Natural History Workshop at the Ecsite Conference this May

Specimens and collections in museums communication with The Nature Group, 21 May only

The use of specimens makes natural history museums unique in science communication, but that is also a paradox, because they deliver a message regarding life, using dead specimens! The effect that real specimens do to visitors before they even start knowing what they are or what is it that is explained about them, is an often overlooked factor that we should not oversee at museums.

In this workshop we will this year try to dig in to the heart of science communication of natural specimens and collections. Do they reflect mainly our way to divide nature, or is nature segmented by itself as we use to do? Can the fascinating world behind the scenes ruled by the curators and the taxonomist be displayed and presented to the general audience? And how do we make communicate of the specimens and collections interesting and up to date. Often we use hands on approach and the careful manipulation occurring in the educational labs. Hands-on exhibits work better in the discovery of processes, the careful observation and manipulation of specimen in the understanding of the effects of adaptation, exaptation. But these methods are difficult to use when dealing with real objects.

This workshop is interesting for Natural History museums, science museums and science centers because all three categories more and more widely use specimens and in their exhibitions other communication.

◦Henrik Sell, Deputy Director, Natural History Museum, Aarhus, Denmark.
◦Gerard Cobut, Acting Head of Exhibition Development, Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Brussels, Belgium.
◦Michele Lanzinger, Director, Museo Tridentino di Scienze Naturali, Trento, Italy.
◦Anna Omedes, Director, Natural History Museum of Barcelona, Spain.

Speakers: (more tbc)

  • Cécile Gerin, Museum of Natural Sciences, Brussels (RBINS).
  • Henrik Sell, Deputy Director, Natural History Museum, Aarhus, Denmark.
  • Michele Lanzinger, Director, Museo Tridentino di ScienzeNaturali, Trento, Italy.

For more information about Escite or the conference, click here.