A REGIONAL MUSEUM OF SCIENCE IN THREE MONTHS

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  • U N MUSE RGIONAL DES SCIENCES E N T R O I S MOIS

    par W . T . O ' D E A

    266

    L'auteur a pass douze semaines en Inde, de janvier mars 19j7, au titre du pro- gramme Unesco d' '' aide aux tats membres ". Pendant sa brve mission de conseil- ler pour la cration de muses scientifiques, il lui aurait t normal et relativement facile de prodiguer toutes sortes de conseils et de rdiger l'habituel rapport. Aussi bien, n'avait-il pu faire beaucoup plus, au cours d'une mission antrieure dans une autre partie de l'Asie m5ridionale. Mais cette fois, d'excellentes raisons le poussaient tenter ce qui pouvait paratre impossible: la cration en trois mois d'un muse scientifique .

    REMII~REMENT, j'avais pass, New Delhi, neuf mois auparavant, une semaine P consacre des entretiens prparatoires la suite desquels, trois mois plus tard, un fonctionnaire appel me remplacer avait t nomm. A mon retour, celui-ci avait pris tous les contacts voulus et tait parfaitement au courant de la marche suivre. Deuximement, on pouvait disposer d'un excellent local de 3 IO mtres carrs, dot de tous les services ncessaires, au Laboratoire national de physique de New Delhi. Troisimement, des crdits avaient t prvus avant mon arrive. Quatrime- ment, il y avait dans les divers dpartements du Laboratoire national de physique des experts en de nombreux domaines scientifiques qui pouvaient prter leur concours et donner ou prter un certain nombre d'objets d'quipement; on pouvait compter aussi sur les ateliers du laboratoire. Enfin, il existait une collection d'appareils de dmonstration scientifique, acquis au cours des trois annes pendant lesquelles l'ide de la cration d'un muse avait peu peu pris forme : quelques-uns restaient d'expo- sitions antrieures ; d'autres venaient de dpartements de recherches dans lesquels ils n'avaient plus d'utilit ; d'autres taient l'uvre de chaleureux partisans de l'ide d'un muse; d'autres enfin taient les reliquats assez dfrachis d'une exposition itinrante de l'Unesco. TOUS taient pourvus d'un tiquetage dfectueux, rangs au hasard, presque incomprhensibles au cours des dmonstrations faites aux nombreux groupes de visiteurs guids qui affluaient sans cesse dans le lointain Laboratoire national de physique et attestaient la soif d'enseignement scientifique du peuple indien.

    Telles sont les cinq raisons, exposes par ordre d'importance dcroissant, que j'avais de mettre ce muse sur pied. Ma mission m'appelait aussi donner des conseils pour l'organisation d'un muse des sciences Calcutta. L, la famille Birla avait fait don d'un btiment d'environ 3 IOO mktres carrs pour le muse; mais les installations lectriques du btiment taient insuffisantes, il n'avait pas d'quipement de labora- toire et il tait dirig par un fonctionnaire tout rcemment nomm et manquant encore d'exprience musographique. Je ne pouvais songer organiser le moindre embryon de muse scientifique pendant mon sjour Calcutta, et il ne faisait pas de doute qu'au dbut, les progrs seraient lents. L'nergique Comit consultatif du muse, sous la prsidence du premier ministre du Bengale-Occidental, a fait preuve de dtermination et d'ouverture d'esprit ; mais c'est pour les annes futures que nous fmes amens prendre des dcisions, tandis qu' New Delhi quelques semaines de travail prparatoire me suffisaient pour me rendre compte qu'avec un peu de chance, je parviendrais former un organisme en tat de fonctionner, dans lequel on pourrait reconnaitre immdiatement les prmisses d'un vritable muse scientifique.

    Il faut esprer que cette leson de l'exprience sera comprise des pays qui peuvent avoir solliciter le concours de l'Unesco pour l'organisation de leurs muses. Ma premire mission, en I 9 j 6 , tait galement la premire rpondre une demande de conseils au sujet des muses scientifiques. Je rencontrai alors en Inde le Dr Robert Hatt, des tats-Unis d'Amrique, qui, titre d'expert de l'Unesco, venait de remplir Karachi, au Pakistan, une mission relative ce type de muses. I1 me confirma dans ma propre exprience et ma seconde mission m'apporta une nouvelle confirmation.

