Pioneers of Science
- Admission free
1st December 2011 − 31st December 2013
Join us in an inspiring exhibition looking at the innovative figures who have helped shape the modern world. From portraits of John Logie Baird and Alexander Fleming to Dolly the sheep’s death mask, this unusual display charts scientific legacies and their enduring influence.
Scotland has an impressive tradition of producing pioneers of science, medicine and technology; it also has a well-deserved reputation as a centre for scientific innovation. Pioneers of Science showcases people whose theories, experiments, discoveries and inventions have helped shape the modern world and whose legacy continues to influence and inspire scientific and technological developments in the twenty-first century.
The importance of science
The term ‘scientist’ was first commonly used in the late nineteenth century to describe those who investigated the natural world through experiments performed according to scientific methods. In 1883, the mathematician and physicist, Sir William Thomson, Baron Kelvin, underlined the importance of science for everyday life: ‘the life and soul of science is its practical application’. Today scientific research is mainly carried out by integrated research groups. However, the emphasis on the individual remains, and discoveries are generally linked with the people who often give their names to objects, ideas and processes.
Science and art
Artists have consistently played an important role in visualising science and scientists, bringing important discoveries and debates to the attention of society. Within contemporary artistic practice, the creative process has now developed beyond traditional norms of representation, with artists exploring the complex relationships and techniques within the scientific disciplines.