London museum Twitter wars!

I tend to stay off Twitter for three reasons: I don’t have time, given the duties associated with this site, I don’t like to embroil myself in fights having blows of 140 characters, and it breeds a toxicity that manifests itself as rancor without enlightenment. Has anybody changed their mind after a Twitter argument? It must be rare. Most of the Twitter posts I like have wit and humor rather than vituperation.

On the other hand, I miss the good stuff on Twitter, too, and count on reader and friends (addicts like Matthew and Grania) to send me that stuff; and I use it a fair amount. I suppose I’d use it more if I didn’t prefer to write here.

Well, here’s some good stuff sent to me by reader pyers, who found on the poke website a summary of a vicious Twitter battle between two London institutions: the Science Museum and the Natural History Museum. It started with a simple question from a layperson:

. . .and so the Great Museum debate began with this:

The Science Museum fired back:

And so it went on, without resolution, of course. The Poke gives a lot of tw**ts, but I’ll show just a few more:

And more salvos:

I’ll end it with a cat and call it a draw. I’ve been to the Natural History Museum, which is spectacular, but can’t judge since I’ve never been to the Science Museum. But what do you have to lose by going to both?


  1. rickflick
    Posted September 17, 2017 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    Amusing and educational. Doesn’t hurt promotion either. 😎

  2. Posted September 17, 2017 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    Brilliant. For my part, having been to both many many times, the Natural History Museum clinches it for me – dem bones…. Still, the best museums in London are, for me the British Museum and the Wallace Collection. Can never be bored at either!

  3. Mark R.
    Posted September 17, 2017 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    Now there’s a tw*tter war I can get behind. Fun stuff! As a kid, I loved Natural History museums, as an adult I gravitate towards art museums.

  4. bonetired
    Posted September 17, 2017 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    They both are wonderful and well worth multiple visits. There are some real treasures in both but one that is a must see is some of the original W&C plates from their famous 1953 model.

    • bonetired
      Posted September 17, 2017 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

      In the Science Museum !

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted September 17, 2017 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

        (Took me a moment to work that one out).

        Watson & Crick. 1953. DNA.

        Yes, I saw that. It’s a reconstruction of their original 1953 model using the surviving plates from that model.


  5. Steve Pollard
    Posted September 17, 2017 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    They are both wonderful, they have both undergone great makeovers in recent years, and (like their sibling in South Ken, the V&A) are FREE! Anyone who lives in London, or is passing through, should go to one, or preferably all three.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted September 17, 2017 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

      Free, although they do try to extract a 5-pound donation from you. Which I was quite happy to pay, that’s cheap compared with admission to most ‘attractions’.


  6. BJ
    Posted September 17, 2017 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    Excellent bait and switch with the title and opening paragraph. Love this story.

    I’ve been to both museums, and I don’t think I could pick a clear winner.

  7. eric
    Posted September 17, 2017 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    How fun. Of course given that the Air & Space museum has, effectively, ICBMs, it’s only 32 minutes away from a victory against any other museum on Earth. 🙂

  8. Gareth Price
    Posted September 17, 2017 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    Reminded me of one of my favorite jokes.

    A man is looking at a dinosaur skeleton in the natural history museum.”How old is this skeleton?” he asks a security guard. “It’s 65 million and eight years old,” comes the reply. “How can you possibly know it is 65 million and EIGHT years old?” the man says. “Easy” the guard replies. “It was 65 million years old when I started working here and that was eight years ago.”

  9. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted September 17, 2017 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

    Both museums are fantastic. I can well understand their Twitterwar because they’re next-door neighbours, just across the road from the V&A.

    I recently spent a most of a day in the Science Museum. Must mention their preserved (stationary) steam engines. I was going to duck into the NHM in the afternoon but it had a mile-long queue for admission, so I ducked into the Victoria & Albert across the road – lots of old nuddy stachoos not-very-well-endowed, and an exhibit on manufacture and uses of plywood which (I think) would have fitted better in the Science Nuseum, but never mind – and came back for the NHM next morning.

    Now I couldn’t find the Geological Museum which I plainly remembered (from my yoof) was between the Science Museum and the NHM. It’s still there on some maps. But the attendant at the NHM door pointed out that the stone facade said ‘Geological Museum’, the NHM has swallowed it up, but not digested it yet, fortunately. I spent most of the morning looking through the strictly geological exhibits – fascinating minerals! and some interesting models of geological processes – not what I would’ve called ‘natural history’ but never mind – and only had time for a quick trot past the dinosaur skeletons before I had to rush off to catch my train. So I haven’t really properly seen the Natural History Museum as such.

    (As between the Victoria & Albert, and the Museum of London near St Paul’s, I have to say the Museum of London wins hands down. IMO. I can’t comment on the British Museum because I’ve never seen it).


  10. busterggi
    Posted September 18, 2017 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    Sure exhibits, blah, blah, blah, but who’s got the better giftshop?

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