Science and Technology, National Museum of Scotland

Scientific and technological inventions changed our lives in communications, transport, industry, engineering, energy and medicine. Explore the history of innovation in Scotland and across the world through interactive games and thought-provoking displays.

Family-friendly Explore gallery on Level 1 brings science to life with hands-on games and interactive exhibits. Don’t miss Dolly the sheep: she’s a science superstar and one of our most iconic objects.

From one of the two oldest surviving railway locomotives in the world to Dolly the sheep, this gallery highlights some of the most important scientific and technological innovations of the last 250 years,

Explore how invention and innovation have transfirned our lives and how a single discovery can speak more ideas and further change.

Making It
Next to Explore is Making It, which looks at how manufacturing and engineering have changed our lives, from early industry to 3D printing. And don’t forget to look up to see an aerial history of aviation stunningly suspended from the ceiling, including Percy Pilcher’s record breaking Hawk glider.

Machines have transformed how we make things, where they are made and who, or what, makes them. From the stram engines that powered the Industrial Revolution to complex robots and microchips, this gallery explores the innovations that have changed industry and manufacturing over 200 years.

On Level 3, Communicate tells the story of telecommunications, from semaphore to smart phones. People have always found ways of communicating with others far away, and each new era of communication has transformed our lives. This gallery explores innovations in information and communication technology, from the growth of a global telegraph network in the 19th century to the impact of the Internet, the world wide web and smart technologies.

Technology by Design
Scientific innovation and invention are celebrated in Technology by Design: discover the evolution of the bicycle and design your own bike, marvel at an Apple 1 computer from 1976 and discover Edinburgh’s key role in the history of prosthetics.

Every aspect of our lives is affected by the technologies we use. Many of these have become such an integral part of our world that we barely notice them. Technologies today are the culmination of ideas, inventions and innovations, many of which are revealed in the stories of the people who have transformed our world.

Moving up to Level 5, Enquire explores how scientists have sought to answer fundamental questions. Asking questions and working out how to answer them is at the heart of scientific research. From investigating the human body to searching for the fundamental building blocks of the universe, this gallery explores stories of how scientific knowledge has changed over the last 300 years and reveals how scientific enquiry often leads to unexpected discoveries and to more questions.

Follow in the steps of pioneers such as Sir James Black by designing a clinical drug trial, and encounter a giant copper accelerating cavity from CERN’s LEP collider.

Find out how much power you can generate walking in the giant hamster wheel in Energise. Build your own wind farm, make waves and keep a home cosy as you learn about the sources, generation and uses of energy.

From fossil fuels to nuclear, solar, wind and water power, we need energy to sustain our everyday lives. This gallery explores the different sources of energy that we depend on and looks at how science and technology might change how we generate, distribute and use energy in the future.


Dolly the sheep
As the first cloned mammal ever to be created from an adult cell, her birth was of huge excitement both to the scientific world and to the public.

Percy Pilcher’s Hawk glider
British aviation pioneer Percy Pilcher could have been the first person ever to fly. Helped by his sister Ella, Pilcher built four unpowered gliders and designed a triplane capable of powered flight. But why did his design never take off?

EMAS: The first bionic arm
Scotland Creates volunteer Aileen Miller explains why this pioneering Edinburgh Modular Arm System (EMAS) is so awesome.

Sir James Black’s Nobel Prize medal
Sir James Black was one of the greatest Scottish scientists of the modern era. His work in medicine and pharmacology has improved the quality of life for millions of people around the world.

CERN accelerating cavity
This copper radio frequency accelerating cavity played a part in scientific history when it was used in the Large Electron Positron (LEP) collider at CERN from 1989 to 1995.

National Museum of Scotland
National Museum of Scotland for collections of national and international importance, preserving them, interpreting them and making them accessible to as many people as possible.

National Museum of Scotland work with museums and communities across Scotland and beyond, introducing our collections to a much wider audience than can physically visit our museums, through partnerships, research, touring exhibitions, community engagement, digital programmes and loans.

National Museum of Scotland preserve, interpret and make accessible for all, the past and present of Scotland, other nations and cultures, and the natural world. National Museums of Scotland inspiring people, connecting Scotland to the world and the world to Scotland.

National Museum of Scotland’s collections are a legacy which we look after on behalf of everyone in Scotland. Our wealth of objects represent everything from Scottish and classical archaeology to applied arts and design; from world cultures and social history to science, technology and the natural world.

The National Museums Collection Centre, in Edinburgh, is home to millions of items not currently on display. It also houses state-of-the-art facilities for conservation, taxidermy and academic research.

Through research, National Museum of Scotland aim to explain the significance of the millions of objects in our care to a wider audience. How we interpret our collections can increase public understanding of human history and the natural environment.

Explore the history of innovation in Scotland and across the world through interactive games and thought-provoking displays.