Formerly known as the Medical History Museum, Medical Museion combines academic research and teaching with public outreach through our exhibitions, collections and social web media interaction.
In ancient greek Museion (Μουσειον) is a temple in which the muses who precided over arts and science, inspired perfomers and practioners of music, litterature, philosophy. The name Museion was chosen to illustrate how we are more than just a medical history museum. We are more than a university research department. We are both!
The exhibitions are currently available to visitors through guided tours only. Opening hours are Wednesday through Friday and Sunday from 1pm to 5pm. Guided tours start at 1:30, 2:30 and 3:30pm and last for approximately one and a half hour.
Louis Agassiz, the leading figure in persuading geologists that a recent Ice Age had engulfed Europe, was one of the first professors to be appointed to the University of Neuchatel in 1840. He is honoured by a bust and plaque in the principal administrative building at the corner of Avenue du Premier Mars and Rue P. L Culon, but, sadly, the local natural history museum at the present time has no exhibits related to Agassiz or even to geology in general.
For dedicated mountaineers there is an Agassizjoch at 12,700 feet (3850m) on the approach route to the summit of the Finsteraarhorn in the Berner Oberland. We don’t know if there is a direct connection with Louis Agassiz.
Linnaeus Garden. Linnaeus was appointed Professor of Medicine at the University of Uppsala in 1741, after some rather undignified infighting among several candidates for the position. Botany was academically a part of medicine at the time because plant extracts were the most common form of medication, and renovation of the university’s neglected botanical garden (originally founded in 1655) was one of the new professor’s assigned tasks. A house adjacent to the garden came with the appointment and served as Linnaeus’s residence. Classically proportioned, with a red brick facade, it now serves as the garden museum, laid out and furnished much as it must have been in Linnaeus’s day.
The garden area itself has been beautifully restored-the layout is nearly the same as the original, modeled according to the prevailing style, with narrow parallel formal beds and three pools and an orangery at the back. Two symmetrical sections (parterres) contain beds for perennial and annual (or biennial) plants, respectively. Arrangement within the perennial parterre is strictly in the order of the Linnaeus classification, but there are 44 beds for the 24 classes, allowing more than one bed for some classes. The annual plants are also grouped together by class, but the order varies from year to year. The path between the two sections is bordered by showy ornamental plants, and the pools beyond have water plants. The orangery used to be divided into frigidarium, caldarium, and tepidarium, to provide for a range of indoor environments, but it is less elaborate aeus in Lapland costume, from a 1737 painting. The flower fastened to his tunic is the twin flower, Linnaea borealis, shown here in a separate photograph. It blooms only briefly, close to midsummer, so you may not see it in the garden when you visit. today. Parts of it now have non-botanical uses, such as choir practice for a local group. Two little shelters on top of high poles near the entrance used to house chained monkeys. Linnaeus was very fond of the monkeys and is reported as having been unashamedly grieved when one of his favourites died.
Linnaeus died at his garden residence and was buried in Uppsala Cathedral. There is a monument with a medallion portrait in a chapel off the north aisle. The tomb slab itself is in the floor, a little closer to the main entrance. The cathedral is the largest church in Scandinavia and parts of it date back to the thirteenth century.
In the outskirts of Uppsala we have Linnes Hammarby (6 miles [10 km] southeast), Linnaeus’s former summer residence, now a small state park. Linnaeus sometimes lectured here to students and large crowds of visitors. A little further out, toward the southwest, is Wiks Slott (Wik Castle), a fifteenth-century fortress with a fine park at the edge of a lake. Svante Arrhenius was born here in 1859, his father having been overseer of the estate at the same time as he was working for the university. (The university salary improved a year later, and the family was able to move into the city.) Gamla Uppsala (Old Uppsala), just north of the modem city, is also worth a visit. It was the royal capital of the Svea kingdom 1,500 years ago and contains burial mounds and other antiquities.
Bologna itself is an impressive city, with broad arcaded streets, many closed to private cars. It is the site of the first real university in Europe, which, politics and pestilence notwithstanding, has flourished more or less uninterruptedly to the present day. The university began as a community of professors and scholars without a permanent home (despite the presence of as many as 10,000 students), but a regular building was eventually constructed in 1563. The university remained there until 1803, when the move to its present site outside the city center was made.
