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Exhibition Review – The Last Tsar: Blood and Revolution at the Science Museum from 21 September 2018 to 24 March 2019

This year marks 100 years since the murder of the Romanov family, the last rulers of Russia and the Science Museum presents a free exhibition entitled The Last Tsar: Blood and Revolution. The exhibition investigates the role of science in the lives of Tsar Nicholas II and his family and how advances in forensic science helped to solve one of the greatest mysteries of the 20th century.

The first part of the exhibition explores the lives of the imperial family through a number of rare artefacts, including the family’s personal diaries, private possessions and two Imperial Fabergé Easter Eggs presented by the Tsar to his wife just a year before the fall of the imperial house.

An insight into the personal lives of Nicholas II and his family to life is gained by looking through the photographic albums created by an English tutor to the Tsar’s nephews which is displayed for the first time. They offer a unique glimpse into the daily lives and routines of the Romanov family.

The exhibition explores the treatment of Tsar Nicholas II only son and heir, Alexei’s life-threatening haemophilia B, a rare blood condition and infamous ‘royal disease’ was passed down from Queen Victoria.

One of the highlights of the exhibition is the medicine chest that traveled with the family which contained hundreds of different treatments.

The Romanov family’s decision to keep Alexei’s illness a secret had serious consequences because although the imperial family showed some reliance on the latest medical discoveries, it was the use of traditional and spiritual healers especially Rasputin that contributed to the fall of the 300-year-old dynasty.

The second part of the exhibition examines the investigation into the disappearance of Tsar Nicholas II, his family and entourage following the revolutions of 1917 and the events of 1918.

Visitors will be able to examine evidence from the scene of the execution – from the dentures of the imperial physician, a single diamond earring belonging to the Tsarina, to a chandelier from the house where the family were executed and look at the evidence about the events that led to the deaths of the family.

The exhibition shows how for the first time, forensic DNA analysis was used to solve a historic case using blood samples from relatives (including HRH Prince Phillip) and how advances in DNA profiling and 3D reconstruction were used to positively identify the remains of the imperial family and enabled the family to be finally laid to rest in a ceremony in St Petersburg. Dr Peter Gill from the Forensic Science Service in the UK played a leading part identifying the remains of the last Tsar, Tsarina, and three of their five children.

This fascinating exhibition provides some real insights into one of the greatest mysteries of the 20th century. For decades it was thought that the remains of the murdered Romanov family had been cremated, however a number of often unofficial investigations came up with a number of alternative theories. It was the advance of forensic DNA analysis and British expertise that was able to prove that certain remains found were indeed those of members of the family.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information and tickets, visit the Science Museum website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

Exhibition Review – The Sun: Living With Our Star at the Science Museum from 6 October 2018 to 6 May 2019

The Science Museum presents an exhibition entitled The Sun: Living With Our Star which explores our relationship with our closest star.This will be one of the first exhibitions that explores the Sun’s profound influence on the way we have lived in the past, live in the present and how we may live the future.

The exhibition begins by looking at how many ancient civilizations worshipped and studied the movements of the sun creating stories and myths about how the Sun was transported across the sky. Some early Nordic Bronze Age artefacts in the exhibition illustrate how people made sense of our most important natural phenomenon.

Next we have a series of clocks and sundials used to measure time, one highlight is the original orrery, a mechanical model of the Solar System, made for the Earl of Orrery in 1712 to demonstrate the motions of the Earth and Moon around the Sun. Another highlight is the astronomical spectroscope made for Norman Lockyer who used it to identify the element helium in the Sun’s atmosphere in 1868.

Since the invention of the telescope in the early 1600s, people have undertaken research to unlock some of the secrets of the Sun. The exhibition includes detailed sketches, prints, paintings and photographs of the Sun which reveal the important observations recorded by artists and astronomers between the mid-1800s and mid-1900s.

These include the sunspot paintings of James Nasmyth and photographs by Elizabeth Beckley.

Since the 20th century, there has been a realisation of the heath benefits of the sun with a section of the exhibition given over to a small beach and posters relating the healthy seaside air, however there is also a film that charts the rise of skin cancer in some parts of the world caused by too much exposure to the Sun.

