Public engagement ecologies at the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin
Grounded in social anthropology, critical museum studies, and feminist Science and Technology Studies, this research project studies multiple modes of doing biodiversity in public engagement practices at the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin. The on-going major structural and infrastructural renovations at this museum make it a particularly exciting research context. Matters engaged include citizen science, coexistence of different epistemic cultures, emergence of publics, and the “participation issue”.
In order to understand the complexity of the research ecology, the ethnographic attention is directed to group and mediated formats: guided tours, workshops, public talks, and a CS project. In these activities – which unfold according to various purposes, means, and thematic focuses – multiple biodiversities are done differently, assembling subjects and objects in different ways.
These activities are researched as constellations of situated processes of always partial and temporary co-productions. Moving from this position, the main aim is to learn how the semiotic-material entanglements of humans, non-humans, and technologies (digital media in particular) co-produce specific interspecies modes of knowing and caring about environments.
The research project is carried out in cooperation with the Making Differences Project at the Centre for Anthropological Research on Museums and Heritage (CARMAH).
The project is funded by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation as part of the research award for Sharon Macdonald’s Alexander von Humboldt Professorship.