Bonnier on the Clyde

Over the summer holidays, I took my two young sons (aged nine and 11) to London. To show them that there was more to the capital than riots, we visited the Science Museum. I was delighted.

My own memories of the place, stretching back to my eighth birthday, were largely intact. I could see Stephenson's Rocket, Babbage's difference engine (the first computer), a lunar landing module, Spitfires hanging from the ceiling and Henry Wellcome's extraordinary collection of medical artefacts. The boys enjoyed their turn on a simulated Red Arrow flight.

Overall, however, their experience was mildly disappointing. The London Science Museum seemed a little fusty to a couple of young Scots who, for several years, have been regulars at the chrome-and-glass Glasgow Science Centre (GSC) - sitting just across the Clyde from the brand new transport museum, already described as the Scottish answer to Bilbao's Guggenheim.

Chock-a-block with things to do, touch, hear and smell, GSC's gleaming world of modern science offers a different experience from the one offered by the relics of science history in South Kensington. Contrary to the London-centred views expressed in the New Statesman (6 June 2011) by Paul Nurse, president of the Royal Society, when it comes to science, Glasgow's Miles Better!