    D'ailleurs ces considrations s'appliquent aussi bien, dans l'ensemble, tout autre type de muses. La collection d'objets fortuitement exposs ne peut plus

  • aujourdhui tre tenue pour un muse. I1 existe prsent une exprience profession- nelle trs pousse dans le domaine de la prsentation, o lappel la sensation visuelle doit souligner la valeur duca- tive de lobjet. I1 faut un certain talent pour choisir la place des objets, tablir entre eux des relations ncessaires, rduire la fatigue mentale et physique des visi- teurs, faciliter la circulation du public dans les salles et lui donner des explica- tions, ce quon obtiendra dautant mieus que leffort sera moins vident. Or, dans un muse, la simplicit de la prsentation est dordinaire le rsultat dun trs dur travail. On croit encore trop volontiers quun muse peut tre cr partir de rien en quelques mois, ou quune collec- tion dobjets constitue un muse. On ne saurait trop insister sur ce fait : si modeste que soit le succs qui puisse tre reven- diqu pour cette brve mission, il sera d entirement aux discussions tenues neuf mois auparavant, la mise en uvre des recommandations formules lpoque et aux ressources dont jai pu disposer mon retour.

    En ce qui concerne dautres types de muses, jai t heureux de pouvoir, bien que je sois avant tout un spcialiste des muses scientifiques, faire servir mon exprience de la prsentation, et mes quelques connaissances en matire dclairage, la solution de plusieurs problmes qui proccupaient le directeur gnral de larchologie et larchitecte du btiment du nouveau Muse national indien. Ultrieurement, j ai t invit donner mon avis sur lclairage des temples souterrains dAjanta et dEllora. (Je me permettrai ici une digression, pour demander quon renonce lexpression, si souvent employe, de grottes dAjanta . Je mattendais trouver l quelque chose de semblable ce quon voit Lascaux. Un Indien qui connat tout particu- lirement ces temples creuss dans la roche vive ma dit quil avait t tout aussi surpris, mais pour la raison inverse, en visitant les grottes naturelles de la Dordogne.) Le travail de lhomme de science peut, premire vue, diffrer totalement de celui de lartiste ou de larchologue, mais, dans le monde des muses, il existe de nom- breux problmzs communs dont les solutions ne diffrent que par des points de dtail. On apprcie de plus en plus, dans les milieux de lenseignement, la valeur ducative des muses tels quils sont conps aujourdhui, et lUnesco doit sattendre recevoir de nombreuses demandes de concours en ce domaine, de la part de pays qui appli- quent de vastes programmes dducation. Cest surtout dans les pays qui comptent un fort pourcentage de gens relativement peu instruits que le muse pourra contri- buer largement, par son action visuelle, crer une atmosphre favorable au dve- loppement culturel. Mais, en sollicitant le concours dexperts, ces pays doivent bien se rendre compte que la plupart de ces derniers ne peuvent que rarement se librer de leurs fonctions permanentes, et que leur temps ne peut tre employ de fason vraiment efficace que si un travail prliminaire a t effectu avant leur arrive. Dsignation dun remplapnt, choix dun bttiment pourvu des services ncessaires, ouverture de crdits, limination des dmarches et activits qui ne sont pas adaptes ces missions de dure trs limite, ce sont l des conditions pralables. Une trs courte visite prparatoire de lexpert est extrmement souhaitable sans tre absolu- ment essentielle.

    LE MUSE DES SCIENCES DE NEW DELHI. Dans un local de 310 mtres carrs, si satisfaisant soit-il, il nest pas possible de couvrir un trs vaste domaine dactivit scientifique. Aussi avons-nous choisi les plus commodes . traiter. Pour justifier notre choix, nous avons dcid quun panneau introductif, plac lentre du muse, expliquerait ce qutait ce muse, la place que la science tenait en Inde et celle quelle

    68. MU&E DES SCIENCES, New Delhi. Entre de lexposition: un appareil donne quatre minutes dexplications, accompagntes dillus- trations montrant limportance que la science prtsente pour lInde. 68. SCIENCE MUSEUM, New Delhi. An appliance at the entrance gives a four-minute lecture with illustrations on the importance of science to India.

  • 69. MJS~E DES SCIENCES, New Delhi. Appareil provenant de l'exposition itinrante de l'Unesco L 'tierge e t xe.r frati
  • illustrant le prsent article ont t prises cette occasion,(fig. 68-73) et, bien que nous fussions parfaitement conscients des faiblesses de ce que nous avions prsenter, lintrit et le plaisir vidents de ces jeunes filles nous donnhrent to.us lheureuse certitude davoir effectivement cr en trois mois lembryon dun futur muse. En fait, compte tenu des cinq semaines consacres des activits de caractre plus gnral (y compris le voyage Calcutta), ainsi qu lexamen de notre actif, nous avons effectu la plus grande partie du travail en sept semaines.

