Have scientific instruments lost their soul? In preparing a schools talk for next week on beautiful experiments, I have been perusing the images online at the very fabulous Museo Galileo in Florence, where I once spent a very happy afternoon. Here are just a few of the very lovely instruments and apparatus that scientists used to use, which are far more beautiful than they really had any call to be. These days scientists have to make do with stuff like this:
which no doubt does the job, but does it inspire you? Below is what I’d like to see return – not the devices themselves, but the spirit in which they were made. Why shouldn’t labs be beautiful?