A museum with dedication to science and the wonders of science is a Science Museum. Geology, industry, industrial machines, natural history, and fossil are the main subjects of display at the museum of older times. On the contrary, the new ones have broader subject ranges that are more interactive in nature. Most of the modern museum stress on technology, hence they are also known as the technology museum. The primary motto of these museums is to encourage science and make it accessible to every individual thus making discovery more exciting.
History Of The Science Museum
In the early years, the aristocrats to display to their families collected curiosities. Universities and medical schools too collected specimens for their students as their study subject. Private cabinet of curiosities was the main resource of the scientists to display their findings. The Ashmolean Museum in Oxford was the first purpose-built museum in 1683. It is now the Museum of History of Science and it covered natural philosophy. In 1752 Madrid, Spain was the first to open a dedicated museum but it ran into troubled waters during the Franco regime. Towards the later period, it recovered from its problems and as of today is works in close connection with the Spanish National Research Council. The rare 18th century human and animals collection are still on display at the museum in the Utrecht University.
After this period, came the Industrial Revolution. All the museums of this era displayed the greatness of both industry and science. The famous London Museum came into existence as a result of the Crystal Palace exhibition in 1851.
Modern Museums For Science
The Deutsches Museum in Munich is said to be the pioneer of the modern science museum. They were the first to launch interactive displays where visitors could pull the lever and push the buttons. Julius Rosenwald who visited the museum with his son in 1911 took this modern concept of the museum to the United States. He was so impressed by his visit that between 1933 and 1940 he opened the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. The Academy of Science opened up its first interactive science exhibits in 1959 which went by the name of the Museum of Science and Natural History. After these, there were a series of science museum that opened their doors to the interactive exhibits like:
- Science Exploratorium in 1969
- Ontario Science Center in 1969
- Reuben H. Fleet Space Theatre and Science Center in 1973
The Association of Science and Technology Centers came into existence in 1973 to provide programming and professional support. Their support was primarily for the museums, institutions, and science centers.
Science Centers are basically museums that feature hands-on exhibits where visitors can explore and experiment. Urania in Berlin was the first science center in 1888. There are many science centers in most parts of the world that have gone a step ahead of the science museum. Their interactive exhibits provide a rich source of knowledge for all the visitors that are looking to explore science and beyond.