Across our museums we preserve, display and interpret the many ways in which people have used science and technology through the ages to investigate the world around us and to try to make our lives easier and better.
Our collections cover life, the universe and everything in it: from science and engineering to nature and outer space. Find out more about the diversity of our science collections, our research and our commitment to science communication through formal and informal learning.
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) engagement forms an integral part of our public programming, through innovative science shows, regular talks and lectures on science topics. As an active scientific research institution, we are able to draw on the expertise of our curatorial departments across the scientific disciplines and our STEM Engagement Group includes colleagues from across departments acting as a forum for discussion and development.
Above: Trying out telescopes from our handling collection at a Science Saturday event. Photo © Ruth Armstrong.
Maths Week Scotland
National Museums Scotland are supported by the Scottish Government to deliver Maths Week Scotland.
Maths Week Scotland has run since 2017 and takes place annually each September. During the week itself, a range of events and activities take place across Scotland engaging communities, families, schools and adults. Events, activities and resources are available throughout the year.
Find out more and how you can get involved, www.mathsweek.scot
Learning and Programmes
Our Learning and Programmes department has a wealth of experience in hosting public science events across our sites. We are a major partner and venue for the Edinburgh International Science Festival and collaborate with other leading institutions such as the University of Edinburgh, the Institute of Physics and science centres across Scotland.
Above: Object handling with our Enabler team in our Explore gallery. Photo © Ruth Armstrong.
Through our informal and formal programming we deliver science engagement across wide-ranging and diverse audiences.
Above: Awesome Bricks at the National Museum of Flight. Photo © Chris Scott.
Above: School children taking part in the Get Energised programme.
Above: The Powering Up project in action. Photos © Ian Jacobs Photography.
Scientific research at National Museums Scotland
Our research unearths the significance of the millions of objects in our care and shares it with a wide audience, in Scotland and abroad. National Museums Scotland is recognised as an Independent Research Organisation by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).
The Natural Sciences department undertakes fundamental scientific research in a variety of areas ranging from understanding life in the past to how modern climate change is impacting species distribution today. We collaborate with many university partners and supervise undergraduate and graduate student projects.
Above: Digitally imaging insects in amber.
Our Science and Technology department looks after one of the most significant collections in Britain. Our collection and research covers four main areas: science, transport, communication and industry and engineering.
The Collections Services department provides practical skills and advice to improve the preservation and accessibility of the National Museums Scotland's collections. The Analytical Research section examines archaeological and historical objects by scientific methods to gain information about their condition, technology, history and use.
Above: Conserving the coffin of Egyptian priest Iufenamun.