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Museum and Society

Museum and Society

Science Communication in Theory and Practice

Research museums are places of education, teaching and knowledge transfer, as well as public scientific discourse. In what way can a natural history research museum make this a stimulating task and do justice to its role as a public discussion forum at the interface of science, politics and society? Science Programme 4 is concerned with the question how interaction between members of the scientific community and other stakeholders works, how interaction between stakeholders shapes ideas about nature and thus the relationship between human beings, nature and culture. Finally, what was the particular role research museums had in the process in the past, what is it now and what will it be in the future? 

Overview of Topics

  • What are the historic, cultural and political constellations, structures and power systems in which research museums in general and the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin operates?
  • How do modern natural history research museums perceive their own role and how does this perception shape their practical actions and their participation in international debates on what the museums can achieve in a society?
  • How to convey scientific content to a wide range of target audiences?
  • How to develop such content in cooperation and communication with different stakeholders in society?
  • Which knowledge transfer tasks are part of the primary functions of the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin (primary knowledge transfer), and how does the transfer of scientific methods and insights to the public at large work?
  • How can other fields of the Museum’s work be included in knowledge transfer, looking at the scientific, structural, procedural and ethical implications (secondary knowledge transfer)? What role do integration and participation play in the overall cognitive process?

This science program is subdivided into five departments including Department of Historical Research, which can be found at Collections/Library and Archives.