Monday, February 27, 2017

The Natural Sciences

Oxford University in the Summer
  All of these thoughts on microbes and evolution bring me to the dawning of the natural sciences. I always think of the old universities, Oxford and Cambridge, and imagine explorers sending seed samples or bringing birds or reptiles there to study and question. Greenhouses were built, gardens were grown, and students and professors pondered the origins and movements of never before seen creatures. How enlightening it must have been.

An Oxford Garden
 Picture scholars in long robes walking through these gardens, examining leaves, petals, and collecting specimens to put under a microscope.

Historic scientific instruments at The Museum of the History of Science at Oxford
  I saw this at The Museum of the History of Science which had a display of the instruments used at the dawn of the natural sciences. There are astrolabes, early cameras, and microscopes. It's incredible that the technology for these instruments aligned with fascination with nature.

Microscope belonging to Nevil Story-Maskelyne
  Before seeing this microscope, I had never heard of Nevil Story-Maskelyne. He is described as a photographer, a geologist, and a chemist. He did it all! His principle interest was photography and learned chemistry in order to help in create new processes. Geology was introduced when he tried photographing on mica. I'd love to see that!

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