Below are details and images from recent past events at or involving the Whipple Museum.
Friday 15 May 18.00-20.00 2015
Once again, young researchers who have worked with the Whipple Museum and Library's fascinating collections returned to take over our galleries to chat and uncover the many intriguing stories behind the objects. A complementary glass of wine was served as visitors explored the Museum after hours.
To find out about other University of Cambridge Museums after-hours events click here.
Saturday 14th March and Sunday 15th March 2015
In this exciting activity visitors used all of their scientific thinking skills to solve a series of fiendish puzzles hidden within the depths of the Whipple Museum. They needed to decrypt messages, break into safes, and navigate treacherous booby traps to solve the mystery behind the Curator's code.
This activity followed on from the past Cambridge Science Festival events: "The Secret of the Sinister Scientist" and "The Mystery of the Horrible Hypothesis". As with these past events, guests were divided into small groups and given a personal guide to help them through the activity. Along the way, guests saw 3D videos, solved puzzles and won prizes. The activity did not stop at the end of the session; further puzzles were available to solve after the event!
Since the 1860s the New Museums Site in the centre of Cambridge has been one of the University's iconic locations, home to a fascinating variety of scientific work. At a time when the site is seeing many of its science departments leave for new facilities in west Cambridge, 2015 is an ideal time to look back on its extraordinary past. Two talks, by Professor Simon Schaffer and Dr Richard Staley, considered aspects of the site's long history, from the complexity of its origins to its heyday as a centre of cutting-edge research.
Monday 16 March 2015: 1:00pm - 2:00pm
The laboratory set up at the northern end of Free School Lane in the early 1870's eventually became one of the world's leading institutions of experimental physics. But this would have seemed most unlikely, and in some ways undesirable, to many of those involved in the foundation of the Cavendish. Its site, its staff and its aims were all highly controversial. This illustrated talk explored some of those fascinating debates: and linked them with much longer term questions about scientific sites, their audiences and their functions.
This talk was given by Professor Simon Schaffer.
Wednesday 18 March 2015: 1:00pm - 2:00pm
This talk explores the origins of CTR Wilson's cloud chamber in meteorological research in 1895, and the way from 1911 it was used to take photographs of particle tracks and later helped open up research on cosmic rays by providing evidence for the existence of new particles. Exploring the variety of uses it was given in the hands of Wilson and others such as PMS Blackett and Giuseppe Occhialini helped the exploration of subatomic nature, meteorology, and the social environment of the Cavendish laboratory from the 1890s through to the 1940s.
This talk was given by Dr Richard Staley.
Wednesday 18th February 2015: 16:30 - 20:30
Do you want to explore space but don't have a rocket? At the Whipple, visitors lookd at our galaxy from the comfort of planet Earth using torches to find out if they what it takes to be a space explorer.
From 20th October to 23rd November 2014, the University of Cambridge Museums presented a five week programme of exhibitions, events and activity with the Festival of Ideas and other partners and organistions across the City. Curating Cambridge was about celebrating everything that makes Cambridge what it is - the people, the places, the tales and the triumphs. The below events, forming part of Curating Cambridge took place at the Whipple Museum:
Monday November 3rd, 10th and 17th 2014 13:00-13:30
Curator-led tours of the Whipple Museum's collection, where visitors heard fascinating stories from the history of science in Cambridge. Spanning two-hundred years of city industry and university research, there's much more to Cambridge science than Isaac Newton and DNA.
Saturday 1st November 2014 10:30-16:30
A special Saturday opening where visitors explored the celestial and terrestrial through globes, astrolabes, telescopes and orreries, finding out about the ground breaking work of scientists through their instruments, tools, models and machines
There was also a talk entitled 'Tech, Tools, and Toys of Science before 1800'. Science didn't exist as we know it until the 1800s. Before then, 'scientific instruments' could be cutting-edge tech but also everyday tools or fashionable toys. CRASSH Fellow Dr. Alexi Baker relived the early modern world by exploring its technology!
Monday 27th October 2014 14:00-16:00
Friday 31st October 2014 11:00-13:00
The Whipple Museum and Museum of Zoology investigated Dr. Auzoux's spectacular papier-mâché anatomical models of humans, plants and animals.
20th August 2014 14:00-17:00
Big Wednesday, Cherry Hinton Hall, CB1 8DW
21st August 2014 14:00-16:00
Community Thursday, Thorp Way Recreation Ground, CB5 8UN
The Whipple went on the road with hands-on activities to participate in two of Cambridge City's Council's SummerDaze events organized as part of their Children and Young People's Participation Service.
Find out more about these and other SummerDaze events on the City Council's website.
18th August 2014 10:30-13:00
Visitors explored the magical world of optical illusions through amazing optical instruments at the Whipple Museum, making their own spyglasses and thaumatropes to take home.
11th August 2014 10:30-13:00
As the summer warms up, the mini-beasts get a wriggling! The Museum of Zoology visited the Whipple Museum to zoom in on the miniature worlds of insects, worms and other invertebrates featured in the collection.
Friday 16th May 2014 18:00 to 20:00
For Museums at Night 2014, visitors joined us to find out more about the Whipple Museum's collection by talking to young researchers who have worked with the Museum's fascinating array of historic scientific instruments and models.
The below events formed part of the Cambridge Science Festival.
Saturday 15th March 2014 10am to 4pm
Visitors were encouraged to discover nature's patterns in shells, corals, plants and more with hands-on activities and makes. They could get up close to skeletons inside and out from the Museum of Zoology and explore the Whipple Museum of the History of Science's amazing collection of historic scientific instruments and teaching models. There were drop in family activities and guided tours of the Whipple's collection.
Thursday 13th March 2014: 1:00pm - 2.00pm
We all know that matter is made of atoms, which are made of particles. But what are particles, according to modern physics? Hard and tiny lumps; or some sort of cloud made up, in some way, out of a field? Philosopher of physics Jeremy Butterfield talked about what modern physicists think particles are.
Wednesday 12 March 2014: 4:00pm - 5:00pm
What is the real geometry of space? Just measure it with a ruler and protractor, you might say. But what if a physical force distorts all your instruments? Worse, what if the answer depends on what your ruler is made of? Must there be a single true geometry? Poincaré, the French mathematical genius, thought about these things more than a century ago.
Einstein's creation of General Relativity changed how people think about these questions. But physics didn't stop with Einstein. Does Einstein's theory have any serious rival today? If so, does Poincaré's work on geometry help us to understand it? Attendees found out what the latest particle physics work on gravitation suggests about Poincaré, Einstein and geometry.
Tuesday 11 March 2014: 1:00pm - 2:00pm
Most humans see in three primary colours, but why? Could there be people who see in more than three? What can we say about what that would be like? Does a digital camera work like an eye? It has recently been proposed that European robins are able to "see" the Earth's magnetic field - what does this mean, and how does it work? The philosopher of physics Dr Adam Caulton will explore the contribution that physics and psychophysics has made in providing answers to these questions.
Wednesday 19th February 2014 4.30pm to 8.30pm
Visitors explored the natural world after dark at the Whipple Museum of the History of Science, discovering the many weird and wonderful models of plants, bugs, and animals in the museum's fascinating collection.