The old university is in the Palazzo Archiginnasio, located on the Piazza Galvani behind the Basilica San Petronio. Escutcheons of former rectors and professors densely cover the courtyard, surrounding vestibules and staircases. Most of the building is now occupied by a modern library, but the historical parts have been restored to their original state and are open to the public. The most interesting part is the anatomical theatre, originally built in 1637, leading off a gallery overlooking the courtyard. It is a spacious rectangular room, built entirely of wood, with only three tiers of seats. Statues of Hippocrates, Galen, and other doctors/anatomists of antiquity line the wall, and there are busts of prominent local physicians. A centerpiece of the room is the lecture podium with an impressive canopy supported by statues of skinless human bodies in which the musculature is clearly exposed to view. The visitor should apply to the Porter’s lodge for admission.
Luigi Galvani and Guglielmo Marconi are well-remembered Bolognesi. There is a statue of Galvani in the piazza named after him.
By 1900, Owens College was expanding, sweeping away the terraced residential streets of Chorlton-on-Medlock. While chemistry, medicine and the life sciences developed on and around the original site, physics and the various branches of engineering were steadily relocated in new buildings to the north, between Coupland Street and Bridge (now Bridgeford) Street.
In the nineteenth century, the College’s international reputation had focused strongly on chemistry. Into the twentieth – although the chemical laboratories were still growing – its world role was to be defined increasingly by physics. Key to this development was the prominent red-brick building on Coupland Street, now known as the Rutherford Building. On its opening in 1900, this was the fourth-largest physics laboratory in the world, after those of Johns Hopkins, Darmstadt and Strasbourg.
The facilities were largely devised by Arthur Schuster, Professor of Physics since 1888. Schuster had a key role in shaping the College’s overall development: alongside the historian T F Tout, he oversaw its transformation into the Victoria University of Manchester, completed in 1904. Schuster was the son of a German banking family, and contributed to the equipment of the laboratory from his personal wealth. Under his charge, student numbers in physics grew from 10 to around 250.
Schuster was succeeded in 1907 by the New Zealander Ernest Rutherford, a specialist in radioactivity. Under Rutherford’s supervision, this building was home to investigations into the nature of the atom which in many ways defined the research agenda for twentieth-century physics.
Hans Geiger developed the first Geiger counter here with Rutherford in 1908, and around 1913 Henry Moseley’s X-ray diffraction established the relationship between nuclear charge and atomic number. Moseley, regarded by Rutherford as a star student, died amid the carnage of the Dardanelles campaign in 1915.
The department had an unusual research culture. Ernest Marsden, later a leading scientific administrator in New Zealand, was a final-year undergraduate when he achieved the famous deflections which led Rutherford to propose what became known as the “nuclear” model of sub-atomic structure. Atoms, said Rutherford, are composed mostly of empty space; most of their mass is packed into a tiny core, or nucleus, in the centre.
Manchester under Rutherford became one of the major centres of cutting-edge research in both experimental and theoretical physics. The Danish grand theorist Niels Bohr worked here for a time in the 1910s, combining Rutherford’s model with Max Planck’s quantum theory to propose the orbital model of atomic structure. So too did James Chadwick, co-discoverer of the neutron.
Rutherford left to become Director of the Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge, in 1919. One of his final achievements at Manchester was to demonstrate the artificial disintegration of nitrogen by alpha-particle bombardment, an achievement often referred to as the “first splitting of the atom.”
The Whitworth Laboratories of 1909 were the territory of Osborne Reynolds, Professor of Engineering over a remarkably long tenure from 1868 to 1905, best known for introducing the Reynolds number in fluid mechanics.
The Laboratories’ graduates include Beatrice Shilling, who entered the electrical engineering programme as one of its first two female students in 1929, transferring to mechanical engineering for a Master’s in 1932. Manifesting an impressively absolute disregard for conventional standards of middle-class female behaviour, she combined a career in aeronautics with a passion for high-performance motorbikes, lapping Brooklands at 106 miles per hour in 1934. Shilling spent most of her career at the Royal Aeronautical Establishment, notably producing a modification to the Rolls-Royce Merlin carburettor (the “RAE restrictor” or “Tilly orifice”) which greatly improved British aerial manoeuvrability in 1941.
