by columnist Catherine Sigmond

If you’re like me, sometimes the demands of work, school, and life get in the way of actually visiting new museums.  This week, I had the sinking realization that despite my best efforts, I couldn’t remember the last time I visited a new science museum or exhibition. What’s a busy museum professional to do?

I sat down and put together a list of local science museums, exhibitions, and events that I want to visit in the near future. Most of us here in Boston have been to the Museum of Science, but there are plenty of other great places in the area where you can check out interesting science-themed exhibitions and programs.

While it’s by no means exhaustive, these top my short-list of must-see local science events, exhibitions, and museums to visit this fall:

1. 5,000 Moving Parts at the MIT Museum– Art and engineering will collide yet again at the MIT Museum in this new exhibition that features kinetic artworks by sculptors Arthur Ganson, Anne Lilly, John Douglas Powers, and Rafael Lozano-Hemmer. The museum already has a fantastic exhibition featuring Ganson’s works, so I’m guessing this one won’t disappoint. Opens November 21, 2013.

Sculpture by John Douglas Powers. Image courtesy of MIT Museum

2. Amazing Archaeology Day at the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology and the Harvard Semitic Museum– Learn all about the science of archaeology at Harvard. Visitors can speak with archaeologists, sketch Maya glyphs, try their hand at archaeological illustration, and even get an immersive 3D tour of the pyramids and tombs of Giza! October 5th, 2013. 12-4pm.

And if that’s just not enough archaeology for you, the museum is hosting an open house of their Zooarchaeology Lab on October 14th from 12-4:30pm.

 courtesy of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University

3. Color Revolution: Science Meets Style in the 1960s at the American Textile History Museum– Science and 1960s fashion? Count me in! This exhibition illuminates the experiments in chemistry, design, and engineering that combined to produce the psychedelic colors and patterns we know and love.  On view September 14, 2013-January 26, 2014.


4. Beneski Museum of Natural History, Amherst College: This small university museum houses the world’s largest collection of dinosaur tracks, and the museum’s stunning architecture that showcases its dinosaur collection is probably worth the visit alone.

 photo courtesy of Payette

5. Reversible Reactions: Art Meets Science @ the MIT Glass Lab, Fuller Craft Museum– I love exhibitions that combine art and science, and this one looks awesome. Features include video of the “MIT Glass Band” and the chance to use MIT’s “Virtual Glass” software to design your own glass cane patterns. On view June 8-November 3, 2013.

 photo courtesy of Fuller Craft Museum