    Un certain nombre de circonstances fortuites nous ont servis. Quelques mois avant mon arrive New Delhi, au moment o se tenait la Confrence gnrale de lUnesco, avait eu lieu une exposition clbrant lanne Jayanta du Bouddha, et nous avons pu retirer du pavillon abandonn du Conseil de la recherche scientifique et industrielle, avec les encouragements du directeur gnral, tous les supports dont nous avions besoin pour installer nos objets. A cette mme exposition, une entreprise amricaine avait prsent une boucle de tlvision en circuit ferm, dont un membre du Labora- toire national de physique, partisan enthousiaste du muse, avait russi obtenir laban- don en vue dune prsentation ultrieure ; telle fut lorigine de notre objet dexposition le plus populaire, bien que, lorsque nous emes construit le meuble destin leprsenter selon les techniques musographiques, nous leussions probablement rendu presque mconnaissable (fig. 70). Au cours des voyages de M. Nehru, un gouvernement tranger lui avait fait don dun standard automatique PBX; M. Nehru lavait fait envoyer au Laboratoire national de physique, pour le futur muse. Nous avons t enchants non seulement de lavoir, mais aussi de trouver que lAdministration des postes indiennes avait un ingnieur qui ft en mesure de le raccorder notre instal- lation. Il nous fallait complter ce standard par lacquisition de quelques appareils tlphoniques, ce qui nous amena conclure un arrangement grce auquel nous pouvions emprunter ces appareils aux magasins dexposition de Delhi, pour viter dattendre leur livraison : lInde est un sous-continent o les distances sont immenses, et souvent lEuropen, nouveau venu, a quelque peine se faire lide quil est aussi draisonnable de demander dans les deux jours qui viennent quelque chose qui se trouverait mettons Bangalore, que de vouloir faire venir cet objet dAthnes Londres dans le mme dlai. La seule diffrence, cest que, dans le cas de lInde, il ny a pas mme une demi-douzaine de places plus rapproches o, en cas durgence, on puisse se procurer un objet analogue. Ce sont des circonstances de ce genre qui nous ont fait trouver les sept dernires semaines incroyablement courtes, et nous ont amens, au dernier moment, rduire quelque peu notre programme primitif.

    Nous avons remani plusieurs fois lordre de prsentation des objets exposs pour tenir compte de la situation, mais toujours en vue de donner de la science une image intelligible. Un peintre en lettres fut engag pour dessiner les lgendes en anglais et en hindi. Des menuisiers construisirent des bancs et des cloisons. Des lectriciens, des installateurs et dautres techniciens nous apportrent leur aide. On fouilla le laboratoire pour y trouver des objets exposer. Un chronomtre normal, sur lequel les visiteurs pouvaient rgler leur montre, mit admirablement en valeur une horloge cristal de quartz dont la marge derreur est de quelques secondes par sicle (fig. 72). Un metteur-rcepteur dhyperfrquences a t install en un temps record. Un lit de catalyseur fluidifi complet, avec un volumineux compresseur, a t pris la division de chimie; un gnrateur dtincelles dune puissance de 3 0 o00 volts, provenant de la division dlectricit, complta une machine lectrique de Wimshurst. Dautres objets dexposition, comme une roue de Barlow, furent construits selon les instructions donnes dans les publications de lUnesco linten- tion des professeurs de sciences ; mais un appareil de mesure lectrique fut prsent tout ct pour faire comprendre lapplication pratique dun tel principe. Des gnrateurs main provenant de matriel de guerre rform furent adapts pour montrer la faiblesse de lnergie produite par le corps humain, lorsquon veut sen servir ne serait-ce que pour allumer une lampe de 40 watts (fig. 73). Mais ce qui tait vraiment important, cest que chacun de ces objets tait accompagn dune etiquette expliquant longuement et avec prcision ce qui se produisait, et pourquoi. Ce sont ces modestes dtails qui constituent la partie la plus difficile de la technique des muses de sciences.

    ,~. MusriE DES SCIENCES, New L,cs formes mathmatiques nexercent quun attrait limit ... 71. SCIENCE hIus~vhr, New Delhi. hrathcmatical

    a .i.ery limited . . .

