Museum, based at the site now occupied by the V&A. It quickly acquired a large science-based collection: large steam locomotives such as Stephenson's 'Rocket' of 1829 were displayed alongside contemporary scientific developments, and early additions included a collection of ship models and marine engines. In the 1860s the collection was moved to the current location on the other side of Exhibition Road.
The museum began to fulfill its modern role with a major international exhibition in 1876 " the 'Special Loan Collection of Scientific Instruments', much of which was retained. The Science Museum was officially separated from the Victoria and Albert Museum in 1885.
The collection is divided up into four areas. The 'science' strand spans the fields of physics, chemistry and biology, focussing on astronomy, cosmology, weights and measures, earth sciences, natural history, natural philosophy and navigation.
The large medical collection is based on a permanent loan from the Wellcome Trust, and is one of the world's most comprehensive medical displays.
The other two strands are 'information and communications technologies', including computing, media technology, networks, radio, satellites and sound reproduction, and 'engineering technologies', including displays on sustainable technology and the museum's unrivalled collection of artefacts from the industrial revolution.
Art Funded works
In 2008 the museum acquired the Art Funded Listening Post, an installation by Mark Hansen and Ben Rubin. Offering a 'portrait of online communication', it consists of more than 200 LED screens displaying text fragments from internet chat rooms, with a voice synthesizer speaking or singing the texts.
There are several dining options available. Visitors can bring their own food to eat in the picnic area on the first floor or in any uncarpeted space. If you would like to buy food, there is the Revolution Café in the Engery Hall on the ground floor, or Deep Blue, a family restaurant also situated on the ground floor that offers views of the Wellcome Wing.
If you would like to avoid the large numbers of school children visiting the gallery, on the last Wednesday of each month, the museum opens late, from 6.45pm until 10pm, to host themed nights for adults only.