Object lessons: history, collections and science museums

Two things on the internet recently caught my eye, which relate to a question I waded into earlier this year: What are science museums for? They also, of course, relate to my job as a curator with responsibility for the subject area of history of science, some of the museum’s science-related object collections, and historical interpretation of the site of the Royal Observatory in Greenwich.

The first is an article in the online journal HOST (Journal of History of Science and Technology) by Ana Delicado: ‘For scientists, for students or for the public? The shifting roles of natural history museums’. The other, a session forthcoming at the Museums Association conference, provocatively titled ‘Are science collections heading for extinction?’ One looks at the history of museums, the other their future. Continue reading →


About Rebekah Higgitt

Rebekah Higgitt completed a PhD in the history of science at Imperial College London in 2004 and did postdoctoral research at the University of Edinburgh. Since 2008 she has been Curator of History of Science and Technology at the National Maritime Museum and the Royal Observatory, Greenwich. Her research and publications have mainly focused on scientific institutions, scientific biography, history of science and the relationship between science, government and the public in 19th-century Britain.
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