Today’s excursion consisted of an outing to the science museums in the Cambridge area. I will share the highlights and not bore you with the details since I was collecting information to write a paper on later. The first stop was the Whipple Museum of the History of Science, aka the hipster antique shop of history. I have a secret/not so secret passion for astronomy and all things constellations that this museum really filled inside me. You enter the museum to a 1910 refracting telescope once used for stargazing, and planet hunting. On the far wall, was a case filled with astronomical paper quadrants from the 1600’s that looked like an ancient version of my UC Davis star wheel. Another case was filled with astrolabe’s that measured the altitude of objects in the night sky. One astrolabe was made into a clock that was a replica of a similar one in the 1300’s. The clock made the echoing striking sound for each second as well as showing the movement of the moon, its phases, and lunar eclipses. One of my favorites was the Grand Orrery that modeled the movement and mechanism of our solar system. Other notes of interest were seeing the array of microscopes and their evolution, letters written by Darwin, and a kit on X-ray crystallography that I took a picture of with Rosalind Franklin in mind.
The next museum was the Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences. This museum had a large selection of fossils and rocks that filled most of the building. A dinosaur skeleton greeted us at the door and I took several scared pictures with the beast to capture my inner Jurassic Park feels. There was a very large exhibit on Darwin’s life and studies. I had no idea how much of a geologist Darwin was before any other type of science. The largest fossil Darwin ever found was of a giant ground sloth, Megatherium, which I never knew even existed. (For those of you into the sloth obsession, I recommend looking into this creature.) Adam Sedgewick, a University of Cambridge Trinity College Professor, greatly influenced Darwin who would later earn the Geological Society of London’s highest honor, the Wollaston Medal for his ‘numerous contributions to geological science.’ Geology gave him the evidence for and against his theories of evolution. Nine months later, he published The Origin of Species and the rest is history. Darwin rocks.
And tea time still rocks. Caffeine overload for Carly.
Bye for now,