Booming Fifties, Swinging Sixties: Exploring the British Post-war Culture of Science was an intermedial study of the public culture of science (1950-1970), comparing museum exhibitions and television programmes on similar themes.
By contrasting two different kinds of visual display of technoscientific knowledge, we hoped to gain an understanding of audiences’ potential engagement with science in this period.
The project was conceived as a pilot study, elucidating how each medium shapes the way knowledge is presented. It also considered the strength of archive sources for such work.
Dr Timothy Boon, Head of Research and Public History at the Science Museum, was the principal investigator for this project. He is the author of the monograph ‘Films of Fact: A History of Science in Documentary Films and Televisions’ (2008), which explores the origins of scientific documentary making in Britain and the genre’s fate post-war in the context of the rise in power of television.
Dr Jean-Baptiste Gouyon, was the researcher for the project. He was interested in understanding the public uses and appropriation of scientific knowledge, particularly in visual media. A former science journalist, he received a PhD in Sociology from the University of York in 2010. His thesis examined the history of natural history film-making in Britain.