Science Museum a ‘missed opportunity’ for farming

Farmers are being urged to share their suggestions for how the Science Museum should portray agriculture.

It follows an article on the London visitor attraction by Farmers Weekly editor, Jane King, who felt it gave an old-fashioned and cliched view of farming, rather than portraying today’s high-tech and business-focused industry.

“While some might enjoy this trip down memory lane, it does nothing to improve public understanding about this country’s leadership in crop science or our world-class skills in marrying quality food production with sustainable management of the countryside and environment,” she said.

Debate soon kicked off on the FWi forums, with Mike Williams also critical.

“Even more disappointing,” he said, “is the way farming’s past is presented, and particularly the development of power farming in which the UK has played a leading role.”

Others, however, were less critical. “It’s a museum – isn’t it supposed to be old-fasioned?” commented one, while another said: “One person’s idea of history is another’s idea of scrap.”

Hertfordshire farmer and FW columnist Ian Pigott, while agreeing the display is dated, reckons those responsible are “open-minded, receptive and keen to explore options for the future”.

He said: “Farming is too quick to criticise others for not portraying our industry in a light that we approve of, when up until recent years we had done all too little to promote farming ourselves.”

Do you have a view on how the Science Museum should portray agriculture? Are there any particular objects, pieces of machinery or technologies you’d like to see in there? Add your view to the forums.

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