Inside the Collection

Category: Science

You Better Watch Out – NSW Police Random Breath Testing

December 31, 2012

Damian McDonald
This time of year is one of consumable abundance in Australia. We are encouraged to indulge in large quantities of high calorie, highly processed sugar-rich foods; and to consume alcohol. Although a legal and celebrated intoxicant, alcohol is a strong mood altering drug, and consumption levels can be quite difficult to gauge.

Explosion… A Sony Mavica guide to digital migration

December 19, 2012

Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences
This camera, a Sony Mavica FD-91 is a remarkable display object, as testified by more than a decade on display in our Cyberworlds gallery. Not only was it purchased and purposefully dismantled (or exploded) to display the mechanism and electronic engineering of the camera, but it stands as a crossover piece between things that are built from materials (plastics, metals, electronics) and things that are birthed from objects like it; things that are ‘born digital.’ It was collected and remains an important teaching tool for a range of age groups.

World AIDS Day 1st December 2012- we have come a long way

December 1, 2012

Anni Turnbull
The theme for this year's WORLD AIDS Day is 'getting to Zero, which mean zero new HIV infections. Zero discrimination . Zero AIDS related Deaths'. Australia has come a long way since the first World AIDS Day in 1988 and the first AIDS case came to its shores in 1982.

History Week 2012 Threads – Dressed for Space

September 15, 2012

Kerrie Dougherty
Previously, my colleague Margaret Simpson wrote about clothing worn during Douglas Mawson’s 1911-1914 expedition in the extreme environment of Antarctica. Space is also an extreme environment that requires its explorers to wear a specialised garment for survival: the spacesuit.

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.

Einstein’s Theory of Relativity Proven in Australia, 1922

August 22, 2012

Geoff Barker
In late August 1922 a group of astronomers, naval men, and Aboriginal stockmen began the arduous task of unloading their complicated scientific equipment and stores from boats onto a deserted beach on the coast of Western Australia.

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.

Olympic Superbike

August 3, 2012

Margaret Simpson
With the 2012 London Olympics currently enthralling the world, it’s timely to have a look at the Powerhouse Museum’s Olympic bike. It was designed and made in Australia and similar ones were used in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

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 skull saw , the mortuary table, even the speculums.  And some objects engender an inspired beauty in both form and function, such as the obstetric phantom.