This bat robot is nearly 20 x life-size. The Robot Zoo, Horniman Museum and Gardens
The reaching-for-the-moon aim of any natural history exhibition is to get the perfect combination of knock-your-socks-off-fun and wow-I-didn’t-know-that-informative, for both children and adults, because (obviously) that attracts the biggest crowd.
Appealing to everyone is pretty much an unobtainable goal. A wise man, who I call Dad, once relayed the phrase to me ‘You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time’*. However some, albeit rare, exhibitions, through some manner of dark magic combined with an alignment of moons from all over the universe manage to come together in such a way that the exhibition is branded as ‘outstanding’ and ‘captivating’ by journalists and listed as ‘fun for all the family’ on websites and What to do with the kids this half-term guides. These exhibitions are termed blockbusters and are the envy of their less popular exhibition counterparts.
The Robot Zoo, you will probably have guessed by that prologue, is one such exhibition. I had nothing to do with its inception nor its creation, it’s a touring exhibition that has nested temporarily at the Horniman Museum until October. However, as Deputy Keeper of Natural History at said Museum, I feel a level of temporary ownership and pride in its success. Thus I shall sing and dance about it from now until October when it leaves us for another galaxy gallery far, far away. Continue reading
Save the date! The 2016 NatSCA Conference & AGM will be held 21 – 22 April 2016 in Derby, at the Silk Mill and Derby Museum & Art Gallery. A call for papers and more details will follow. We look forward to seeing you there!
Museum Manager, Great North Museum: Hancock. A great opportunity to manage the Hancock and its wonderful Natural Science collections. Applications close 12 November 2015.
Assistant Curator, National Museums Scotland. Two six-month posts in Natural Sciences, one working with the bird collections, the other with mammals and wet specimens. Applications close 16 November 2015.
Vertebrate Palaeontologist, Qatar Museum, Doha. A full-time, permanent position in sunny Qatar! Applications close 30 November 2015.
26 November 2015: A talk about the #naturedata pilot system at the Natural History Museum (NHM), London. Flett Lecture Theatre, 2.30pm.
1 – 2 December 2015: Geological Curator’s Group (GCG) AGM. The full programme is now available online, and there is still time to book.
Around the Web
The National Guard had to be called in to airlift a baby Pentaceratops excavated by the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science.
The Londonist went behind the scenes at the Grant Museum of Zoology, UCL.
Historic series of museum specimens have helped to solve the puzzle of the evolution of the sparrow’s bill.
A new species of bat has been discovered in the collections of the NHM, where it has resided in a jar since 1983. A relatively short shelf-life by museum standards!