The Science Museum owes its origins to Prince Albert, the husband of Queen Victoria. Founded in 1857, it remains one of London’s most loved family-friendly museums, illuminating the weird and wonderful world of scientific discovery. Around 10 minutes from The Milestone Hotel & Residences, it’s a charming stroll east along Kensington Gardens and then south down Exhibition Road. Every season at the Science Museum is host to an array of extraordinary exhibitions covering art, design and scientific innovation. Here’s our pick of what to see over the next few months.
Royal Photographic Society: Science Photographer of the Year
Until 5th January 2020
This year, the inaugural Science Photographer of the Year exhibition has brought the breath-taking frontier of scientific discovery to the darkroom. Images ranging from the astrological to the microscopic grace the Science Museum’s atmospheric second level, the handpicked shortlist of the Royal Photographic Society competition’s thousands-strong entrant pool.
These images offer vignettes of all aspects of modern science. Some, such as the winning shot of the young photographers’ competition—a quirky canine portrait—focus on the everyday, explored from new perspectives. Others delve into mythical realms: psychedelic soap bubble structures, seemingly extra-terrestrial microscopic beetles or even far-flung celestial nebulae. Just as fascinating as the compositions are the stories behind them, published alongside.
The Art of Innovation: From Enlightenment to Dark Matter
Until 24th January 2020
Art and science today might seem worlds apart, but the two have been intertwined since the dawn of the modern era. The Art of Innovation refocuses the lens on scientific discovery, illustrating how the arts have been inspired by successive generations of breakthroughs.
Over the exhibition’s four sections, 20 tales demonstrate the complicated 250-year dance between the two fields. To colour each story, loaned artworks—which include Turners, Constables, Hockneys and Lowrys—sit alongside scientific, or science-enabled, objects. Things often taken for granted in masterpieces, for example specific clocks or unique dyes, become the protagonist of each composition here in a captivating realignment of perspective.
Top Secret: From Ciphers to Cyber Security
Until 23rd February 2020
Celebrating the centennial of the UK’s Intelligence division, Top Secret deploys a combination of interactive installation, immersive interview and impressive artefact to shed light on the century-old history of divisive data-collection. Some of the over-100 objects on display are gracing the public eye for the first time. Meanwhile, the exhibition’s interactive puzzles make it an accessible induction for children into the beguiling, shadowy field.
The exhibition’s highlight is its Second World War section, profiling the incomparable contributions British codebreakers at Bletchley Park played in securing Allied victory.
Driverless: Who is in Control?
Until 6th September 2020
Driverless technology is very much in the spotlight when it comes to automation. With self-driving vehicles already being tested on public streets, the so-called automotive revolution is closer than many would like to believe—a fact that is inherently controversial.
The Science Museum’s Driverless looks at this technology that threatens to upend modern infrastructure, exploring just how close we are to fully driverless marine, land and aeronautical vehicles. Alongside contemporary models, the exhibition outlines in digestible detail what driverless could mean for our future. Set across the Science Museum’s ground floor, it’s an absorbing introduction to a much-misunderstood technology.
Red Carnation Hotels’ The Milestone Hotel & Residences is within walking distance of Kensington’s Museum Quarter.