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Subject: Science Culture
Whereas the consequences of modern science and technology dominate our lives and thoughts, we have been slow to incorporate scientific concepts into our culture. We often resent the way science challenges our deeply-held assumptions and beliefs. Increasingly, people are being asked to question the judgment of scientists on issues ranging from nuclear power to GM foods. Will science continue to be the cultural 'superpower' in Western society? The collections of the Science Museum include many items used to teach and symbolise science, from the orrery to the chemistry set. We look to science for the solutions to our problems, yet have doubts about the answers scientists give us. Many people prefer to put their trust in religion or a love of nature. Concepts incompatible with mainstream science – astrology, homeopathy, even alchemy – still attract widespread support. The tensions of our relationship with science are revealed by popular films, which either portray scientists as heroes or madmen. In response to this growing distrust, scientists have sought to explain and justify their activities in simple terms. > more
> Dumbing down science
> Science is the answer
> Science on screen
> Einstein, physics and fascination
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Identity is about how people are seen and how we see ourselves. Explore technological impact on private lives. > more

Doctors are no longer gods and their technology is not miraculous. Trust, fear and suspicion have changed with technological developments, social upheaval and popular education. > more

The creation and destruction of work by technology shapes our lives. Ongoing industrial revolutions link personal histories and global change. > more

New technologies have increased our expectations of our homes: that they should be cleaner, more comfortable, more beautiful and more entertaining than ever before. While we enjoy this higher standard of living, we often treat new technologies and materials with suspicion. > more

Technological change has transformed the natural world in unexpected ways. Follow the surprising consequences of the past and the problems of the present. > more

Wars bring devastation, forcing whole communities and individuals to rebuild their lives. Better lives can be forged from the technologies of death. > more

Professional scientists are not the only people who try to understand our world. Trace the interplay of practical needs and the desire to know. > more

Old cultures and new technologies collide in a global economy where both people and ideas cross oceans. The result has often been immensely fruitful as well as stressful. > more

Travel, and memories of travel, create new worlds for individuals and society. From the rubbish we leave to the tourism we generate and the transport we use, our travelling has a complex impact on the places we visit. > more

New technologies have unexpected consequences. Computers are everywhere and telephone handsets can do the most surprising things. As a result people have related to each other and to their work in new ways. > more

We perceive the world with a clarity born of technology. It is not so much, 'Does the camera lie?' as 'What kind of truth does it tell?” > more

Incorporating scientific advances into our culture is not easy. While we accept that science is responsible for material benefits, we also see it as an alien force undermining our way of life. > more
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