265 Mass Ave, Cambridge, MA | Directions 0213942.361286 -71.095186
Neighborhoods: Area IV
Science at its most entertaining – Whether a social experiment or examining science with a wink, the MIT Museum is a great place to visit. The exhibit on the electric cars is an interesting theory on how a city's downtown might want to adopt a rent-a-car-for-short-distances plan without causing pollution or excess parking nightmares. One exhibit on zebrafishes to examine how genetically altering the fish might solve cancer was thoughtful. The ability to strip the stripes from the fish to either create albinos or spotted zebras can be seen as cruel or a bit Dr. Frankenstein. It can also be taken as a breakthrough to figure out what genetic code controls what. Kismit was a robot who reacted based on vocal tones. Looking a bit like the Gremlin characters, the experiment stirred the concept of advanced learning abilities in robotics. Can a robot tell your mood based solely on your tone and would it remember it the fifth time you scolded 'em? And probably the most practical experience was the Touch Lab's work that clearly was translated into training tools for surgeons who would use guided "arms" to conduct surgery (once you had enough practice hours on the simulation). Oddly enough, I remember its existence because of Grey's Anatomy. The holograms were neat. After a while, you are a bit overwhelmed by science in a good way. With great power and intellect comes great responsibility. It appears MIT students have done very well with their intellect.
Even technophobes will get a kick out of this non-threatening museum. – On a recent visit to Cambridge's other university, we were pleasantly reminded of the simplicity and unpretentious nature of its museum. There are no Rembrandts and Mondrians here. The MIT museum, inconspicuously located off Mass. Ave., chooses instead to showcase art that hovers somewhere between scientific curiosity and new expression.
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