Brought to Light
Brought to Light was the inaugural online exhibition showcasing items from the University's Physics Museum and Earth and Environmental Sciences Collections.
Brought to Light provides an insight into a small section of the many collections held by the University of Adelaide.
The exhibition was entirely student organised and researched. Guided by Professor Rachel Ankeny and Dr Heather Bray, in collaboration with University Collections (former), History of Science, Technology, and Medicine (HIST 2089) students - Aaron Good, Kate Marlais, James Davey, Sanjana Thiagarajan - were given the task to work in groups with a number of relatively unknown instruments in order to present a detailed curation.
Each display is diverse due to the variety of researchers and presenters.
The original online exhibition was curated by University Collections intern Laura Wiechula, a Bachelor of Media and Bachelor of Arts at the University of Adelaide.
Scientist and Historian Peter Dear once described the importance of physical objects as the manifestations of the relationship between abstract ideas and physical phenomena. It is important to preserve and record these physical objects not only in an effort to achieve understanding of the scientific nature of today but also to obtain the appreciation for the investment that is required to make possible the standard of living and knowledge we may take for granted.
Throughout this preservation a symbiotic relationship is formed between the scholar of history and institutions such as the university whereby scholars are able to access what is often inaccessible physical source material.
Given the purpose of the University as an institution of learning, the collections held are enormously valuable. Many items have specific historical significance due to their use as scientific instruments, however, due to some not having recognisable modern counter parts, all are essentially irreplaceable. Their value is not of dollar amount, but rather their utility in assisting scholars in understanding the relationship between science as philosophy and science as instrumentality.
Understanding the interrelations of science as philosophy and instrumentality are important for understanding how it is that modern science came to be. To be able to relate these concepts to the history of scientific discovery is fundamental as they are essential components of science itself, and are not specific to any one culture or period of history.
The Brought to Light Exhibition explored the following objects:
- Pocket Calculator
- Polar Planimeter
- Scintillation Counter
- Milli Voltmeter
- Wire Measuring Device
- Fuess Goniometer
- Dip Circle
- Wollaston Goniometer and
A 'mystery' instrument simply labelled "Geological Instrument" was also included.