Exhibition: Broadcasting Science

Broadcasting Science, the title of a Royal Society Library and Archives exhibition  in London, focuses on the question of how to  present complex scientific ideas simply – a question faced by many  science teachers, and  broadcasters  making programmes for schools/children. The exhibition follows the history of radio and television broadcasts from the 1920s onwards and makes a valuable contribution to the study of broadcasting in the UK schools.

We have two special collections, the BBC Broadcasts to Schools and the BBC Radiovision Collection, which may be of interest to researchers studying the use of different media in teaching or looking at teaching resources.  Both collections were deposited on permanent loan with the Institute in 1990.  The BBC Broadcasts to Schools Collection consists of the BBC’s own collection of pamphlets produced to accompany schools radio broadcasts from September 1926 to the late 1970s. The BBC Radiovision Collection covering 1964 to 1990, includes both sound recordings and sets of slides or colour film strips to be used with a filmstrip/slide projector as well as teacher’s notes.  Although there is no listing available for the BBC Broadcasts for Schools, an independent website Broadcast for Schools at http://www.broadcastforschools.co.uk provides a useful listing service for both BBC schools programmes and those from other radio and TV channels.  The Newsam Library has a typed list for the BBC Radiovision Collecction which is available  at the Enquiry Desk.  An article charting the history of broadcasts for schools in the UK by David Crook is also freely available to download on the web.  So, if you’re planning to visit the exhibition, do start with this article as it provides a useful overview on the topic.

The Archives at the Newsam Library also hold materials relating to the BBC  – namely the papers of Duncan Taylor who was a producer and programme editor in the Schools Broadcasting Department from 1947-1972, various photographs of children watching television programmes, correspondence about the English Foundation programme, film reels and videos.  A full list of materials in the Archives can be found by searching the Archive Catalogue.

The Royal Society exhibition runs until 16th November and is open on Tuesdays from 2pm to 4pm and on Thursdays from 10am to 12pm. No prior appointment is necessary during those times. The exhibition is free and all are welcome to attend. Details are available from here.

Nazlin Bhimani

About Nazlin Bhimani

Research Support and Special Collections Librarian, UCL Institute of Education, London
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