A Visit to the Science Museum

We were tasked with visiting the Science Museum at South Kensington, specifically to see two exhibitions; Ada Lovelace and the Information Age. However despite the pamphlet saying that the Ada Lovelace exhibition was on floor 2, I could not spot it and no signs inside the museum seemed to point to it so this review will be focusing on the information age and other criteria.

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The Information Age exhibition is the show a range of technological innovation and the evolution during the information age, specifically in the last two hundred years or so. There was a range of exhibits including, but not limited to; missiles used in Iraq and Afghanistan, old computers, 90s games consoles, a range of “mobile” phones and satellites.

Part of the exhibit to do with Alan Turing's work, including the Enigma Machine and more.

Part of the exhibit to do with Alan Turing’s work, including the Enigma Machine and more.

Another part of the computer portion of the exhibit.

Another part of the computer portion of the exhibit.

Part of the computer portion of the exhibit.

Part of the computer portion of the exhibit.

satellite

The satellite suspended from the ceiling at the exhibit.

I found the missile part of the exhibition quite interesting as the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts are very recent and seeing that in a matter of years we went from missiles that had approximated guidance to supposedly accurate GPS guidance was quite interesting as history has suggested that war is the primary driving force behind technological advancements, which strikes me as impressive, intriguing, but also pretty ominous.

Part of the missile section of the exhibition.

Part of the missile section of the exhibition.

The missile part of the exhibition.

The missile part of the exhibition.

A (presumably) satellite that looks like a hybrid of R2D2 and the Death Star.

A (presumably) satellite that looks like a hybrid of R2D2 and the Death Star.

In other parts of the exhibition they also had interactive stations where you could tap a screen to learn more information about a certain subject or listen to survivor/witness accounts of various events such as Iraq and more.

Some of the interactive displays where you can listen to witness/survivor accounts.

Some of the interactive displays where you can listen to witness/survivor accounts.

They also had a Nintendo 64 Console and a book by Neal Stephenson that came up with the concept of an imaging program that could display the entire Earth, which inspired Google Earth. On display they also had one of the servers used when Google Earth was in its infancy.

Some of the Google Earth servers and the Nintendo 64 console.

Some of the Google Earth servers and the Nintendo 64 console.

Overall I found the exhibition quite interesting, but the layout was confusing. It either wasn’t there, or I just missed it, but there was no direction upon entry that told you which way to go to experience the exhibition as a timeline, which I felt would have been effective.

As is, the exhibition is a semi-sprawling mix of information from the last 200 years but without a real sense of direction. It’s more “user-friendly” to allow people to discover the Information Age at their own pace, slightly ironic considering the Information Age includes bombardments of 24hr news and social media, but I would have preferred a more structured exhibition so I could discover things in a timeline.

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One thought on “A Visit to the Science Museum

  1. Pingback: Science Museum | BossDarkseid

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