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Exhibit Nature + Explain Science: What will the natural history museum of the future look like?

When Jun 06, 2012 10:05 AM to
Jun 07, 2012 10:05 AM
Where Frankfurt/Main, Germany
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The Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung will host an international convention on the topic "Exhibit Nature + Explain Science" in the Senckenberg Natural History Museum, Frankfurt/Main on the 6th and 7th June 2012. The meeting will address the question What will the natural history museum of the future look like?

Using international examples, architects, exhibition designers, curators, scientists, artists and journalists will present the trends and perspectives that are important for the natural history museums worldwide and for Senckenberg in planning its building extension in Frankfurt am Main.

The theme for the opening evening and for the first day is the media. Film, radio and television, the press, photography and specialist journals, exhibitions, science centres and museums, blogs and festivals all offer a wide range of media and formats to communicate new findings, theories and research questions, discuss research results, and intervene in scientific arguments on issues of social sustainability. Day Two focues on scenography and architecture.

Science today is a source of ideas for entertainment shows and opens up new ways of presenting both the microcosm and the macrocosm. The scientific community is looking for funding and is developing is own celebrities system. New communication strategies change demands and expectations: the power of pictures is on the increase, findings are related to people, campaigns dictate topics while events promote them, and buzzwords and definitions covering issues ranging from biodiversity to forest dieback are in the news. A growing number of people are participating in all of this and are now receiving access to what was formerly a closed world – they have even begun to participate in the evaluation of data (citizen science).

In the competition for attention and participation, the media play a key role. Senckenberg wants to present effective mechanisms and best practice examples, shine the light on communication strategies along the spectrum between alarmism, voicing of concern and forecasting, and highlight the models used in the fight for quality and quotas. How do the media work in an age of the knowledge society and alluring user interfaces? Where are we headed with convergence of topics, disciplines and discourses that build a bridge between natural sciences and the humanities, technology and the arts?

Senckenberg museum invites stakeholders from this new world of knowledge to come to the museu, to tell them how things work and what the future holds. Senckenberg has been working at popularising science for almost 200 years. Exhibit Nature & Explain Science is designed to reflect the state of the art in the science world.

Senckenberg museum hopes you will tell us your views and share your insights on new opportunities in this regard. In times of rapid structural change within the media, the museum can serve as a social meeting place in which to take key future-focused issues to task. A place in which researchers, communicators, experts and laypeople can gather. Natural history museums are the perfect ‘opera houses’ for a new culture of scientific discourse. Exhibit Nature & Explain Science is intended as the dress rehearsal for future performances.

Day Two focuses on scenography and architecture. Senckenberg’s expansion plans for its Frankfurt premises foster notions of new knowledge spaces and contemporary space use. How can system relationships and the development dynamics of natural systems be presented and made tangible? What should a museum complex look like if it is to serve as an opera house of public discourse on science? Day Two looks at the shell that encompasses the contents from Day One.

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