For the Learned and the Curious: the Role of Natural History Museums in the 21st Century
Professor Ian Owens, Natural History Museum London, and Imperial College London
Many of the word's great natural history museums have their roots in the cultural and scientific revolutions of the 18th and 19th centuries, a time of intense interest in collecting, displaying and debating the extraordinary objects that were being brought from around the world.
I will ask whether there is still a scientific and public role of these institutions today and in the future, when digital technology allows instant global access to what were once rare objects and when taxonomy, mineralogy and systematics are commonly identified as disciplines in crisis.
Can natural history museums still do relevant science? Can they still inspire the learned and the curious? Can they change enough to rediscover their original purpose?
Suited for 16+
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