There has also been a movement to harness the power of the sun to provide a safe and sustainable energy source. Solar panels are shown with films showing their widespread use in all parts of the world.

Visitors to the exhibition can look at the ways that scientists have used to recreate the nuclear reactions that power the Sun here on Earth. In the exhibition is the Tokamak ST25-HTS, a prototype nuclear fusion reactor which successfully created plasma for a record-breaking 29 hours in 2015.

This fascinating exhibition charts how humankind has gained understanding about our nearest star from Bronze Age artefacts to the latest details of upcoming NASA and ESA solar missions. To tell the story, the exhibition brings together animations, archive recordings and film with a unique collection of scientific instruments, technological innovations and historic artefacts. There are a number of interactive experiences designed for visitors to understand and explore the power of the Sun.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information and tickets, visit the Science Museum website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

 

Stanley Kubrick’s 2001 : A Space Odyssey IMAX screenings at the Science Museum – November 2018

Photo – Warner Bros

To celebrate its 50th Anniversary, The Science Museum will be presenting a series of IMAX 15/70mm screenings of Stanley Kubrick’s science fiction masterpiece “2001: A Space Odyssey,”.  This will be the first time that the 70mm IMAX print of Kubrick’s groundbreaking 1968 epic is being screened in the UK.

Photo – Warner Bros

Widely considered to be one of the greatest films of the 20th century, “2001: A Space Odyssey” redefined the Science Fiction genre with its revolutionary special effects and intelligent screenplay which Kubrick co-wrote with legendary science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke.

Photo – Warner Bros

The film was originally released in the 70mm Cinerama roadshow format in 1968 and starred Keir Dullea and Gary Lockwood. In keeping with the original 1968 release, all IMAX screenings will feature a brief interval. Visitors are also welcome and indeed encouraged to come to any screening in 1960s dress.

Photo – Warner Bros

The Science Museum engagement comes on the heels of the widely successful “unrestored” 70mm film release of “2001: A Space Odyssey,” which was overseen by acclaimed filmmaker Christopher Nolan, a lifelong admirer of Kubrick and who’s Dunkirk was recently screened at the Science Museum.

To get filmgoers in the mood for the film, they can visit the Science Museum’s Exploring Space Gallery which is home to a large and rich collection of space objects and memorabilia including rockets, satellites, probes and landers.

“2001: A Space Odyssey” runs at the Science Museum IMAX at varying dates and times from Thursday 1 November 2018.

Dates:

Thursday 1 Nov – 19.00
Saturday 3 Nov – 14.30 and 19.00
Wednesday 7th Nov 19.00
Saturday 10 Nov – 14.30 and 19.00
Wednesday 21 Nov – 19.00
Saturday 24 Nov – 14.30 and 19.00

Rating: The film is rated U but please note all under 12s must be accompanied by an adult

Running Time: The film is 2h 29 mins long plus interval

Costs: £14-£7, concs available

For more information and tickets, visit the Science Museum website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

Mission to Mercury: BepiColombo at the Science Museum

The Science Museum has unveiled a full-size engineering model of BepiColombo, the European Space Agency’s first ever spacecraft to explore Mercury, and one of the most challenging planetary missions ever launched.

Standing over 6 metres tall, this Structural Thermal Model (STM) of the spacecraft has been used to test BepiColombo’s resilience to vibration at launch and extremes of temperature during its seven-year journey to Mercury.

This is a unique opportunity for the public to get a close-up look at an integral component of a space mission’s development programme. The model has been subjected to temperatures ranging from -190°C to 400°C, recreating the conditions the spacecraft will face when in shade and when in the illuminated face of Mercury.

 

Visitors will be able see the handstitched insulation blankets specifically designed to protect BepiColombo’s instruments and electronics from the intensity of the Sun’s heat, and peer inside the body of the spacecraft to see some of its internal components. The folded solar panel wing on display matches two of the three that will be on BepiColombo when it travels to Mercury, this pair extending to 30 metres when fully deployed. The panels will generate all of the mission’s electrical power.

Visitors can also hear from engineers and scientists who have helped design and develop the spacecraft and its scientific instruments on a video accompanying the model about why the BepiColombo mission is so important and so challenging.

