Next week I'll be in London for Nature Network's Science Blogging Conference. It's entirely possible that I'm looking forward to the trip as much as GrrlScientist is, and not just because I'll be hanging out in the UK for a week afterward. Both ScienceBlogs and the Nature Network host groups of bloggers who are interested in and write about science, but there are also quite a few differences between the two groups. It'll be interesting to sit down with folks there and look at our different perspectives. Hopefully, everyone will be able to take away something new from the discussions.
After the conference, I'm planning on doing some scientific sightseeing. I've been to London before, but that was a family trip, and there were some constraints on what I could do and where we could go. (To put it another way, I could only get away with boring everyone else so much without facing a revolt.) This time, I'm going to try and get to a few more places that have strong history of science ties. Down house is definitely on the agenda, as are trips to Oxford and Cambridge. Aside from that, I'm leaving things up in the air a bit. Suggestions are, of course, welcome.
Matt Brown is the expert on London science, so you can drag the information out of him during the pub crawl on Thursday. I guess you've signed up for his tour on Friday too.
I'll be hanging round for a few days too, so I might be able to help translate the local language. I haven't done the touristy stuff in London, but I did go on a work trip to the Botanical Gardens, which was fun.
I probably wouldn't bother with the Science Museum, as it's very much aimed at kids. The Natural History Museum is spectacular, though (gorgeous Victorian architecture as well). Unfortunately I don't think the Athenaeum is open to the public, but you could visit the library of the Royal Society. You may also want to check out the memorials to Newton, Darwin, Lyell, Hooke and other scientists at Westminster Abbey. When in Oxford (if you haven't already been), you should definitely check out the Pitt Rivers museum (more ethnographic than science, but still great).