Image of the HMS Beagle

Darwin’s dockdown reading list

When Charles Darwin set sail on the HMS Beagle in 1831, he had access to a library of over 400 books on the ship. For Darwin Day, 12th February, we explored some of what Darwin read to help him pass the time…… Continue reading →

Rare Jurassic mammal fossil from Scotland is new species

By Elsa Panciroli, Research Fellow This week my colleagues and I announced the discovery of a new species of mammal from the time of dinosaurs. It is one of two rare skeletons we’re studying from the Isle of Skye in Scotland. These mouse-like animals lived in the Middle Jurassic (166 million years ago), and tell… Continue reading →

Why future homes could be made of living fungus

This article is taken from European research magazine Horizon as part of our partnership to share natural environment science stories with readers of More than a Dodo. In the summer of 2014 a strange building began to take shape just outside MoMA PS1, a contemporary art centre in New York City. It looked like someone had started building an… Continue reading →

Celebrate science in a cemetery

By Nina Morgan, Gravestone Geology Cemeteries not only provide a peaceful place to commemorate the dead, and observe and enjoy nature; they are also wonderful repositories for the study of local history and art. But that’s not all. Cemeteries also offer an easy introduction to science that anyone can enjoy. A visit to a cemetery presents a… Continue reading →

Crunchy on the outside

By Susie Glover, HOPE Learning Officer We have an ambitious project underway at the Museum, to preserve a unique and scientifically important collection of over one million British insects. It’s called HOPE for the Future, after the Hope Entomological Collections, and we are keen to shout about how these specimens can help us understand biodiversity,… Continue reading →

Wax models of magnified mites mounted on a black board

Of parasites, dinosaurs, and other model animals

Elaine Charwat has been on a journey into the attic storerooms behind the scenes of the Museum to discover 19th-century wax models of parasites. A strange occupation you might think, but it’s all part of her doctoral research programme with the Arts and Humanities Research Council to learn about the use of models and replicas… Continue reading →

On the trail of the evolution of mammals

Elsa Panciroli recently joined the Museum research team as an Early Career Leverhulme Research Fellow. Elsa is a Scottish palaeontologist, whose studies focus on the early evolutionary origins of mammals, working extensively on fossils from the Isle of Skye. Here she tells us how her work will combine studies of mammal evolution with stunning new… Continue reading →

A stone statue of a bearded man, hands crossed at his front, shoulders draped in a cloak

Babylon: Natural Theology versus Scientific Naturalism

When the campaign to build the Museum was launched, science at Oxford was understood as natural theology. By the time the Museum opened in 1860, a new secular approach to science was on the rise. In this last episode of the Temple of Science podcast series we see how the art and science of the Museum responded to… Continue reading →

‘Chambers of the Ministering Priests’

The Museum was not originally simply a museum as we understand it today: It was an entire science faculty. In episode four of the Temple of Science podcast series we see how the museum’s overarching principle of design – that art should be used to teach science and to inspire generations of scientists – was… Continue reading →

The Sanctuary of the Temple of Science

The central court of the Museum was described by one founder as ‘the sanctuary of the Temple of Science’. In the third episode of the Temple of Science podcast series we see how every detail of this unique space was carefully planned and crafted to form a comprehensive model of natural science.  You can watch… Continue reading →

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