Slightly belatedly, here’s a cross-posting of my last post on the Longitude Project blog, which takes a closer look at a significant astronomical relic:
A lesson quickly learned in the world of museum collections and displays – perhaps especially in history of science and technology collections – is that the appeal and aesthetics of an object only rarely match the interest of their story. It has been rightly stated that in many cases when an instrument has made its way into a museum collection, it is probably because it not much used for its ostensible function: it has been admired and collected rather than used, broken and thrown away. [Read more]
About Rebekah Higgitt
Rebekah Higgitt completed a PhD in the history of science at Imperial College London in 2004 and did postdoctoral research at the University of Edinburgh. She was Curator of History of Science and Technology at the National Maritime Museum and the Royal Observatory, Greenwich between 2008 and 2013 and is now a senior lecturer in the School of History at the University of Kent. Her research and publications have mainly focused on scientific institutions, scientific biography, history of science and the relationship between science, government and the public in 19th-century Britain. She became Principal Curator of Science at National Museums Scotland in August 2020 and is currently also Acting Keeper of Science & Technology.