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What is the role of a museum of science today, and of techno-optimistic thinking in contemporary discourses? From cabinets of curiosity to exclusive study clubs; from the collections of natural history museums, called “cathedrals of nature,” to 20th century World Expos—the historical transformation of such “musing” spaces has both indexed and administered our changing understandings of science. Often, these institutions were mechanisms for producing and sharing knowledge, but how has this changed in contemporary, networked society, where expanding research labs produce knowledge faster and more specialized than ever before, and where digital technologies spread and disseminate this information? Against the backdrop of the “Bilbao effect” and national stakes in the construction of museums worldwide, how does “science” fit into this narrative? How do the humanities, critical aesthetic practices, and public participation fit into the equation? This discussion on the museum as a site of knowledge production takes into account movements like citizen science, maker and fab lab cultures, and diverse hacker movements.
– Marina Teresa Verzier: Evanescent Institutions (Het Nieuwe Institute, The Netherlands)
– Jodi Dean: A View from the Side: The Natural History Museum (Hobart and William Smith College, USA)
Moderated by: Rytis Zemkauskas (Vytautas Magnus University, Lithuania) & Jūratė Tutlytė (Vytautas Magnus University, Lithuania)
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