EDITORIAL FEATURE

10 Of The World's Most Awe-Inspiring Science Museums

Mountains, motorbikes, and medicines: the treasures of our world preserved in science museums

In addition to teaching visitors about various scientific fields, many science museums have mission statements tied to their local culture and geology. So, as well as teaching us about our shared world, they can also tell us a lot about a particular place. From the local, to the global, to the extraterrestrial, here are a few highlights from 10 science museums around the world.

1. Hong Kong Museum of Medical Sciences

The Hong Kong Museum of Medical Sciences (HKMMS) is a community-owned museum interested in preserving Hong Kong’s unique medical history.

Main Building (From the collection of Hong Kong Museum of Medical Sciences)

One exhibit that sends shivers down most guests’ spines is HKMMS’s collection of historic acupuncture needles. Before the invention of stainless steel, many acupuncturists used stones or animal bones to make their medicinal tools.

Acupuncture Needles (From the collection of the Hong Kong Museum of Medical Sciences)

2. MUSE – The Science Museum of Trento

Inspired by the surrounding Italian Alps, MUSE’s top attraction is a 32-foot-long “Ice Tunnel” in which guests experience the sights and sounds of the famous mountain range.

MUSE (From the collection of MUSE – The Science Museum)

As viewers fly over the Alps in this multimedia exhibit, they witness both the tranquility of Alpine forests and the destruction of awesome avalanches.

The Ice Tunnel (2013) (From the collection of MUSE – The Science Museum)

4. Adler Planetarium, Chicago

Chicago’s Adler Planetarium is the oldest planetarium in the USA and one of the best places to learn about astronomy.

Sky Theater with Zeiss projector and seated audience (From the collection of the Adler Planetarium)
Adler Planetarium 2017 (From the collection of the Adler Planetarium)

Today, the Adler Planetarium boasts three domed theaters, an observatory, and numerous hands-on exhibits. Adler’s main attraction is the Grainger Sky Theater, which has 20 HD projectors.

5. Gwacheon National Science Museum

Many of the exhibits in South Korea’s Gwacheon National Science Museum show how past Korean innovations could be used to create a more sustainable future. For example, the museum’s Korean Traditional House highlights how ancient architects incorporated nature seamlessly into their design, teaching us valuable lessons for today. Ancient Koreans put their main floor on the ground level to keep their homes at a comfortable temperature all year-round. Amazingly, the lumber pieces used in this structure were so intricately arranged that builders didn’t need to use nails.

Gwacheon National Science Museum
Korean Traditional House (From the collection of Gwacheon National Science Museum)

6. American Museum of Natural History, NYC

Manhattan’s American Museum of Natural History is dedicated to presenting an overview of our world’s natural history. In the museum’s celebrated dinosaur wing, one fossil collection takes center stage: the 122-foot long Titanosaur.

American Museum of Natural History

Discovered on a farm in Argentina, this Titanosaur is considered the largest mammal to have ever have walked the earth.

Titanosaur overview, Photo: AMNH/D. Finnin (From the collection of American Museum of Natural History)

7. Deutsches Museum

As Europe’s largest technology museum, Munich’s Deutsches Museum is at the forefront of researching new modes of communication, transportation, and energy production. To highlight the growing importance of electric vehicles, the Deutsches Museum has a special 2012 Tesla on display.

Deutsches Museum

Amazingly, Tesla roadster Rafael de Mestre drove this vehicle all around the globe in just 127 days.

Tesla Roadster Tesla Motors Inc. (From the collection of Deutsches Museum)

8. National Air and Space Museum, Washington, DC - The Discovery’s Landing Pad

The collection of planes and spaceships at Washington, DC’s National Air and Space Museum shows the evolution of aviation from the Wright Brothers all the way through to the Space Age.

Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum

A major attraction here is the Space Shuttle Discovery, which made a total of 39 space trips during its years of operation.

Space Shuttle Discovery (From the collection of Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum)

Used between 1984 and 2011, the Discovery still holds the title for the longest-serving American orbiter.

9. Denver Museum of Nature & Science

The main goal of the Denver Museum of Nature & Science has always been to preserve the unique flora and fauna in the Rocky Mountain region. For this reason, the museum houses many exceptional wilderness scenes.

Denver Museum of Nature & Science

One of the best-known scenes here is the Colorado Grizzly Bear Diorama. Many wildlife experts believe the female bear in this diorama to be the last that ever roamed the Colorado wilderness.

Colorado Grizzly Bear Diorama (From the collection of Denver Museum of Nature & Science)

10. Science Museum, London

A major focus of London’s Science Museum is preserving the revolutionary inventions from the UK’s Industrial Age. One Industrial Era masterpiece in the Science Museum is the famous Puffing Billy, which holds the title for the world’s earliest steam railway locomotive.

Science Museum, London

Created in 1814, the Puffing Billy transported coal in northern England for an impressive 50 years.

All of the museum exhibits listed here highlight the extremes of both the natural and technological worlds. A visit to any of these museums will open your mind to the limitless possibilities of scientific inquiry.

Words by Eric Esposito
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