History of Science Collections
Formerly the Industrial History Collection, the History of Science Collection comprises a diverse range of artefacts.
Largely the outcome of changing science and technology and consequent industrial production, many of these objects encompass the following range of subjects: weaponry (as well as militaria, or military history more generally); dentistry (larger instruments only); tools of hand trades (such as coopers); photography-related equipment; historic costumes; some examples of music technology; local theatrical lighting; and relics.
Bragg About Adelaide Exhibition, 2005
This was a temporary exhibition held at the South Australian Museum which drew on a Royal Institution of Great Britain display to celebrate the history of X-ray Crystallography. The X-ray Crystallograhy was pioneered by William Henry Bragg and William Lawrence Bragg, father and son physicists, who shared the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1915. Adelaide-born and educated William Lawrence was only 25 at this time, and went on to a long and distinguished career. This included being the director of the Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge, where the discovery of the structure of DNA was made by James Watson and Francis Crick in 1953, utilising X-ray Crystallography.
Both Braggs were closely associated with the Royal Institution (RI), and worked creatively with the aim of developing a more scientifically literate public. The RI continues to be a world leader, and through the SA Government's Thinkers in Residence project; its latest Director has been active in Adelaide, literally in the footsteps of the Braggs.
As part of the display, tours were run to the University of Adelaide's city campus – with its historic links to the Braggs – to experience state of the art computer imaging of X-ray Crystallography, utilising one of South Australia's leading visualisation facilities.