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Cambridge Excursion, Saturday 15 January 2011


You will need to be at King's Cross station at the Information booth by the big trainboard by 08:45 at the latest. The train leaves at 09:15 from King's Cross, arriving at Cambridge at 10:02. We'll return on the 20:15 from Cambridge, arriving back at King's Cross station at 21:04. You will need to be at the Cambridge station by 20:30 at the latest.


  • Before Saturday morning you should read/skim the Wikipedia page about Cambridge (see below) to learn about the history of Cambridge and a bit about what's there.
  • Look through the list of museums (see below) and think about which ones you might want to visit.


When we get to Cambridge we'll split-up into groups based on which museums/sites/etc we plan on visiting. Lunch will be on your own and then we'll meet for dinner around 17:30. That should give us enough time to eat and make it back to the train station for our 20:15 ride back to London.


We will need two volunteers from the studio audience to take pictures and write-up/post a blog entry about this excursion. Get in touch if you are interested.

Science, Technology and Society

There are many connections to the course in Cambridge, here is a sampling of them:

  • Francis Bacon - scientific method
  • Issac Newton - calculus, gravity
  • Cavendish Laboratory - hydrogen, density of the earth
  • Charles Darwin - evolution through natural selection
  • Alan Turing - basic model of computation
  • Francis Crick and James Watson - structure of DNA

Since it's so early in the semester we haven't read or discussed any of these yet. Given that I'd like you to spend a minimum of 2 hours in any one of the science museums looking around and learning about what it has to offer. See the list under "Museums" for places that qualify for this. To document this you should be prepared to talk a bit about what you saw and learned when we meet for dinner.

To add a shameless self plug: The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and the European Bioinformatics Institute are about 15 minutes south of the town. Both organizations are doing work to apply computers to biological and chemical problems. --Spwein06 13:46, 13 January 2011 (UTC)

About Cambridge

Cambridge is a relatively small (~100K people), picturesque university town about 50 miles Northeast of London. It is distinguished by the many universities and colleges located there and their museums, architecture, people, etc. There are also a couple of very nice markets in-town.


  • Museums in Cambridge (Wikipedia)
    • New Hall Art Collection - all women artists
    • Scott Polar Museum/Research Institute (S, T and S)
    • Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences (S, T and S)
    • University Museum of Zoology (S, T and S)
    • University Fitzwilliam Museum - art and antiquities
    • The Cambridge Museum of Technology - eh

Unfortunately the Whipple Museum of Science History and the Museum of Archeology and Anthropology are both closed for renovations now.


There is general market in the town square and an art and craft market in All Saints Garden, both on Saturdays.