Oct 28, 2022

Bringing Earl Bakken’s legacy to Science Museum of London exhibit

The exhibit will run from October 2022 through December 2028 

A new exhibit at the Science Museum of London shines a bright spotlight on Earl Bakken’s legacy — and the role Medtronic plays in driving medical innovation. 

Expected to draw over 200,000 visitors, the exhibit explores the future of scientific discovery through the lens of science fiction. Earl’s story fits well into that theme: The Medtronic co-founder’s fascination with how electricity and the human body interact began with a film adaptation of the novel Frankenstein

The inspirational role Frankenstein played in the history of the pacemaker caught the museum’s attention a couple years ago, when National Geographic produced a video on the topic. Exhibit organizers later reached out to Medtronic staff, who spent months assembling artifacts now on display. 

The Medtronic team’s behind-the-scenes work included combing through items previously stored in Earl’s office and partnering with his estate and the Bakken Museum to locate the first battery-powered pacemaker. 

An early Medtronic pacemaker prototype (center) paired with a Micra™ (left)
An early Medtronic pacemaker prototype (center) paired with a Micra™ (left)

Other historical items featured included a Frankenstein wind-up toy, a 1957 prototype of a Medtronic pacemaker, and a photo of Earl as a young man. 

Medtronic is the only healthcare technology company featured in the exhibit. Artifacts from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in the U.S. and Disney are also on display. 

While the exhibit opens in London, it will eventually travel to other destinations globally. It will run from October 2022 through December 2028.