St Albans' famous scientists celebrated in new museum exhibition

PUBLISHED: 12:49 15 October 2019 | UPDATED: 10:19 16 October 2019

St Albans Museum + Gallery, St Albans. Picture: DANNY LOO

St Albans Museum + Gallery, St Albans. Picture: DANNY LOO

©2019 Archant

An exhibition celebrating some of the incredible scientists who have lived and worked in St Albans opens at the city's museum this weekend.

Eleanor Ormerod featured in The People’'s Magazine, 1901. Picture: St Albans MuseumsEleanor Ormerod featured in The People’'s Magazine, 1901. Picture: St Albans Museums

Science in St Albans: Novum Organum Scientiarum is a major new exhibition in the state-of-the-art Weston Gallery at St Albans Museum + Gallery.

Opening to the public on Saturday, October 19, this fascinating exhibition showcases the city's little-known scientific heritage.

From entomologist Eleanor Ormerod, who lived on Holywell Hill, to Stephen Hawking, who was educated at St Albans School, the exhibition celebrates the impact St Albans has had on the scientific world.

St Albans is known for its Roman heritage, its place in the Wars of the Roses, and its impressive Cathedral and religious history.

Sir Francis Bacon, Viscount St Albans and Lord Chancellor from an engraving by A. Bannerman features in the new St Albans Museum + Gallery celebrating St Albans scientists. Picture: St Albans MuseumsSir Francis Bacon, Viscount St Albans and Lord Chancellor from an engraving by A. Bannerman features in the new St Albans Museum + Gallery celebrating St Albans scientists. Picture: St Albans Museums

But residents and visitors alike may be less familiar with the role St Albans has played in the lives and work of scientists throughout history.

Councillor Anthony Rowlands, portfolio holder for community, leisure and sport at St Albans City and District Council, said: "St Albans has a rich and varied history and I'm pleased to see the new museum highlighting the impact this city has had on the world.

"I hope this new exhibition and the accompanying events for adults, families and schools will inspire the scientists of the future."

At the heart of this story is Sir Francis Bacon - a philosopher, poet, garden designer, cryptographer, lawyer, scientist and St Albans resident.

St Albans Town Hall Planetarium poster from 1847. Picture: St Albans MuseumsSt Albans Town Hall Planetarium poster from 1847. Picture: St Albans Museums

His influential book Novum Organum Scientiarum outlined the scientific method which went on to be used by scientists and science organisations across the world.

Working from Bacon's new method, the exhibition will explore the discoveries made by St Albans linked scientists, focussing in on the works of local scientists, such as Hawking, and organisations such as Vickers and Rothamsted Research.

The exhibition is free to visit and will be on display in the Weston Gallery from Saturday, October 19 to Sunday, March 15, 2020.

It follows the incredibly popular Barbara Hepworth: artist in society 1948-53 exhibition, which explored a short yet significant period in the life of one of Britain's most celebrated artists.

Kate Warren, museums manager, said: "We're committed to showcasing a real mix of exhibitions at St Albans Museum + Gallery.

"We had a wonderful art exhibition and now we're so pleased to offer this new, more historic exhibition focussed on a lesser-known element of St Albans and its heritage."

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