Skip to content
Summer Science Exhibition 2007

Bye-bye blackboard...

Event

Starts:

July
012007

00:00

Ends:

July
312007

00:00

Location

The Royal Society, London, 6-9 Carlton House Terrace, London, SW1Y 5AG

Overview

Blackboard by Lord Rees of Ludlow, Former-President of the Royal Society.

Dr Jim Bennett, Museum of the History of Science, University of Oxford

Blackboards were wiped after use: they were meant for immediate communication, not for record. Even as they were being used, their messages were continuously revised, erased and renewed. But when Einstein went to Oxford in 1931, he was already an international celebrity. After one of his lectures a blackboard was preserved and has become a kind of relic. It is the most famous object at the Museum of the History of Science in Oxford.

To mark the centenary of Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity in 2005, the Museum commissioned a series of blackboards from scientists, artists and celebrities. The result was an exhibition about science, art, celebrity and nostalgia as the blackboard has all but vanished from meetings, classes and lectures. Einstein’s blackboard is too fragile to bring to London but six others are displayed here at the Summer Science Exhibition.

Bye-bye blackboard... The Royal Society, London 6-9 Carlton House Terrace London SW1Y 5AG UK