A world-class science gallery, networked with New York, London, Moscow and Singapore, is coming to Bangalore. Supported by Google and run by a Dublin group, it will explain memory, happiness, and even the chemistry of romance.
BANGALORE will soon be part of an international network of science galleries linking New York, London, Moscow and Singapore. The galleries are being established by Global Science Gallery Network, Dublin, Ireland. Talk discovered that the network is talking to major science institutions in Bangalore, and scouting around for a site. Given the scale of the gallery, it will take eight years to fully materialise, but we managed to get fascinating details about how it is going to be structured.
Memory, for example, is something the gallery will explain. If you think you have a good memory, you could put it to the test here. You could also participate in experiments that investigate how good your short-term memory is, and how humans evolved memory. Remembering names and faces requires your memory to make associations between different pieces of information. How about being part of an experiment that tests your associative memory, which involves an area in the temporal lobe of your brain called the hippocampus? Then take the fascinating world of bubbles. What does a bubble sound like? Can you wrap yourself in a bubble? What is the physics of foam? Experiments let you learn about shapes and colours, and fantastic bubble structures with soap films.
If you are a music buff, you'll find answers to some very curious questions in this gallery. What makes us dance? Why do we sing the blues? Could there be a formula for the perfect hit? Music is a central part of the human experience, but what is the natural force that drives us to sing, strum, drum and dance? What is the scientific basis of whistling, humming and toe-tapping? From an acoustic bed to sonic tables and experiments on your emotional response to pop music, the new science gallery will allow you to feel how music moves your body through an interactive bazaar of unique sonic experiences, installations, experiments and performances from musicians, engineers and neuroscientists from around the world.
The gallery project is prestigious as it puts Bangalore in the league of big science cities. Building on the success of Science Gallery at Trinity College, Dublin, which will welcome its millionth visitor this year, the Global Science Gallery Network was officially launched at the Euroscience Open Forum in July this year. The launch of the Global Science Gallery Network followed the announcement of a one-million euro gift from US-headquartered Google. Michael John Gorman, Founding Director of Science Gallery, Ireland, told Talk: “This is a momentous step towards our goal of becoming the world's leading network for involving and transforming curious minds through science… We’re hoping to ignite the creativity of over four million people annually through the collision of art and science.”
Science Gallery is an award-winning initiative pioneered by Trinity College Dublin that delivers a dynamic new model for engaging 15-25 year olds with science. It encourages young people to learn through their interests and move effortlessly between diverse fields. Discussions are on with prestigious UK university King’s College London, to become the second member of the planned network. The college is among the top 30 universities in the world and the fourth oldest in England.
Dr Patrick Prendergast, Provost and founding member of Trinity College, Dublin, said: “We are excited to see these links extend beyond Dublin.” John Herlihy, Head of Google Ireland and Vice-President of International SMB Sales at Google, is excited, too. He told Talk, “Science Gallery has already enjoyed fantastic success in inspiring and engaging people across the globe through touring exciting exhibitions such as Elements, Biorhythm and Surface Tension.”
Global Science Gallery Network has already initiated talks with Bangalore’s leading science institutions such as the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) and National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS). Director Michael Gorman told Talk that Bangalore was a natural choice for Ireland because of its strength in the sciences.“Bangalore is a city with huge dynamism. It has fantastic science institutions and its strength in information technology is well known. I consider Bangalore a positively disruptive city in many ways. The quality of science and scientists is so high, we naturally would like the city to be one among the eight cities in the world with a unique interactive science gallery.”
The galleries, including the one in Bangalore, are expected
to be completed over the next 8years.
More in the gallery
The Bangalore gallery will be path-breaking. “Visually it will make a difference and impact when someone enters the gallery. They must be made to feel that here is a space where we need to do something with our hands and ourselves,” said Gorman.
The Science Gallery in Dublin had organised an exhibition, Elements, that captured the beauty of interactive chemistry, with fascinating objects ranging from a flask immersed in gases to shining copper and gold, with explanations of the chemicals that inhere the objects most valued by humans. The exhibition was launched to mark the International Year of Chemistry.
Water will be a crucial subject addressed by the gallery. “An exhibition on water is just not about depicting water shortage. It will bring together work by artists, designers, engineers and scientists to explore the future of water, playing on its physical properties, its role in
politics and economics and ways in which it may be harnessed, cleaned and distributed,” says Gorman.
The chemistry of love Then there’s the Love Lab exhibition. “What lies behind those butterflies you feel when you fall in love? What makes one person’s dream date a nightmare for another? Does romance really exist or do our genes precondition us to seek out particular partners? Love has been the inspiration for songwriters, poets and artists from the beginning of time but now scientists are suggesting that it’s all a matter of chemistry. Is Cupid a scientist? Love Lab draws on research from a number of different disciplines, including neuroscience, psychology, genetics, physiology and biochemistry and has been curated.
Science Gallery Dublin’s flagship exhibition Human+ invites you to consider a future of augmented abilities, authored evolution, new strategies for survival and non-human encounters through a range of installations and laboratories exploring the future of our species. This international exhibition has drawn together a range of installations ranging from a euthanasia roller coaster to the prosthetic head of Australian performance artist Stelarc. Human+ also includes a children’s book illustrating the question on where babies come from in the IVF era to a vision of eternal life through digital means. It also features artist Eduardo Kac’s “plantimal” called the Edunia - a hybrid plant which includes the artists own DNA. Human+ paints a somewhat ambiguous picture of the future of our species. What enhancements will we choose to become better humans? What happens when we live side by side with our robotic companions? Happy? Take a Second Look was an exhibition on happiness. Happy? presented people with a series of real research experiments exploring the causes, correlates and consequences of happiness through a living psychological laboratory. The experiment was looking at the complexity of factors that affect happiness - from experiments that explore the influence of language, emotional attachment and moral acts of kindness on one’s well-being to happiness themed events. Happy? aimed to uncover the true mood of the Irish nation. Can happiness be learned? Happy? was part of Science Gallery’s ‘lab in the gallery’ series developed in partnership with Trinity College Dublin School of Psychology to mark 50 years of teaching, research and training.