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!

This article first appeared in the 19 September 2011 issue of the New Statesman, Meet the next Prime Minister