I am not a massive fan of the science museum (I almost had to drag myself past the V&A entrance today), principally because I’ve been going to the science museum pretty much all my life and well, it doesn’t change much, although to quote Girl Lacer, history doesn’t exactly change. So I went round there today, armed with my camera, challenging myself to look at the small details and ended up hunting for circles, so that was fun (I am so in love with the picture on the bottom left). There was something new though (to be honest, I’m being a bit unfair on the science museum, there normally is something new), the very subtly sponsored (and I’m not being ironic) Google Web Lab, now that was definitely fun.
You could make music with people both in the lab and visiting the lab online (the whole place sounded amazing and you can actually get a chance to play along, using the instruments in the museum on this website, do it, it’s rather relaxing), get a robot to draw your picture in sand, spy live and in 360° on a 24 hour bakery in the US and find out where servers were (which you can also do this on the website).
We then finished off with the old favourite Launch Pad, actually not as crowded as it could be on a school holiday, but still pretty crowded.
There were a couple of negatives though, the Science Museum are employing a new (to us anyway) tactic of getting people to file past what looked suspiciously like a cash register on entry to the free museum, with big signs up saying suggested donation £5. Now I agree, the Science Museum, like all public institutions are probably struggling a bit financially right now but not everyone who goes to the museum can easily donate that sort of money and the South Kensington museums are pretty much the only place you can go in London that’s free anymore. So to file past the museum employee without giving money is pretty guilt inducing and not a great feeling to start your visit. Maybe if they’d just said ‘donations’ without giving a suggested amount, that would have been better, giving a suggested amount makes anyone who gives less feel mean and possibly actually discourages those who could give more from giving more.
The other negative was the price of the food, we stopped off for a snack mid morning, (four drinks, four snacks), £15! Later on we had lunch, with by now me and Mr. Lacer feeling so cautious about the food prices, both of us just having a packet of crisps each, whilst the kids each had a sandwich, a packet of crisps and a drink, another £15! We by now weren’t feeling quite so guilty about not donating at the front entrance. We really should have bought a packed lunch with us. So be warned if you venture there.