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Subject: Conflict
SUBJECT:
Conflict
If technology makes conflicts more destructive, wreaking immense harm to communities and individuals, these conflicts also foster creativity and innovation, producing new ways of doing things and new products that have enriched our lives. Twentieth-century wars have spawned better ways of sending the news home, improved artificial limbs, faster and cheap air travel and even aerosol sprays. The Science Museum’s collections contain many war-related objects ranging in size from a Leica camera used in the Vietnam war, to artificial limbs from the First World War, to the V2 rocket missile. Do countries at war really inspire new technologies, or do they simply put existing ideas into practice? We all know about the classic wartime inventions such as the atomic bomb, and even the bouncing bomb, but the situation is often more complex. Technology increasingly blurs the boundary between fiction and reality, and never more so than in the reporting and interpretation of war. Conflict has been the basis of great art and films, ranging from Picasso’s painting Guernica to Tony Richardson’s film The Charge of the Light Brigade. New techniques in broadcast also allow us to follow war as it happens.
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The loss of a limb is one of the worst things that can happen to anyone. Artificial limbs are, at best, an imperfect solution. Find out how three people have managed with them.  > more
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Warfare, responsible for great suffering, has also inspired some of the greatest creativity. It has been the subject of the most profound art. Television has brought images and reportage of conflict into the home. At its best, this is done with integrity. However, sometimes this mating of communications technology and war has instead been called propaganda – but how distinct is propaganda from 'truth'?  > more
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Wars seem to be a hotbed of inventions. Every modern war has its technological wonders, from tanks in the First World War to the 'Massive Ordnance Air Blast' bomb (the so-called 'Mother of All Bombs') in the Second Gulf War. What is the relationship between technological innovations, long economic cycles and war?  > more
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We perceive the world with a clarity born of technology. It is not so much, 'Does the camera lie?' as 'What kind of truth does it tell?”
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