    Je ne saurais terminer cet article sans rendre hommage lexcellent travail effectu par mon futur remplapnt et par ses collaborateurs. A mesure que je prenais confiance, 269

  • je meffaGais progressivement. I1 ntait dailleurs pas dans lesprit de ma mission que je fisse moi-mme le travail, et il tait encourageant de voir quil se trouvait l-bas des gens capables de prendre ma place, et qui sen tiraient fort bien. Outre le fonc- tionnaire charg du muse, il y avait un assistant scientifique subalterne, un assistant de laboratoire de grade suprieur et un homme remarquable qui, quoique ayant un trs petit grade, fit preuve, au cours des travaux, de connaissances et dun esprit dinitiative exceptionnels. Je suis parti avec la conviction quune fois livr ses propres moyens, le personnel du muse serait capable de constituer, autour de ce premier lment, un vritable muse.

    I1 reste beaucoup faire. On se propose Calcutta de construire de nouveaux btiments et dentreprendre de nouveaux travaux dans de nouveaux domaines. A Delhi, il faudrait de toute urgence de nouveaux btiments. Au moment o jcri- vais ces lignes, le fonctionnaire charg du Muse de Delhi faisait en Europe un sjour de six mois grce une bourse de lUnesco, pour sy perfectionner aupr&s de ses collgues plus expriments. Dautres titulaires dune bourse de voyage doivent galement partir. I1 nest gure douteux que de nombreuses autres demandes daide en vue de la cration de muses scientifiques seront prsentes. I1 est probable que les mmes problmes se poseront. Conditions du succs avoir bien prsentes lesprit : un travail prliminaire srieux, puis un effort rsolu et concert pour tablir, de prfrence un rapport, le premier Clment du muse.

    ( Tradzit de 2 anglais.)

    .

    A REGIONAL MUSEUM OF b y W . T . O D E A

    270

    SCIENCE -IN THREE MONTHS The author spent 12 weeks in India, under the Unesco Aid to Member States programme, from January to March 19j7. During such a short mission as adviser on the establishment of science museums it would have been normal, and relatively easy, to have given a load of advice and to have produced the usual report, In a previous mission to another part of South Asia he had been able to do little else; but this time he had excellent reasons for attempting the apparently impossible-a science museum in three months.

    N the first place, I had been able to spend a week in New Delhi in preparatory I discussions nine months before, as one result of which a counterpart officer was appointed three months later and was well established and familiar with persons and procedures by the time I arrived. Secondly, 3,000 square feet of excellent space with all necessary services was available at the National Physical Laboratory, New Delhi. Thirdly, an allocation of funds had been made in the estimates before I arrived. Fourthly, in the various departments of the National Physical Laboratory there were experts in many fields of science whose assistance it was possible to obtain and from whom a certain amount of equipment could be begged or borrowed. The Laboratory workshops were also able to contribute. Lastly, there existed a collection of scientific demonstrations acquired during the three years in which the idea of establishing a museum had been taking shape. Some were left over from exhibitions, some were transfers from research departments when their usefulness was over, some were the work of enthusiasts who wanted to encourage the museum idea, some were the rather battered remains of a Unesco travelling exhibition-and all were inade- quately labelled, haphazardly grouped, and almost incomprehensible when presented to the stream of conducted parties which flowed persistently to the remotely situated National Physical Laboratory in evidence of the new hunger of the Indian people for instruction in science.

    The five points given above are in descending order of importance. My mission also included the task of advising on the establishment of a science museum in Calcutta. There a building of about 30,000 square feet had been donated for the purpose by the Birla family, but it was most inadequately proyided with electric services, had no workshop facilities, and was under the charge of a very newly

    I

  • appointed officer with no previous museum experience. It was not possible to attempt the establishment of the smallest nucleus of a science museum in Calcutta during my stay, and there can be no doubt that progress there at first will inevitably be slow. An energetic museum advisory committee under the chairmanship of the Chief Minister, \Vest Bengal, showed admirable determination and progressiveness. But it was in respect of future years that we were able to make decisions, whereas in New Delhi it took only a few weeks of preparatory work to realize that with luck I might be able to leave behind me a working nucleus recognizable as one from which a genuine science museum would grow.

