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The wind turbine blade tip from Siemens is among the highlights of a new exhibition opening today, 27 June at the Science Museum in London.
The exhibition, Climate Changing Stories, has a different story to tell - from nineteenth century inventions that paved the way for today’s new technologies – to artists’ reflections on the present and future of a climate changing world. Of all the futuristic images shown on the cigarette cards, only the rotor powered generator remains a work of fiction – serving as a reminder that seemingly far-fetched imaginings can become a reality.
Combining science and imagination, artwork and artefact, the exhibition will bring together different periods and perspectives to show the range of ingenious ways humans have and will respond to the changing world around them.
The exhibition includes:
The sheer size of modern day wind turbines is staggering. The public can fully appreciate the enormity of these devices by visiting the 14 metre long wind turbine tip also going on display. Despite its impressive size this tip belonged to a turbine blade that was an astonishing 40 m long. Taking advantage of the three-fold increase in blade length over the past 20 years, older, smaller wind turbines are being replaced with larger and fewer models – raising questions about how to use retired turbines sustainably.
Challenging the common perception of electric cars as a modern invention, the first self-propelled vehicle for hire, the Bersey taxi, actually appeared on the city’s streets in 1897. Now, electric transport is firmly back on the agenda with charging points in London set to double in the next six months and a futuristic ‘driverless electric taxi’ in the offing. Could the car of our great-great-great-grandparents present a solution for greener cities today?
Artist collective Troika’s Plant Fiction tells the stories of five fictional plants that have been genetically modified to improve the world around us – including a creeper that sprawls across the city sensing airborne viruses and a weed that reclaims gold from disused computer circuits as it grows over landfills. Drawing inspiration from current biotechnology research, Troika play with myth and fiction to create a radical rethinking of our relationship with nature.
A timeline display of light bulbs from 1890 marks the completion of the phasing out of the incandescent light bulb across the European Union at the end of 2012. Our light bulbs may be changing, but there’s a perceptible grumble about the speed and brightness of the new low-carbon bulbs. Rewind to the 1880s and there was a similar reluctance to swap the friendly flicker of the gas lamp for the incandescent electric bulb...
Artists Nina Pope and Karen Guthrie have created a specially commissioned edit of their new documentary “Jaywick Escapes” for Climate Changing Stories. The short film and accompanying installation explores Jaywick’s evolving history. Once famous as a holiday destination it is now one of the most deprived towns in the UK, facing flood warnings due to rising sea levels amidst painful local memories of the 1953 flood disaster.
Other highlights include designer Thomas Thwaites’ thought-provoking Toaster Project, one of the bright orange Sno-Cat vehicles used by Sir Vivian Fuchs in the perilous 1955–58 crossing of Antarctica, the march of steel pylons across Britain’s countryside, a camera journey into the atmosphere, and the first recorded look at London’s climate.
Dr. Susan Mossman, Project Leader, said: ‘Climate Changing Stories offers a fresh perspective on our changing climate through the history of invention - showcasing the amazing human capacity to create and adapt in the face of change. The Science Museum collection shows the great feats of science and engineering throughout the ages, alongside possible visions of the future.’
Mike Rolls, Director, Business Development, Sustainability & Government Affairs for Siemens Energy sector, said: “The evolution of wind turbine technology is a great example of technological endeavour and human ingenuity. Development continues. Siemens has just launched the world’s largest ever blade at 75 metres long, helping to bring down the future cost of electricity from wind”
Climate Changing Stories is a free trail throughout the museum that forms part of the Science Museum’s three-year Climate Changing programme – a series of thought-provoking events that accompany the Atmosphere ...exploring climate science gallery*. The free display opens on 27 June and will run for a year until June 2013.
For more information visit www.sciencemuseum.org.uk
On 27 June the Science Museum will also open an exhibition about the Climate Science Outreach Project, a three year project designed to engage 13 – 14 year olds using science communication to explore climate issues. The three day exhibition will feature the work of 48 UK schools who were invited to submit a piece of investigative journalism about climate change in their area, uncovering issues from river pollution to community opposition to wind farms.
The touring Outreach exhibition first opens at the National Railway Museum, York on 13th June, before touring to @Bristol between the 20th and 24th June and the Science Museum between the 27th and 30th June where it will be on show on the second floor outside the temporary exhibition space. The exhibition will finally travel to the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry between the 4th and 9th July.
*The Atmosphere gallery and the Climate Changing programme have been made possible by support from Principal Sponsors Shell and Siemens, Major Sponsor Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Major Funder the Garfield Weston Foundation, and with additional support from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Patrons of the Science Museum and members of the Founders Circle: Climate Changing programme: Accenture, Bayer and Barclays.
For 100 years the Science Museum has been world-renowned for its historic collections, remarkable galleries and inspirational exhibitions. The Science Museum’s collections form an enduring record of scientific, technological and medical change from the past few centuries. Aiming to be the best place in the world for people to enjoy science, the Science Museum makes sense of the science that shapes our lives, sparking curiosity, releasing creativity and changing the future by engaging people of all generations and backgrounds in science, engineering, medicine, technology, design and enterprise. In 2008/09 the Science Museum was proud to have been awarded the Gold Award for Visitor Attraction of the Year by Visit London and a Silver Award for Large Visitor Attraction of the Year by Enjoy England.
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Siemens was established in the United Kingdom 169 years ago and now employs 12,972 people in the UK. Last year’s revenues were £4.4 billion*. As a leading global engineering and technology services company, Siemens provides innovative solutions to help tackle the world’s major challenges, across the key sectors of energy, industry, infrastructure & cities and healthcare. Siemens has offices and factories throughout the UK, with its headquarters in Frimley, Surrey. The company’s global headquarters is in Munich, Germany. For more information, visit www.siemens.co.uk
* Data includes intercompany revenue. Data may not be comparable with revenue reported in annual or interim reports.
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