Inside the Collection

Category: Science

The Man who took that One Small Step-Neil Armstrong 1930-2012

August 28, 2012

Kerrie Dougherty
In July, just after the 43rd anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing, I wrote a blog post about the passing of first US woman in space, Dr. Sally Ride. Little did I imagine at the time that a month later I would find myself writing another blog to commemorate the passing of the commander of that mission, Neil Armstrong.

On the Path to Curiosity

August 27, 2012

Kerrie Dougherty
At 3.32pm on Monday August 6, over a hundred people in the Museum’s Coles Theatre erupted in cheers as word came through on the live feed that we were watching from the mission control room at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in California that NASA’s latest Mars explorer, the Curiosity rover, had landed safely.

Penicillin mould from Howard Florey’s laboratory

August 24, 2012

Debbie Rudder
These two historic petri dishes are on display at the Powerhouse Museum during Ultimo Science Festival as part of the Science Snaps activity. The sample of green penicillin-producing mould on the left grew for one day and the one on the right for four days.

Guns and public opinion

August 20, 2012

Damian McDonald
Firearms are a polarizing issue. The middle ground is a stripped no-man’s-land. The argument against prevalent gun ownership is of course more than ever legitimate. And honest gun ownership, confined to sportspeople, professional shooters and primary producers is provisional; and reasonable.

Farewell Sally Ride, first US woman in Space (1951-2012)

July 25, 2012

Kerrie Dougherty
This week we have said goodbye to Dr. Sally K. Ride, the first American woman to make a spaceflight and a passionate promoter of science and engineering education for girls, who passed away on July 23 after a seventeen month battle with pancreatic cancer.

Midwifery training simulator

July 23, 2012

Damian McDonald
Many objects in the Powerhouse Museum’s health and medicine collection have a visceral, unique and incidental beauty to them. The mortuary table, even the obstetric phantom. Even at a glance the viewer can determine that the obstetric phantom, or birthing simulator relates to a certain area of the female anatomy.

Photographing the 1874 Transit of Venus

June 6, 2012

Geoff Barker
The Transit of Venus on 6 June 2012 is the latest occurrence of an event that has shaped the scientific history of Australia. Captain Cook’s expedition to observe the 1769 transit in Tahiti led to the European settlement of Australia.

Robug IV The rise of the machines?

May 2, 2012

Damian McDonald
The Powerhouse Museum has an impressive and growing collection of robots. From a nineteenth century automaton to the Articulated Head currently featured in the Galleria section of the Museum, the study and collection of robots is something the Museum’s science curators take seriously, but also have an enormous amount of fun with; I mean, they’re robots!

An Australian relic from Leichhardt’s exploration of the interior

April 9, 2012

Geoff Barker
It may be hard to imagine now, but once this cup must have been one of the most important things in the life of James Snowden Calvert. Around 165 years ago this cup travelled with Calvert and Leichhardt on the first overland trip from Brisbane on the east coast of Australia to Port Essendon on the west coast.

World Meteorological Day – early meteorology in Australia

March 23, 2012

Geoff Barker
Lieutenant William Dawes, who came out to Australia with the First Fleet, made the first recorded meteorological observations in Australia but the next set were probably made from Parramatta Observatory between October 1822 and March 1824.  In 1821 Governor Brisbane had arrived in New South Wales and set up the colony's first observatory in the grounds of Government House at Parramatta.

A fun map for Mercator’s 500th birthday

March 5, 2012

Debbie Rudder
This map, drawn according to Mercator’s principle in 1795, is part of a board game. Spin a number, embark on a virtual journey heading south-east from the Azores, experience success and setbacks, learn some geography, and perhaps win by being first to arrive in London, the city where Bowles Geographical Game of the World was created.