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Detail of an armillary sphere

'Case Studies' bring the work of the Department of History and Philsophy of Science into the Museum. These are single display case exhibits produced by students and staff that provide an opportunity to present current research or an area of personal interest.

Usually, historians and philosophers communicate their work through papers and talks. The Case Studies provide a different, more visual, medium for sharing ideas, and visitors have the opportunity to learn about the work taking place within the Department. A wide variety of topics are presented, including imagery of the moon dating from the 17th to 19th centuries, a consideration of human understanding, and a study of the problems and successes in using instruments to interpret texts - and vice versa. The Case Studies series has inspired others to utilise the collection further and more case studies are in the advanced planning stages.

Case Studies that are currently on display in the Main Gallery:

  • Embryos in Wax by Professor Nick Hopwood
  • Darwin's telescope by Dr Boris Jardine

Past Case Studies

Past case studies include the work of the instrument maker Elias Allen, the use of the blowpipe and the mapping of Australia during the 19th century.

  • Kitchen Chemistry by Dr Salim Al-Gailani
  • Science and Rascism in the Nineteenth Century by Dr James Poskett
  • Instruments of Translation by Cambridge Latin Therapy Group
  • Looking at the Moon by Janet Vertesi
  • Science for the Traveller by Dr Brian Dolan
  • Instruments of Attraction by Dr Patricia Fara
  • Representations of Newton by Dr Patricia Fara
  • Wave Motion in the 19th Century by Dr Chris Haley
  • A Century of Use by Anna Märker
  • Reworking Scientific Practice by Dr Klaus Staubermann

Opening Times

Please note:

From 21st October, the Museum will be open on Wednesdays and Friday afternoons, for pre-booked visits only.

Tickets are free but must be booked through the University of Cambridge Museums' ticketing system.

Closed bank holidays

Free Entry