    It is to be hoped that the lessons derived from these experiences will be understood by other countries which may in future ask for Unesco help in establishing museums. My first mission in 19 J 6 was also the first in which advice on science museums had been requested. I met, in India, the Unesco expert Dr. Robert Hatt from the United States of America, who had just completed a science museum mission in Karachi, Pakistan. He confirmed my own previous experiences which were, in turn, confirmed again during my own second mission

    But the same considerations apply with equal force, in the main, to any other type of museum. No collection of objects, haphazardly displayed, can nowadays be accepted as a museum. There is a highly professional sldll in presentation, in which visual appeal must be used to reinforce educational values. There is a subtlety in positioning objects, in Co-relating them, in reducing mental and physical fatigue, in ensuring circulation of visitors, and in explanation which is most successfully achieved where it is least evident. Simplicity, in a museum, is usually the result of very hard work. There is still a very widely held notion that a museum can be made out of nothing in a few months, or that a collection of objects constitutes a museum. It cannot be too greatly emphasized that what little success map be claimed for this short mission was due entirely to the preliminary discussions nine months before, to the implementation of recommendations made then, and to the availability of reasonable resources when I returned.

    With regard to other types of museum I was happy, although piimarily a sciefice museum expert, to be able to help from experience in presentation and some expertise in lighting matters, in determining several problems that were giving concern to the Director-General of Archaeology and the architect of the new Indian National Museum building. Later I was asked to advise on lighting in the Ajanta and Ellora rock temples. (May I digress to plead for the abandonment of the more usual title of Ajanta Caves. I was expecting to see something like Lascaux. - An Indian, very familiar with these temples hewn out of the living rock, told me of ?I. hIusBE DES SCIENCES, New Delhi. Horloge his equal, if reversed, astonishment when he visited those natural caves in the de trs grande pr~cision cristal de quartz. - Dordogne.) The work of the science man and that of the arts man and archaeologist may seem completely different at first glance, but in the museum world there are many common problems the solutions of which differ only in detail. The value

    72. sCIENCE ~ ~ U S E U M , N ~ ~ ~ , Delhi. A ,-lock controlled by a quartz crystal to a very high degree Of accuracy*

    of museums in the modern manner is being appreciated more and more in educa- tional circles. There are bound to be many future calls upon Unesco from countries that have ambitious educational programmes. In particular where there is a large percentage of relatively uneducated people the museum can often do much by its visual appeal to create an atmosphere favourable to development. In calling for the aid of expert advisers, such. countries should appreciate that most advisers can only be spared infrequently from their own permanent tasks and that their time can be used very much more efficiently if preliminary work has been done before they arrive. A counterpart officer, a building with services, an allocation of funds and a readiness to short-circuit procedures that are unsuited to a mission of very limited duration may be listed as the primary requirements. A very short preparatory visit by the espert is highly desirable, even if not absolutely essential.

    THE SCIENCE MUSEUM OF NEW DELHI. In 3,000 square feet of space, however excellent, it is not possible to cover a very wide field of scientific activity. The items we selected for treatment were those that were expedient. To give the resulting choice some form and purpose it was therefore decided to have an introductory exhibit explaining what the Museum was for and what place science had and might be expected to have in India. Part of the Unesco equipment allowance had been spent on synchronized gramophone equipment which was shipped from Britain 27=

  • 73. ~ I ' u s E DES SCIENCES, New Delhi. I1 faut une quantitt de travail Ctonnante pour allumer une lampe de 40 watts au moyen d'une machine lectrique main. 73. SCIENCE MusEuax, New Delhi. It is sur- prisingly hard work to generate, with a hand- operated machine, enough electricity to light a 40-watt lamp.

    272

    early in December. In response to pressure on one of two buttons it would speak for four minutes in either English or Hindi. Fifteen synchronized cams operated switches at chosen points in the speech. An outline of the map of India was engraved one2sixteenth of an inch deep in a sheet of quarter-inch perspex and a fluorescent lamp was mounted along the top edge. When the button was pressed this outline became visible a's a brilliant line of light to emphasize that all this talk of science referred to its part in the future of India. Model ploughs, old and new, were lit up to show the simplest applications of science from which, by a series of illuminated transparencies, more complicated matters in science and industry led up to nuclear reactors building at Bombay. The work of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (of which the National Physical Laboratory is one of the units) was particularly stressed with illuminated arrows showing that it covered the whole of India. Then the purpose of the museum collection was explained and the hope expressed that many of the visitors might decide on careers in science and engineer- ing if they should find themselves interested in what they saw (fig. 68). Unfortunately shipping delays meant that the apparatus had hardly been unloaded at Calcutta before my last day in Delhi, but the staff of the Museum made a great effort of improvisation so that we did not have to open without this key exhibit. Fifteen switches were mounted on a plate and were operated manually by an assistant listening to the recorded commentary.

