Troubling Standards: The Social History of Measuring in South Asia
Hosted by the History of Science Museum and the Birmingham Museums Trust, this community participatory research workshop invites community members to engage with our collections used for measuring.
An important group of our objects connect to the daily lives of South Asian people in the 1800s and early 1900s, when British colonial powers worked to standardise how people measured. We'll explore together what happens when people are forced to abandon their traditional methods, and what it means to change — or not change — how we measure.
Funded by a generous donation from Alwaleed Philanthropies, the award-winning Multaka-Oxford team brings the rich, diverse knowledge of people settling in Oxford – many through forced migration – to the History of Science Museum and Pitt Rivers Museums.
November 2021 - present; March 2018 - September 2019
Maths in the Museum is a project that aims to share the excitement of mathematics in everyday life with children and young people through the use of the Museum’s extraordinary collection of mathematical instruments which reach back through 1,000 years of history.
At the front of the History of Science Museum and the Sheldonian Theatre on Broad Street sit 17 stone heads depicting bearded men, generally known as the Emperors' Heads. A team of scientists from the School of Geography and the Environment have been learning about the history of the heads – exploring the Bodleian Libraries' archival records, hunting for missing heads from the past, and testing the old stone to inform conservation efforts. But what does the future hold for these Oxford icons?
Curate is a public engagement project that aims to establish a platform for public consultation and co-curation of the Museum’s collection of scientific instruments from the Islamic world. It builds on the work of the Museum’s team of Young Producers.
Board Games and Medieval Medicine is a public engagement project linked to an academic research project on the literary history of medicine funded by the Wellcome Trust. The project has created a series of board games for engaging with the early history of medicine which have been piloted with schools and family audiences at the Museum alongside activities linked to the Museum’s collection of scientific instruments from the Islamic World.
Curious Curators was a joint project between the four Oxford University museums (History of Science, Ashmolean, Natural History and Pitt Rivers). It was led by the primary education officers from each Museum.
The Animate It project resulted in a series of short films that bring to life a selection of working scientific instruments from the Museum’s collection. All are on permanent display, but for conservation reasons would not normally be handled or demonstrated in public. The films include demonstration, explanation, and some historical background.
Story Makers was a Fusion Arts project led by Arts Psychotherapist Helen Edwards, funded by Children in Need. The project was designed to scaffold the development of speech and language, working with 7- to 11 -year-old children in primary schools in Oxford and a group of older adults ‘Echoes’ run by Artscape. This year, the project was run in partnership with the History of Science Museum.
A project involving students of engineering in events for schools and the general public that focused on engineering, design and innovation. This project was funded by the Royal Academy of Engineering under its Ingenious Programme for public engagement, and provided training and experience in public engagement for engineering students.
With the help of funding from the D’Oyly Carte Charitable Trust, children from Years 5 and 6 used visits to the Museum to inspire writing to make objects from the collection 'come alive' using storytelling techniques.
Want to find out more about learning at the Museum, including our sessions for primary and secondary schools?