9 episodes

Join Ellie and her guests as they discuss, explore, and challenge stories surrounding artefacts, objects and images in London science museums.

Behind the Glass Cabinet Ellie Armstrong

    • Society & Culture

Join Ellie and her guests as they discuss, explore, and challenge stories surrounding artefacts, objects and images in London science museums.

    'Curious Creatures' with Alice Procter

    'Curious Creatures' with Alice Procter

    In this episode Alice Procter joins Ellie to talk about Joseph Banks' Platypus on display at the British Musuem's Enlightenment Gallery. We discuss Cook's voyages and collections and their reception on his return to London. We also explore uncritical reconstructions of Enlightenment galleries at the British Museum and elsewhere; and how Europeans understood and described Australia in the 1700-1900 period.
    Alice Procter is an art historian and museum activist. She runs Uncomfortable Art Tours, exploring the representation of colonial collections and legacies of imperialism in national museums.

    • 34 min
    'Bragg X-ray spectrometer, England, 1910-1926' with Claire Murray

    'Bragg X-ray spectrometer, England, 1910-1926' with Claire Murray

    In this episode Claire Murray explores the other users and developers of instruments like the 'Bragg X-ray spectrometer, England, 1910-1926', including scientists such as Kathleen Lonsdale. We discuss the pioneering work of these scientists in the field, Lonsdale career and the way she is celebrated today, and how important her data still is in the field today.
    Claire is an Irish scientist working at Diamond Light Source, the UK's national synchrotron. She was fascinated by atoms and molecules as a teenager and has managed to make looking at them her career! She is currently investigating molecules of calcium carbonate that were made by 1,000 secondary school students as part of Project M. Claire believes that science should be accessible and enjoyable for all, at whatever level they choose to do explore it. 

    • 34 min
    'Kissing Doesn't Kill. Greed and Indifference Do.' with Dan Vo

    'Kissing Doesn't Kill. Greed and Indifference Do.' with Dan Vo

    In this episode Dan Vo explores the communities represented in the 'Kissing Doesn't Kill. Greed and Indifference Do.' poster displayed in the Victoria and Albert Museum. We discuss the prominance of interracial relationships on the poster, political straplines, and contemporary reflections and proactive measures on HIV/AIDS.

    Dan is a Victoria and Albert ambassador and founded the permanent volunteer-led LGBTQ Tour at the museum in 2015. He was the recipient of the inaugural Museums Association award ‘Museums Change Lives Radical Changemaker 2018’.

    • 39 min
    'Bowl from Hiroshima, Japan' with Lyman Gamberton

    'Bowl from Hiroshima, Japan' with Lyman Gamberton

    In this episode Lyman Gamberton explores the cultural connotations and political construction of the Science Museum's display of 'Bowl from Hiroshima, Japan'. We discuss which identites are represented and which are hidden through object selection and positioning, and consider and their framing of the event in relation to other events showcased in the Making the Modern World Gallery.
    Lyman Gamberton is a PhD candidate in Social Anthropology at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London. His area of specialisation is the body and material culture in Japanese social contexts, with a particular focus on gender, disability, pathology, and performance. His MA dissertation was an historical-ethnographic study of the role gender played in the self-perceptions of Nagasaki's atomic bomb survivors, 1945-1990. He continues to work in the intersection of Gender, Disability, and Nuclear Studies

    • 55 min
    'Titanium Dioxide Suncreams' with Shaz Hussain

    'Titanium Dioxide Suncreams' with Shaz Hussain

    In this episode Shaz Hussain explores the Science Museum's display of suncreams and who the items are imagined to be for in the gallery space. Drawing on the Challenge of Materials Gallery's collection of 'everyday' items, we discuss who is imagined as the visitor considering the framing of suncream in relation to whiteness. We discuss the importance of suncream for all and critically dream about ways this could be included in the display.

    Shaz is an Assistant Curator at the Science Museum and a member of Museum Detox, a network of people of colour working in museums. She is also the creator of the White Privilege Clinic, a creative intervention that challenges people to rethink systemic and institutional racism in the arts sector. Shaz is interested in how we can better represent people of colour in museums both in the collections and the workforce.

    • 44 min
    'The Sea Maidens' with Sacha Coward

    'The Sea Maidens' with Sacha Coward

    In this episode Sacha Coward explores The Sea Maidens at the Queens House in Greenwich. We discuss love, sexual and gender identities, and life bleeding through into the subjects of paintings. We take this painting as a starting point to explore the significance of mermaids more generally across time and geography.

    Sacha is a freelance museum worker, he specialises in projects that involve queer history, escape rooms and mermaids... although rarely at the same time! He rambles a lot on twitter under @sacha_coward and spends a lot of time on trains.

    • 48 min

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