Behind the Physics Department, on the Bridge Street side, grew a complex of extensions. Some of which dealt with “electro-technics”: broadly, what is now called electrical engineering and information science. This was the cradle of Manchester’s early international strength in computer research, which owed much to the Second World War. On the engineering side, F C (Freddie) Williams and Tom Kilburn had worked on radar at the Telecommunications Research Establishment; in mathematics were Max Newman and (from 1948) Alan Turing, both of whom had worked on codebreaking at Bletchley Park.
It was in the Electro-Technics Department that the world’s first electronic digital stored-program computer, the Small-Scale Experimental Machine or ‘Manchester Baby,’ first operated on 21 June 1948. Though only a prototype, the new machine was designed to investigate a new technique of storing information on a cathode ray tube, based on Williams and Kilburn’s wartime radar experience. In doing so, it became the first machine ever to store its own instructions electronically in the same format as its data, demonstrating the essential properties of the architecture used for almost all computers ever since. The achievement is commemorated by a plaque on Bridgeford Street.
The Manchester Baby gradually evolved into a more usable machine, known variously as the Manchester Mark 1 or the Manchester Automatic Digital Machine (MADM). It was developed in close collaboration with the local engineering firm, Ferranti, who produced a commercial model in 1951.
The Ferranti Mark 1, as it was called, was the world’s first commercially available electronic computer: for a brief period in the early 1950s, Ferranti was one of the world’s leading suppliers of computing equipment, prompting (short-lived) hopes of British dominance in this increasingly important new industry. The first model was delivered to the University in February 1951. Its first home was the low-rise brick building on Coupland Street, now known as Coupland 1, which was purpose-built as the University’s “Computing Machine Laboratory”. Computing activity later transferred to the Electrical Engineering (now Zochonis) Building on the other side of Oxford Road, and eventually to the much larger Computer Building (now Kilburn Building) to the north.
Alan Turing, who joined the Mathematics Department in 1948 and became Deputy Director of the Laboratory the following year, was already well known for his revolutionary 1930s work on computability theory. Although his official role on the computer project was to develop software for the Mark 1, the restless and often unpredictable Turing pursued a variety of interests which the possibilities of the computer had opened up.
It was here, in 1950, that Turing prepared his famous 1950 contribution to the psychology journal Mind, on the question of whether machines in future might be defined as “thinking”: the answer, said Turing, was yes, if their responses to any given variety of questioning could not be convincingly distinguished from human responses.
Turing’s other great interest, from 1952, was morphogenesis – the formation of asymmetry and patterns in biology – which he pursued in collaboration with C W Wardlaw, who held the Cryptogamic Botany chair. Turing here hoped to treat the computer as a newly powerful tool to demonstrate that, given certain starting conditions and rules, distinct patterns could emerge from apparently homogeneous starting materials. His notorious conviction for “gross indecency” in 1952 had no apparent effect on his enthusiastic contribution to research on this and other mathematical questions. In 1954, however, Turing took his own life.
Access: no formal public access to the interiors (most of which have been heavily modified structurally, and now serve various administrative, non-laboratory academic and museum roles). There are good views of the exteriors along Coupland Street, Oxford Road and Bridgeford Street.
Halfway down Burlington Street stands the Schunck Building, part of a 1904 extension to the University of Manchester. Its unusual history captures how, at the turn of the twentieth century, the focus of scientific activity was shifting from private individuals to large institutions.
Edward Schunck, the building’s first user, was born in Manchester in 1820. The son of a German textile merchant, he received his earliest chemical training from William Henry, a leading manufacturing chemist, who brought him into the laboratory attached to the works where Henry’s Magnesia and other pharmaceuticals were made.
There were, of course, no University facilities near Manchester at this time, but Schunck’s background gave him an easy passage to the well-equipped research laboratories of Germany. After studying briefly at the University of Berlin, he moved to Giessen to study with the immensely influential Justus von Liebig, receiving his doctorate in 1841.
