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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Pelling

Our Prototypes are now Museum Pieces

Wild new entrance to the Canada Science and Technology Museum

On Nov 16, 2017 the Canada Science and Technology Museum re-opened its doors to the public after a multi-year, multi-million dollar makeover (link). I was very happy to receive an invitation to the opening. As a partner and collaborator the museum has been involved with several of my initiatives and projects over the years.

The opening was of special interest to me as I knew one of our microscope prototypes was on display in the main exhibit hall, somewhere in artifact alley. This particular prototype is our very first 3D printed, twitter controlled microscope that was first demonstrated in 2014 at the TOXICITY show in Winnipeg (link). This was the first major bioart show in Canada and was the first public unveiling of two of our recent projects - Twitter Controlled Microscopes and Cellulose Scaffolds for Tissue Engineering. Its fair to say the cellulose scaffolds have gone on to become a major initiative in the lab (link). We also just published the scientific paper detailing the design and use of social media and video game platforms for controlling microscopes (link).

Robert Hooke's Micrographia (1665)

Our microscope is now on display in the museum right beside an original copy of Hooke's Micrographia and in the same vicinity as many important historical microscopes, including the first TEM in North America, built at the University of Toronto. Who would have guessed our goofy microscope would end up in such great company. I'm still a bit shocked and quite a bit humbled.

And of course, this wouldn't be a major opening in our nation's capital without the dignitaries. I have to say it was pretty cool to get a picture with the Canadian Minister of Science Hon. Dr. Kirsty Duncan and Canada's Chief Science Advisor Dr. Mona Nemer. Fun fact - Mona is one of the key people who hired me at the University of Ottawa almost 10 years ago!

Nerding out with Canadian scientific leadership under purple lights (I bring them with me).

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