The BepiColombo STM has been loaned to the Science Museum by the European Space Agency (ESA) and was developed and built for ESA by Airbus, the mission’s prime industrial contractor, at its sites in Germany, the UK and across Europe. Airbus engineers prepared the model for display at the Science Museum where it can be seen before, during and after BepiColombo’s launch to Mercury in October 2018.

For more information, visit the Science Museum website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

 

 

Frankenstein Festival at the Science Museum – 3rd to 8th April 2018

 

The Science Museum is celebrating the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein or the Modern Prometheus with a free festival exploring the science behind this cultural phenomenon.

Through immersive theatre, experimental storytelling and hands-on activities visitors can examine the ethical and scientific questions surrounding the artificial creation of life. Families can step in Doctor Frankenstein’s shoes, creating a creature and bringing it to life using stop motion animation at our drop-in workshops.

As part of the festival, visitors will meet researchers at the cutting-edge of science – from bio chemists who manipulate DNA to engineers creating artificial intelligence – and discover fascinating scientific objects with our curators which could have influenced Shelley.

Frankenstein Festival activities include:

It’s Alive!

An immersive audio tour created by Cmd+Shift in collaboration with the Science Museum. The tour takes 45 minutes and is limited to 15 people per session. Recommended for ages 8+. Tickets cost £3 and are available here.

Mystery at Frankenstein’s Lab

This interactive, theatrical puzzle experience has been created by Atomic Force Productions, in collaboration with the Science Museum. Each session lasts 45 minutes and is limited to 10 people per session. Recommended for ages 12+, under 16s must be accompanied by an adult. Tickets cost £10 and are available here.

Create Your Own Creature

Get hands on at the drop-in workshops and create your very own creature. Then bring your creature to life with stop motion animation. This activity takes approximately 20 minutes and is suitable for all ages.

 Humanity 2.0 (3-5 April)

Step into a dystopian future and help shape the future of humanity in this unique interactive play created and performed by Emily Carding. Her full body make-up was created by award winning body painter Victoria Gugenheim in collaboration with the Science Museum. The play has a run time of 45 minutes and is recommended for ages 12+. 

 Pandemic (5-8 April)

This choose-your-own-adventure film puts you in control of a psychological thriller. Your decisions will guide Dr Victor on their quest to create artificial life.

Pandemic was created by John Bradburn in collaboration with the Science Museum. The film contains moderate psychological threat and horror sequences that some people may find disturbing. The experiences lasts 45 minutes and is recommended for ages 14+. Tickets are free and are available here.

 Artificial Life: Should We, Could We, Will We?

Wednesday 28 March as part of the Frankenstein Lates

Tickets: £5

A panel of expert scientists and researchers will discuss artificial life. Just how close are we to creating fully synthetic life and will this be achieved by biological or digital means?

Discussing those questions will be Professor of Cognitive Robotics at Imperial College and scientific advisor for the hit movie Ex Machina Murray Shanahan, Vice President of the International Society for Artificial Life Susan Stepney and Lead Curator of the Science Museum’s acclaimed 2017 exhibition Robots Ben Russell. Further speakers to be announced.

Promethean Tales Weekend

Terminator 2: Judgement Day + Panel Discussion

Friday 27 April, 1930 – 2235 (Doors Open 1900)

Tickets: £8, £6 Concessions

Age 15 and above 

In part one of the Promethean Tales Weekend celebrating the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, a panel of experts in science, film and literaturediscuss the topic of ‘Promethean Tales through the ages’ ahead of a screening of Terminator 2: Judgement Day.

The Curse of Frankenstein and Q&A with Sir Christopher Frayling

Saturday 28 April, 1800 – 2030 (Doors Open 1730)

Tickets: £8, £6 Concessions

In part two of Promethean Tales Weekend, Sir Christopher Frayling, author of Frankenstein: The First Two Hundred Years,  discusses the life and work of Shelley, the origins of her seminal story and its cultural impact. The screening of The Curse of Frankenstein will be followed by a book signing with copies of Sir Christopher’s book available to purchase on the night.

For more information, visit the Science Museum website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

Exhibition Review – Skylark: Britain’s Pioneering Space Rocket at the Science Museum from 13th November 2017

The Science Museum celebrates the 60th anniversary of the day when British scientists launched the Skylark rocket programme with an exhibition that tells the remarkable story behind the project.