The Schunck family owned a textile works near Rochdale involved in calico printing, bleaching, fulling, and other processes, and in 1842 Edward returned to become chemical manager at the works. Over the next few years, however, he gradually withdrew from the factory and concentrated full-time on research. He investigated industrial materials such as dyestuffs, but also a range of other substances including chlorophyll, which he suggested played a similar role in plants to that of haemoglobin in animals (carrying carbon dioxide, rather than oxygen, around the organism).
Schunck established himself as one of the leaders of Manchester’s chemical culture in the years following the 1844 death of its long-term figurehead, John Dalton. He was repeatedly President of the Literary and Philosophical Society, and was closely connected with many of the organisers of Owens College, founded in 1851 and increasingly a centre for chemistry teaching.
Schunck, however, had no need of the College’s facilities. In the 1870s, he inherited the family fortune and built a superb private laboratory at his home on Kersal Moor, to the north of Salford, together with an extensive library of chemical literature. Late in life, he transferred around £20 000 to Owens College, to be used for promoting chemical research.
Schunck died in 1903, bequeathing the laboratory and library to the College. The bequest was taken literally. Not only were the contents of the library brought to the College, then in the process of becoming the University of Manchester: the entire physical laboratory was removed from Kersal and reconstructed on Burlington Street under the supervision of the Professor of Chemistry, H B Dixon.
Contemporary accounts suggest a faithful brick-by-brick reconstruction, but this is difficult to establish from the official records. Pevsner’s architectural guide points out that the brick of the building matches its neighbours, implying that this was really a partially new construction to a similar shape. The internal fixtures of the laboratory, however, were transferred directly.
Under the influence of German industrial success, the University’s chemical activities in this period were focused increasingly on the organic side of the discipline, which had applications in dyestuffs, food and explosives. The re-erected Schunck Laboratory forms one corner of what became a small quadrangle devoted entirely to organic work, filling the space between Henry Roscoe’s original Chemistry Building and the Medical School.
The organic expansion had already begun in 1895 with the Schorlemmer Laboratories (now hemmed in on all sides, and barely visible from the street). These were named in honour of Carl Schorlemmer, a former pupil of Robert Bunsen (of burner fame). In 1874, Owens College had given Schorlemmer the first Chair in Organic Chemistry in Britain. He was followed in 1892 by William Henry Perkin, Junior, son of the London chemist remembered for discovering mauve, the first synthetic dye. The younger Perkin’s students included Robert Robinson, a future Nobel Prizewinner and President of the Royal Society, and Chaim Weizmann, future President of Israel, whose work on fermentation processes proved crucial to the British war effort around 1915.
Further down Burlington Street, where the extensions to the John Rylands University Library now stand, were further chemical laboratories built in the 1940s and 50s. These were short-lived, as chemistry migrated – like almost all the University’s scientific activities – to new, larger buildings on the east side of Oxford Road. Following the path round to the right, however, reveals a collection of gloriously un-redeveloped outbuildings, giving a good flavour of what this end of the campus must once have been like.
The Schunck Building itself is now home to facilities including a vegetarian café and the Burlington Society, the postgraduate and mature students’ society for the universities of Greater Manchester.
Access: no formal public access to the interior. Good views of the frontage from Burlington Street, which is publicly accessible.
It was probably not too difficult to come across something having to do with Charles Darwin when visiting Cambridge, England before 2009. Following that year’s celebrations (of Darwin’s birth in 1809 and publication of On the Origin of Species in 1859), I can imagine it is guaranteed Darwin will cross your path. I visited Cambridge in the summer of 2009 to attend a conference about, well, Darwin. I spent two days beyond the conference exploring the town and visiting sites related to Darwin with Richard Carter, whom we can thank for Darwin’s portrait gracing the ten pound note.
It was at Cambridge that Darwin took up a increased interest in natural history, and thanks to his cousin William Darwin Fox, also at Christ’s College, a fondness for beetles. Darwin would later reminisce on several occasions about his beetle collecting adventures. For example, in his Autobiography:
“I am surprised what an indelible impression many of the beetles which I caught at Cambridge have left on my mind. I can remember the exact appearance of certain posts, old trees and banks where I made a good capture. The pretty Panagaus crux-major was a treasure in those days” p. 63.
