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Nine meta-functions for science museums and science centres

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Science centres and science museums face challenges such as increased accountability, increased demands for accessibility, and growing competition from leisure experiences. On their own, the traditional museum practices of preservation, communication, and research are insufficient to address these challenges. Accordingly, we use the framework of eight museum meta-functions, presented by Dubuc (2011) and further developed here, to understand how these institutions respond to calls for change. We analyse the presentations of staff members from 21 science centres and science museums, given at the 2013 Ecsite conference, to map out how these institutions address modern-day challenges. This analysis generates a new framework of nine meta-functions for science centres and science museums that can guide and help qualify discussions about their present and future activities. We discuss the new meta-functions as evidence of a turn away from the self-referential museum functions of the past, towards a more complete externalisation of purpose.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftMuseum Management and Curatorship
Vol/bind32
Udgave nummer2
Sider (fra-til)123-143
Antal sider21
ISSN0964-7775
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 2017

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