    We should never have opened if it had not been for the priorities given, and per- sonal interest shown, by the Director-General of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (who came to visit us three times during the seven weeks that elapsed after he had been persuaded that we had at least a fair chance of opening before I left) and the Director and Deputy Director of the National Physical Labora- tory. In the last three days the counterpart officer and I were probably the only two people who thought that we could open at all. Prudence dictated that we should not be committed to a formal opening, nor to a Press view, but in the end we were able to arrange an invasion by a coachload of girls from the Lahore Montessori School, Delhi. Even that was unexpectedly difficult owing to examinations. The illustrations to this article were all taken on that occasion (fig. 68-73), and although we were ourselves very conscious of the limitations of what we had to offer the evident enjoyment and great interest shown by these girls left us all happy that we really could claim to have created, in three months, the nucleus of a future museum. In fact, allowing for five weeks spent in more general activities, including the trip to Calcutta, and in surveying the possibilities, we did most of the work in seven weeks.

  • We had a number of adventitious aids. At the time of the Unesco General Confer- ence, a few months before my arrival in New Delhi, there had been an exhibition to celebrate the Buddha Jayanta Year and from the deserted Councii of Scintific and Industrial Research pavilion we were able to extract, with the Director-Generals encouragement, as many benches as we could use to accommodate our own exhibits. At this same earlier exhibition an American firm had shown a closed-circuit tele- vision loop which one ofthe museum enthusiasts at the National Physical Laboratory had persuaded them to leave for future representation. That was the origin of our most popular exhibit, although by the time we had erected a structure to house it in the museum manner we had probably made it almost unrecognizable as such (fig. 70) . A foreign government, during Mr. Nehrus travels, had presented him with an automatic telephone PBX exchange which he had sent to the National Physical Laboratory for the Museum. We were delighted both to have it and to find that the Indian Post Ofice authorities had an engineer who knew how to connect it up. We had to buy a few teIephones to go with it and that involved an arrangement whereby we borrowed them from the Delhi showrooms to avoid delay in delivery. India is a sub-continent of great distances and it is by no means unusual to wake up to the fact, as a visiting European, that to demand something within a couple of days from, say, Bangalore, is as unreasonable as expecting a similar performance in London from Athens. The only diEerence in India is that there are not half a dozen nearer places from which to get alternatives in an emergency. It was such factors as this that made the seven final weeks seem impossibly short and led to various last- minute prunings of our original scheme.

    We re-arranged the sequence of exhibits several times as conditions changed, but always with the object of making a comprehensive story of science. A lettering man was employed to signwrite captions in English and Hindi. Carpenters were engaged to erect benches and partitions. Electricians, fitters and other technical workers rallied round. The Laboratory was combed for exhibits. A standard watch-timer on which visitors could test their own watches provided the perfect foil for a quartz- controlled clock accurate to a matter of seconds in a century (fig. 72). A microwave transmitter and receiver was pressed into service. A fluidized bed, complete with bulky compressor, was taken from the Chemistry Division; a 30,000-volt spark generator from the electricity division, to go with a contrasting Wimshurst machine. Other exhibits, such as Barlows Wheel, were made to the instructions given in Unescos publications to assist science teachers ; but an electricity meter was shown nearby to point out how this kind of principle can be put to practical use. War- surplus hand generators were adapted to show how puny the power of the human body appears when related even to the inconsiderable load of a 40-watt lamp (fig. 72). What was really important was that each one of these exhibits was labelled with a long, detailed explanation of what was happening and why it happened. That, the unspectacular appendage, is the most difficult part of science museum technology.

    I cannot conclude without paying tribute to the sterling work done by the counter- part officer and his staff. As my confidence increased, I gradually removed myself from the scene. It was not the intention of my visit that I should do the job myself, and it was heartening to see that there were people who could assume responsibility and did. In addition to the museum officer there were a junior scientific assistant, a senior laboratory assistant and a remarkable man in a very junior grade indeed who displayed exceptional enterprise and knowledge in the work of preparation. I left fully assured that, without further assistance, the museum personnel would expand the nucleus into a proper museum.

    There is much to do ahead. There are new buildings and a great deal of pioneer work in prospect at Calcutta. New buildings in Delhi are urgently required. The museum of3icer from Delhi is, even as I write, spending six months in Europe on a Unesco fellowship to gain experience from those more firmly established. Other travelling fellowships are expected to follow. There is little doubt that many more requests will be received for help in establishing science museums. The same prob- lems are likely to recur. Adequate preliminary work and then a determined and concerted effort to produce a nucleus rather than a report seem to me the objectives that should be kept in mind. 273

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