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MHS newsletter - May 2015


Special Exhibitions Gallery reopens for 'Dear Harry...' show
Our Dear Harry... exhibition, opening on 14 May (see below), inaugurates the newly-refurbished Special Exhibitions Gallery. With generous support from the DCMS Wolfson Museums and Galleries Improvement Fund and the John S Cohen Foundation, we have dramatically enhanced the facilities and flexibility of the gallery. New showcases, improved lighting, environmental conditioning, touchscreens and even new walls together represent a huge step forward for a space that has been at the heart of the Museum's programme since it was created 15 years ago.

Wireless wonder
The annual Marconi Day celebrations at the Museum, on Saturday 25 April, were very popular, with our director Dr Silke Ackermann enthusiastically attempting to contact America in the photo here. Thanks to Oxford & District Amateur Radio Society for setting up and operating radio station GB4MHS throughout the day. You can read more about our important Marconi collection here.

Secret Workings of Nature
The Museum is preparing the loan of an early 18th-century compound microscope by John Marshall to an exhibition called The Secret Workings of Nature: Hooke, Newton and rise of Modern Science. The exhibition takes place at the National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth and runs from 4 July 2015 - 9 January 2016. We regularly loan objects to other institutions, as well as borrow items for our own special exhibitions.

'Dear Harry...' - Henry Moseley: A Scientist Lost to War
14 May - 18 October
Henry Moseley was an exceptionally promising young English physicist in the years immediately before World War I, whose work provided a new foundation for the Periodic Table. Yet Moseley’s life and career were cut short when he was killed in 1915, in action at Gallipoli, Turkey. This HLF-funded centenary exhibition tells the moving and personal story of the life and legacy of Henry ‘Harry’ Moseley – son, scientist, and soldier.
For the Love of It
28 April - 2 August
We often believe that science is reserved for trained experts working in technical environments. ‘Science’, however, can also exist outside of the laboratory. It, and its precursor ‘natural philosophy’, have been part of home, work and leisure for centuries. For the Love of It aims to connect the contributions of historic amateur scientists with your personal everyday scientific practices.
Alchemy and the Laboratory
10 March - 7 June
With the support of the Woodmansterne Art Conservation Fund the Museum has had a remarkable 17th-century painting of an alchemical laboratory conserved. On its return to the Museum it is displayed along with other alchemical images and manuscripts from the archives.
Dreams of Homunculi
10 March - 7 June
Artist Charles Ogilvie and curator Vid Simoniti have collaborated to conjure up the world of alchemy with a video installation inspired by the alchemical dream of creating life in the laboratory. An installation to complement Alchemy and the Laboratory.
My Memories of Science
Saturday 2 May and Sunday 3 May, 12-5pm
Come to the museum to learn about amateur science in the past, and to listen to fond memories of science in our everyday lives. Bring along your favourite scientific object, and share your memories with us as we attempt to give life to the long history of amateur science.
Sunday 10 May, 3pm
Free promenade concert

Opus Anglicanum are an all-male group of five unaccompanied singers and a narrator. As 2015 is the International Year of Light they return to the Museum with their beautiful and thought-provoking performance of readings and music about light, from ancient philosophers and medieval composers to new settings of the words of Einstein.
Friday 15 May, 7-10pm
An evening of the elements, with music, film, tours and trails. Look out for full details of activities and events online. Part of the annual international Museums at Night celebration.
From Semaphore Flags to Telephones
Saturday 30 May, 2.30pm
As part of the Dear Harry... programme, Dr Elizabeth Bruton discusses communication systems and the vital nature of signalling at Gallipoli during World War I.
Drawing with Camera Obscuras
Saturday 16 May, 2-4pm
Discover the secrets of Renaissance art and how to use a camera obscura to draw in perfect perspective. Ages 9+.
Send a Message SOS
Thursday 28 May and Friday 29 May, 1-4pm
Discover Morse code and use the Museum’s telegraphic apparatus to unravel the mystery message. Suitable for all aged 7 upwards.
Highlights tours
Every Thursday 2.30pm, 3.15pm
Every Saturday 12.30pm, 1.15pm

Join our team of exceptional volunteer guides to find out more about the stories behind the objects and the history of our very special building. The guided tours are free, but donations are welcome.
 Keep in touch...

A full calendar of events is available online at: To book for workshops please call 01865 277280 or email

The Museum of the History of Science is an Oxford University Museum. Find out about events at other University Museums: 
Ashmolean Museum / Oxford University Museum of Natural History / Pitt Rivers Museum 
Family Friendly events across the Museums
Copyright © 2015 History of Science Museum, All rights reserved.

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