Cambridge is also where he met two of his mentors, botanist John Stevens Henslow (who recommended Darwin for naturalist on HMS Beagle) and geologist Adam Sedgwick, who would both take issue with his transmutation theory years later. His older brother Erasmus was also at Cambridge, and Darwin sent three of his sons there as well. Some of the museums in Cambridge now hold specimens Darwin collected around the world. The Cambridge University Library holds many of his documents, including letters, and Cambridge University Press has published much about Darwin, including the correspondence series.
Darwin’s life in Cambridge began in January 1828, and since he started at Christ’s College, University of Cambridge, well into the academic year, he had to find lodging away from the college. Luckily for him, he found one just a minute’s walk from the college. Darwin stayed in a room above a tobacconist on Sidney Street, which is now marked with a plaque outside a Boots pharmacy store:
“[c]learly a wide variety of activities took place in Darwin’s rooms. He read for his College curriculum, wrote letters, compared his captured beetles with published descriptions in his copy of Stephens Systematic catalogue of British insects and carefully pinned the beetles to cork boards. He had friends to coffee, and in the evenings they sometimes dined there and would then drink wine and play cards” p. 6
While the Tutor of the College thought Darwin was practicing with a horse-whip in his rooms, he was in fact blowing out a candle with the puff of air from a still-capped shotgun. That shooting practice surely went toward Darwin’s collecting practices in the field.
There is an old Cambridge rumor that Darwin’s Christ’s College rooms were once those of theologian William Paley, whose Natural Theology Darwin read while at Cambridge. In the College Hall, a stained-glass portrait of Darwin rests next to that of Paley.
In December 1831, Darwin left England aboard HMS Beagle, and returned in October 1836. Darwin went back to Cambridge in December following a visit home to Shrewsbury. He took lodgings at 22 Fitzwilliam Street, and here Darwin organized his specimen collection from the voyage. Only a few months passed before Darwin decided he needed to move to London, to enter into the scientific community and farm out his specimens to zoologists, botanists, and geologists of repute. Janet Browne described this lodging as Darwin’s “temporary centre for a storm of industry” (p. 346). Today, the Fitzwilliam lodging is marked by a stone plaque.
While Cambridge took little of Darwin’s more than seventy years of life, this place had profound influence on the creation of a young naturalist. Today, the city marks with plaques, sculpture, and exhibits one of its most famous students, who deemed his three years at Cambridge, as he wrote in his Autobiography, “the most joyful in my happy life; for I was then in excellent health, and almost always in high spirits” (p. 68).
The University of Exeter Streatham Campus can boast to be one of the most beautiful of the country, set as it is within an arboretum, ponds and gardens. Twenty five sculptures are situated in this unique background, both in the open and in university buildings. They include sculptures by Barbara Hepworth and Paul Mount, amongst other well-known and lesser known artists and students. It is possible to take a self-guided walk through the campus and the sculpture trail.
The arboretum has its origins in the 1860s, when the grounds surrounding Reed (then called Streatham) Hall was laid out by the Veicht family, famous for running plant nurseries in Europe in the 19th century. Their business was split between two places, Chelsea and Exeter, which became the main bases for this family of plant hunters, collectors and nurserymen. They employed plant hunters such as Lobb brothers and E.H. Wilson to collect and plant an ambitious arboretum on the Streatham estate.
The University of Exeter traces its origins to schools and colleges established in the middle of the 19th century, but it is only in 1955 that it was officially founded. Gradually, through a period of fifty years, the University transferred its city centre sites to the Streatham campus, which had remained until then a farm and an estate.
The 1960’s and 1970’s saw a major re-landscaping of the main campus, but always with the aim of maintaining the diversity and exotic plants which had initially been brought in by the Veichtes. In the 1980s and 1990s, the botanical collection was extended.
Today, a great effort is made in terms of biodiversity throughout the campus grounds. Birds and bat boxes are being installed, and a ‘bioblitz’, or quick census of species, was conducted in 2010 by staff and students in the area between the Laver Building and the Business School.
Species such as a kingfisher, a snipe and bumblebees were spotted, an indication of the potential rich biodiversity of the campus, and an incitement to further develop plans to enhance and protect this natural and man-made environment. In order to do so, staff working on the grounds and gardens cater for wildlife by leaving log piles, creating wild flower meadows and leaving areas of grass uncut to allow animals to move around safely.
