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Biomedicine in museums

REAL instruments, please, not just images!

Each month I’m eagerly waiting for my copy of The Scientist to appear in my mail box, because the magazine runs a page on an idea, invention or object that has been significant in the history of 20C life sciences (a kind of nostalgia page for scientists — very sweet). In the last issue staff writer Bob Grant presents an EL307 microplate reader from BioTek Instruments produced around 1981, a toaster-size thing that was sold in about 450 units at $3,900 a piece in the early 1980s:

Nice, but also somewhat disappointing. Because Bob Grant apparently hasn’t seen one of this beauties IRL, only an image taken from a 1984-85 BioTek pamphlet. If The Scientist’s curatorial column is to be taken seriously, staff writers should have their hands on some real stuff, not just pamphlete images.

Thomas Söderqvist

Author Thomas Söderqvist

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