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December 11, 2023

MSE features new exhibit on everyday science

By KATHERINE SIMEON | September 14, 2011

The MSE Library is currently home to a new exhibit, "Daily Miracles: Science in Everyday Life." The M-Level display cases are filled with artifacts linked to significant contributions in the science students see in the classroom and beyond. The exhibit is on display until Jan. 6, 2012.

"The exhibit is designed to bring attention to some of the ways that scientific discovery over the centuries has contributed to our knowledge and well-being—which is not always about the big, notable, historical discoveries that we associate with Galileo, Einstein or Watson and Crick.  

Instead, the exhibit highlights several roles that science plays in our everyday lives—those "daily miracles" that we might take for granted," Gabrielle Dean, curator of the exhibit and a librarian at the Sheridan Libraries, wrote in an e-mail to The News-Letter.

The exhibit focuses on three main areas: pharmacology, science education, and science "recreation," such as World Fairs.

According to the Sheridan Libraries blog, the exhibit was inspired by two pharmacy ledgers, a gift from the family of Krieger alum Darlene Bookoff.

Many lesser-known researchers, including a few former Hopkins students and faculty, are seen through both a scientific and personal lens. Pharmacy ledgers, hand-written prescriptions, aged science textbooks, and other instruments bring classroom science and ordinary life occurrences together.

For instance, on display is a biology exam from Hopkins alum William Grauer, taken in 1934. Accompanying it, a blunt and humorous letter to his mother. This part of the exhibit gives students a look into lives of scientists as they were going through similar experiences.

The exhibit also features items from the World's Fair, which offer a unique insight into science and everyday life.

"I think people will also really enjoy the World's Fairs souvenir books," Dean wrote.  "What I love about these books is how they connect us to the past.  

"Although the technological feats they illustrate might seem old to us now, those Fairs—and the many kinds of souvenirs they generated—really initiated the kind of popular science that we now enjoy in science museums and T.V. shows."

The strength of this exhibit is its overall diversity. With displays that range from herbariums to atlases the exhibit shows the versatility of science.

"I also hope that students who see the exhibit will like being reminded that you don't have to be a famous researcher to make a significant contribution to science, engineering, nursing, public health and medicine," Dean wrote.

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