The University grounds are open to staff, students and visitors all year around and can be visited freely. Fixed date seasonal tours are available, which last an hour and a half. If the dates are not suitable, bespoke tours can also be arranged for a minimum of 10 guests. To find out more and to make a booking please consult www.exeter.ac.uk/eventexeter/garden-tours.php, email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01392 215566.
Virtual tours are also available online and leaflets on request.
Open Monday to Friday from 11:00am – 4:00pm, the Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments is presented in three display spaces: the main Putnam Gallery (Science Center 136), the Special Exhibitions Gallery (Science Center 251), and the Foyer Exhibition Space (Science Center 371). The galleries are closed on University Holidays. It is open to the public and admission is free. Children must be supervised. For inquiries, call 617-495-2779. Nearest T Station is Harvard Square on the Red Line.
The collection of scientific instruments for teaching and research has been occurring at Harvard since 1672. In 1948, the Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments was established to preserve the rich legacy of science and technology present at Harvard. In 1987, it was placed under the direction of Harvard’s Department of the History of Science. Today, it is one of the largest university collections of its kind in the world with over 20,000 objects. Covering periods from the fifteenth century until today and a broad range of scientific disciplines, it is an important research resource for the historian of science and the collection can be accessed online at Waywiser.
The Putnam Gallery contains the Collection’s permanent display, entitled “TIME, LIFE, & MATTER: Science in Cambridge”. The exhibition is book-ended by two large pieces – a decorative orrery and a cyclotron console – and it covers everything from early astronomy and physics to psychology and physiology (download the thematic guide for full coverage). The interested historian can find plenty to interest themselves for hours but the casual visitor can easily experience the permanent gallery in less than an hour.
The other exhibition spaces contain regular special exhibitions, details of which can be found online.
During the twentieth century world’s fairs were a great success in the major European and American cities, but smaller cities prepared local fairs, and one example of them was the Art and Textile Industry Exhibition held in Düsseldorf, Germany.
For this event, the German metallurgical company Gutehoffnungshütte (Good Hope Mine) located in Oberhausen, built the building parts to assemble, under design of Bruno Möhring.
At the end of 1902 concluded the fair and Mexican Company of Permanent Exhibition bought three of their four exhibition halls. The building was dismantled and shipped to Mexico. Was assembled in the north of the city, in Santa María la Ribera neighborhood, near railway stations, because it was an attractive place for middle class families, it was near the center and had all the services.
Between 1903 and 1905 the so-called Cabaña de la Buena Esperanza (Good Hope Cottage) was assembled in the area of Chopo Street (common name for Populus nigra, tall tree of African origin, found in Europe and Asia), in Santa María la Ribera. Nowadays, street change its name to Enrique González Martínez Street.
In 1909, Public Instruction and Fine Arts Ministry rented the Chopo building to mount there a Natural History Museum. But before was used to install a Japanese industrial art exhibition that was part of the Centenary celebrations of Independence.
On December 1st, 1913 opened the Natural History Museum. The former National Museum of Mexico welcomed anthropological, ethnological, paleontological, and zoological collections. The collection was divided: the anthropological and ethnological collections remained in the original headquarters and the natural sciences formed the new Natural History Museum. By 1922, the Museum was the best in Mexico and received 1,200 visitors daily, which called him familiarly, Museo del Chopo (Chopo Museum).
By the mid-sixties the deterioration of the building and the decline of the heritage caused closure of the Museum. The collections went to the Museum of Natural History in Chapultepec, the Museum of Geology and institutes, schools and faculties of UNAM.
The rescue work of the building began in 1973. After nearly two years of work, Chopo University Museum was ready as a space dedicated to cultural diffusion, particularly young and experimental art.
On November 25, 1975, UNAM Chancellor, Guillermo Soberón opened the Museum. Since its opening, it was a dynamic advocate of contemporary art, characterized by its focus on innovation, inclusive and pluralistic character, and his work is positioned as an essential reference of the Avant Garde.
In 2006 and 2007 renewed its building to better serve the needs of contemporary art, through intervention of renewed architects and engineers and implemented by the Coordination of Special Projects of UNAM.