Participation in a Research Museum: Opportunities and Challenges

New study looks at benefits, opportunities and challenges of public participation in research museums

As NEMO (Net­work of Euro­pean Muse­um Orga­ni­sa­ti­ons) reports, a new stu­dy loo­ks at the bene­fits, oppor­tu­nities and chal­len­ges of public par­ti­ci­pa­ti­on in rese­arch muse­ums. „Wieb­ke Rös­sig and Lisa Jahn led the rese­arch pro­ject “Visi­tor Par­ti­ci­pa­ti­on in the Muse­um of Natu­ral Histo­ry Ber­lin for the Pro­mo­ti­on of Sci­ence Com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on and Know­ledge Trans­fer“ that was car­ri­ed out at the Muse­um für Natur­kun­de Ber­lin in Ger­ma­ny for two years. The goal of the rese­arch was to iden­ti­fy, deve­lop and test new par­ti­ci­pa­to­ry methods and ele­ments for the exhibitions.“

Accord­ing to NEMO, the rese­arch iden­ti­fied three pil­lars as a basis for the par­ti­ci­pa­ti­on of visi­tors to the Muse­um für Natur­kun­de Berlin:

  • Crea­ting spaces for participation,
  • Enab­ling mul­ti-per­spec­ti­vi­ty and
  • Brin­ging deba­tes on social topics into the muse­um and enab­ling an inten­si­ve exchan­ge and mutu­al learning.

After giving an over­view of par­ti­ci­pa­ti­on theo­ry, the rese­ar­chers moves on to exp­lai­ning the rese­arch fin­dings and con­clu­de by offe­ring recom­men­da­ti­ons and a check­list for muse­ums that wish to deve­lop a new par­ti­ci­pa­to­ry project.

The full arti­cle can be read here.

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