Category Archives: Science Museum

Job Vacancy at MOSI

Details of a new job at the Manchester Museum of Science & Industry (closing date 31st May 2017):

“With world-class collections at the heart of our museums,our curatorial and research team are committed to delivering a sustainable,accessible and interactive museum offering by improving the management of our objects – allowing us to be accessible and open for all.

We are looking for an Assistant Curator to join the team here at The Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester, on a fixed term basis, to support curators with collections management, research and access.

As part of an important task force which underpins the care of our objects you will also work to enhance our collections information,promoting the use of our collections whilst assisting independent researchers and higher education groups with their enquiries – inspiring futures through STEM.

You will also work with a passion to grow the ‘science capital’ of visitors and colleagues by providing tours of galleries and stores,sharing authentic stories with varied and diverse audiences.

In this role you will be offered a competitive salary alongside a number of excellent benefits including generous holidays the option to join one of our rewarding pension schemes.

If you have an enthusiastic interest in working with science and technology collections we would love to hear from you!”

Interviews will be held on 14th June 2017.

To apply and to view a full job description, please view the vacancy information pack.


Great Response to ABTEM Autumn Seminar!

Over 70 people attended our autumn event held at the Dana Centre at the Science Museum in London.

Titled the ‘Death of the Machine’, the meeting debated some of the issues surrounding the continuing success of museums with collections of machinery and how they might be sustained in the future.

As well as thought-provoking presentations from Oliver Green, Ben Russell, Laura Musgrave and Daniel Martin, there was also a lively debate discussing some of the issues raised in the meeting!

Thanks are due to the Science Museum for their support and to Lee Hutchinson for his help in organising the event.

ABTEM are also supporting another seminar at the National Waterways Museum on the 7th December – details to be posted shortly!




The Death of the Machine? Book Now for the ABTEM Autumn Seminar

THE DEATH OF THE MACHINE?  What future for machines in museum collections?

Thursday 3rd November: Dana Centre, Science Museum London

Our Autumn Meeting will look at the current status of industrial machinery in UK museums and ask whether the long-term sustainability of machinery collections could or indeed should be ensured.

The UK’s remaining industrial collections are faced with significant threats to their survival, and these show little sign of abating. Current challenges include:

Ongoing funding cuts, the demise of industrial-collection-specialist curators and conservators, nationwide deindustrialisation and the rapid growth in automation, and education curriculums offering fewer opportunities to learn about industrial machinery.

Will the rise of what has been described as the Fourth Industrial Revolution, where emerging technologies begin to blur the lines between the physical and digital realms, cast a shadow over the machines of former industrial ages, and send industrial collections further into obscurity, or can museums embrace the technological revolution to revive and enhance interest in machines that revolutionized the 18th and 19th centuries?

What’s more, should they? With a decline in industrial collecting opportunities and a growing movement for community-driven museums, might there be a case for mothballing machinery collections and focussing on user participation – with increased access initiatives in the form of working-exhibit rides and demonstrations, and tours and activities behind the scenes?

The meeting will also include the ABTEM Annual General Meeting

Provisional Programme

10:00 – Registration, tea, coffee and biscuits

10:45 – Introduction – Jack Kirby (Head of Collections, Science Museum)

11:00 – Tim Bryan (Chair, ABTEM)

‘ABTEM’s Larger and Working Objects Project’

11:30 – Oliver Green, (freelance, former Head Curator, London Transport Museum)

‘Thoughts on the future for industrial & transport museums’

12:00 – Ben Russell (Curator of Mechanical Engineering, Science Museum)

‘The Raid on Raglan: the commemorative role of machines in museums’

12:45 – Lunch

1:45 – Laura Musgrave (former Engagement Officer, Coventry Transport Museum)

‘The redevelopment of Coventry Transport Museum – how people’s stories took centre stage’

2:00 – Daniel Martin (Curator, Museum of Making, Derby)

‘Taking a co-productive approach at the Museum of Making’

2:15 – Open discussion and debate with speakers

3:15 – Tea/coffee/biscuits

3:45 – ABTEM AGM

4:15 – End

To book, please visit:




The Science Museum Group has launched a new online journal that shares research from the four national museums in the group.

Articles within include an account of the significance of James Watt’s workshop (now displayed at the Science Museum, and a study of a 1960’s exhibition at South Kensington featuring the ‘Freedom 7’ Mercury spacecraft.

In his introduction, Ian Blatchford, Director of the Science Museum writes:”At a time when scholarship seems under threat, we are strengthening our commitment to a deeper understanding of our world class collections, conservation challenges and the most successful ways of engaging the wider public with the history of science and the technological and scientific challenges facing modern society”.

The first issue is available to browse at: