Dundee and Science: Then and Now 1912-2012

Dundee Central Library, The Wellgate

21 August - 29 September 2012

Open during normal Library hours - visit the Central Library website for details

BA 1912 exhibition posterThis special exhibition marks the centenary of a major scientific conference. In September 1912, the British Association for the Advancement of Science (now called the British Science Association) held a meeting in Dundee that attracted over 2,000 leading scientists from across Britain and the world. The exhibition has been created to tie into this year’s British Science Festival, which is taking place in Aberdeen on exactly the same dates as the Dundee meeting 100 years ago.

The 1912 meeting was the most successful that the British Association had ever held, with a record number of ticket sales and a donation of £10,000 made to the Association by local jute millionaire James Caird. The meeting was accompanied by various special excursions, social events and a major art exhibition at the Albert Institute (now the McManus).

The exhibition tells the story of the meeting and focus on some of the scientific topics discussed, showing how they relate to current research – for example work on fruit growing, pollution, numeracy and Antarctic discovery. The displays will also explore what Dundee was like in 1912, with dozens of rarely seen photographs on show.

The exhibition has been created by the University of Dundee Museum Services and the Tayside & Fife branch of the British Science Association, with contributions from the University of Dundee Archive Services, the Local History Centre, Dundee Central Library and the Tayside Medical History Museum.

Two special events accompany the exhibition – on Saturday 1 September local scientists will be in the exhibition space at Dundee Central Library throughout the day to talk about topics related to the displays. This is followed by an evening of short talks from experts, who will contrast the science of 1912 with today’s modern thinking on Wednesday 5 September, staring at 6:30pm in the D'Arcy Thompson Lecture Theatre, Tower Building, University of Dundee. Both events are free.

Programme for the evening of short talks, Wednesday 5 September

Session 1 - 6:30-7:30pm

Ken Kennedy - Sun Spots and Magnetic Disturbances

Rob Duck - Across the Sea: ‘American’ Fossils in the Highlands of Scotland

Brian Hudson - Teaching Mathematics Then and Now: What Has Changed?

Refreshments 7:30-8:00pm (free wine, fruit juice and snacks)

Session 2 - 8-9pm

Stephen Cragg - Engineering a Happier Future

David Bradley - From Wireless to the Web

Brian Kelly - A Century of Antarctic Discovery

You are welcome to come to either or both sessions. 

Skip to top ↑