The Skylark project began at the height of the Cold War to inform military research, especially in the development of the Blue Streak ballistic missile. However the scientific value of Skylark became apparent to researchers who were keen to use the rocket to learn more about the Earth, Sun and deep space.

One of the great advantages of the Skylark rocket was that it could travel way beyond the height of scientific balloons and could be used for a range of experiments during its 10-minute flight time when it was in space. The results would be recorded on board and then parachuted back to Earth for recovery.

Most Skylark rockets were launched from the South Australian desert and conditions could be challenging but the relative simplicity of Skylark made it ideal for training space scientists. Many leading space scientists (some attended the launch of the exhibition) from university professors to Space Shuttle astronauts, started their space careers with Skylark.

The exhibition  includes archive footage of Skylark flights and interviews with the space scientists who used it and helped to build it. There is a model of the Skylark rocket and a number of objects that tell the technical story of how designing experiments for Skylark gave scientists the experience and expertise to work on future space missions including the Ariel 1 satellite and the Giotto spacecraft.

Remarkably, Britain launched a total of 441 Skylark missions over 50 years, making it one of the longest and most successful rocket programmes in the world. Some of the Skylark missions provided the first X-ray surveys of the southern sky and some of the earliest ultraviolet images of the cosmos.

This fascinating small free exhibition tells the little known story of Britain’s first space rocket and how Skylark laid the foundations for Britain’s space science programmes both in technology and training some of Britain’s top space scientists. Whilst Skylark was overshadowed by the American and Soviet space programmes, its relatively simplicity enabled scientists to explore a wide range of scientific questions in a number of new scientific areas. It was these experiments that laid the foundations for Britain’s later more prestigious space science programmes and the design and building of satellites.

Video Review here

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information, visit the Science Museum website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

 

Exhibition Review – Superbugs: The Fight For Our Lives at the Science Museum from 9th November 2017 to Spring 2019

The Science Museum present the Superbugs: The Fight For Our Lives exhibition which explores human’s response to the unprecedented global threat of antibiotic resistance. It is estimated that superbugs kill almost 700,000 people a year globally and by 2050 this could rise to 30 million. The exhibition examines antibiotic resistance at the microscopic, human and global scale with news of scientific discoveries from across the globe.

Although we share our world with bacteria, medical advances especially antibiotics mean millions of people each year are cured of previously untreatable bacterial diseases. But bacteria have fought back, evolving into superbugs resistant to antibiotics.

In the exhibition, visitors can examine twelve real bacteria colonies including nine deadly bacteria that the World Health Organisation classifies as a significant threat to human health. Grown by bioartist Anna Dumitriu, the bacteria include Escherichia coli, often first to colonise new-born babies’ stomachs, Staphylococcus aureus, one of the earliest superbugs identified and Neisseria gonorrhoeae.

The exhibition includes a digital interactive examining the microscopic world of bacteria and reveals how Bdellovibrio bacterivorous (a bacterium that eats other bacteria) and bacteriophages (a virus that infects bacteria) battle superbugs.

Although medicine has provided cures, it is also part of the problem with millions of antibiotics being taken unnecessarily. Bacterial infections in UK hospitals are becoming a real problem affecting up to 1.3 million people each year. Another area of concern is agriculture where a large amount of antibiotics are used each year finding their way into the food chain.

Surprisingly, it is thirty years since the last antibiotic was approved for human use and researchers are hunting for new antibiotics in unusual places. The exhibition shows a video that follows University of Illinois at Chicago researchers exploring the Icelandic fjords that may provide a new source of antibiotics. Also on display are South American leafcutter ants, which use fungi and bacteria to produce antibiotics that can kill superbugs like MRSA.

To encourage research, the UK Government and Nesta will award the £8 million Longitude Prize to the first team to develop a fast, affordable and accurate diagnostic test for bacterial infections.

This fascinating small free exhibition highlights one of the major global problems of the present and the future, as antibiotics become increasingly ineffective, the race to find a solution to the problem is gathering pace. The exhibition suggests that the widespread use of antibiotics globally means that global action will be needed to address the problem.

Video Review here

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information, visit the Science Museum website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here