Published online by Cambridge University Press: 01 March 1997
Whereas the academic discipline of the history of science has made enormous strides in half a century, ironically, recognition from without has often been disappointing. Private success has not been matched by public status. The work of the Science Museum in London as one of the few widely accessible windows into the discipline is therefore worth remarking upon here, and more detailed investigations are even now under way. The foundation of the British Society for the History of Science at the Museum, in 1947, symbolized a role that the Museum had already played for decades and plays to this day: the pre-eminent public space of the history of science. This distinctive role has of course been shared by other object-based museums attracting large numbers of visitors in places such as Manchester, Greenwich and Edinburgh as well as in Munich and Washington.
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