Article ID: CBB543984766

Presidential Address ‘Some years of cudgelling my brains about the nature and function of science museums’: Frank Sherwood Taylor and the public role of the history of science (2023)

unapi

Frank Sherwood Taylor was director of the Science Museum London for just over five years from October 1950. He was the only historian of science ever to have been director of this institution, which has always ridden a tightrope between advocacy of science and advocacy of its history, balancing differently at different points in its history. He was also president of the BSHS from 1951 to 1953. So what happened when a historian got his hands on the nation's pre-eminent public museum of science? To what extent did his historian's training and instincts affect his policies whilst director, and with what effect in the longer term? Taking this exceptional case, I suggest, enables us to consider how museum accounts of the past of science relate to historiographies of science otherwise available in the culture. In this discussion, drawing on new archival research, I consider the role of history within a key policy paper he wrote in 1951. I analyse and contextualize its main themes before considering, by way of conclusion, his legacy.

...More
Citation URI
data.isiscb.org/p/isis/citation/CBB543984766

This citation is part of the Isis database.

Similar Citations

Article Ben Russell; (2006)
Mind the Gap! Interpreting the History of Technology in the Science Museum (/p/isis/citation/CBB409412040/) unapi

Article Frank Dittman; Nicolas Lange; (January 2018)
Museum Review: Robots: The 500-year Quest to Make Machines Human (/p/isis/citation/CBB266985199/) unapi

Article Helen Peavitt; (2006)
Why Irons are Useful and Sugar Nippers are not (/p/isis/citation/CBB409815420/) unapi

Article Dan Albert; (2006)
The Imperial Hand Paints the Ascent of Man: Interpreting the Maritime as History of Technology (/p/isis/citation/CBB823751037/) unapi

Article Nicholas John Wyatt; (2018)
Digitising Charles Babbage at the Science Museum, London: Managing Expectations, Enabling Access (/p/isis/citation/CBB610720375/) unapi

Article Simcock, A.V.; (1987)
Alchemy and the world of science: An intellectual biography of Frank Sherwood Taylor (/p/isis/citation/CBB000056619/) unapi

Article Allan, Nigel; (2001)
Marianne Winder 1918-2001 (/p/isis/citation/CBB000101534/) unapi

Book Silvio Bergia; Giorgio Dragoni; (2018)
Fisica: Scienza, storia e società (/p/isis/citation/CBB359636481/) unapi

Article Laursen, Ditte; (February 2013)
Co-participation among school children around a computer-based exhibit (/p/isis/citation/CBB923238562/) unapi

Article Anwesha Chakraborty; Anna Guagnini; (July 2016)
Exhibit Review: The #FoodPeople Exhibition at the Museo Nazionale della Scienza e della Tecnologia Leonardo da Vinci, Milano (/p/isis/citation/CBB453528727/) unapi

Article Maioulis, Ioannis; (Summer 2017)
An Interview with ... Ioannis Miaoulis. (/p/isis/citation/CBB291366215/) unapi

Book Karen A. Rader; Victoria E. M. Cain; (2014)
Life on display: Revolutionizing U.S. museums of science and natural history in the twentieth century (/p/isis/citation/CBB728823942/) unapi

Article Rogers, Hannah; (December 2018)
Curating Art, Science, and Technology – Technology's Stories (/p/isis/citation/CBB133565890/) unapi

Article D. C. Robinson; (2019)
Gravitation and general relativity at King’s College London (/p/isis/citation/CBB871141138/) unapi

Book David Rooney; (2019)
Spaces of congestion and traffic: Politics and technologies in twentieth-century London (/p/isis/citation/CBB403036470/) unapi

Book Ashley Sweetman; (2022)
Cyber and the City: Securing London’s Banks in the Computer Age (/p/isis/citation/CBB340774234/) unapi

Authors & Contributors
Allan, Nigel M. W. T.
Bergia, Silvio
Dittmann, Frank
Dragoni, Giorgio
Guagnini, Anna
Porter, Gaby
Journals
Icon: Journal of the International Committee for the History of Technology
Technology and Culture
Acta Historica Leopoldina
Ambix: Journal of the Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry
The Bridge: Journal of the National Academy of Engineering
British Journal for the History of Science
Publishers
Aracne
Published jointly by the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester and the Science and Industry Curators Group
Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group
University of Chicago Press
Springer Nature
Concepts
Museums, Science
Museum exhibits
Museums
Exhibits
Nuclear weapons; atomic weapons
Mathematics
People
Babbage, Charles
Jackson, Chevalier
Taylor, Frank Sherwood
Winder, Marianne
Time Periods
21st century
20th century
20th century, late
Modern
Early modern
Places
London (England)
Great Britain
Italy
Europe
United States
Institutions
Science Museum, London
Boston Museum of Science
Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine
Science Museum
Museo Nazionale della Scienza e della Tecnologia
Comments

Be the first to comment!

{{ comment.created_by.username }} on {{ comment.created_on | date:'medium' }}

Log in or register to comment