Science  museums  are  unique  compared  to   any  others  such  as  art  and  history  museums  in  that  they  are considered  places  mainly  for   children.  However,  although  the  visit  to  museums   is  often  thought  as  leisure  activity, science/natural  history museums are also expected to have a serious responsibility      to enhance the public communication of  science  and  technology  and  promote  environmental      awareness.   This  paper  argues  that  science/natural    history museums  have  not   made  a  substantial  contribution   on  PCST  because  they   are  hardly  taken  serious   in  the  society. Science/natural   history  museums  have  had  an  inner-tension   due  to  the  historical  reason  among  museums,  science  and technology  and  nature.  That  is,  in  the  West,    modernity,   while  sacrificing  nature,  gave  birth  to  both  science  and technology  and public  museums.  Science/natural  history  museums  as institutions  for children  have not had to deal with this  dilemmatic  reality.  As  an  example,  the  analysis  on  Biodiversity  Hall  in  the  American  Museum  of  Natural  History demonstrates  that museums  fail to present science and technology    in context related to environmental    issues. This paper also proposes that science-related   museums  should function as social spaces for those who can actually make a decision in  real  world.  To  do  so,  along  with  institutional   changes,  science/natural  history  museums  need  to  appeal  mature audiences  in two  ways:  they  have  to challenge  modern  ideologies  such  as  globalization  through  deconstructive  exhibits and create  multifold  stories  based  upon locality  through  reconstructive  exhibits.  The more  serious science  museums  are, the more relevant PCST is to the society.

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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Science museums for adults
To make pcst more serious

So Yeon Leem   Seoul National University, Korea

Science  museums  are  unique  compared  to   any  others  such  as  art  and  history  museums  in  that  they  are considered  places  mainly  for   children.  However,  although  the  visit  to  museums   is  often  thought  as  leisure  activity, science/natural  history museums are also expected to have a serious responsibility      to enhance the public communication of  science  and  technology  and  promote  environmental      awareness.   This  paper  argues  that  science/natural    history museums  have  not   made  a  substantial  contribution   on  PCST  because  they   are  hardly  taken  serious   in  the  society. Science/natural   history  museums  have  had  an  inner-tension   due  to  the  historical  reason  among  museums,  science  and technology  and  nature.  That  is,  in  the  West,    modernity,   while  sacrificing  nature,  gave  birth  to  both  science  and technology  and public  museums.  Science/natural  history  museums  as institutions  for children  have not had to deal with this  dilemmatic  reality.  As  an  example,  the  analysis  on  Biodiversity  Hall  in  the  American  Museum  of  Natural  History demonstrates  that museums  fail to present science and technology    in context related to environmental    issues. This paper also proposes that science-related   museums  should function as social spaces for those who can actually make a decision in  real  world.  To  do  so,  along  with  institutional   changes,  science/natural  history  museums  need  to  appeal  mature audiences  in two  ways:  they  have  to challenge  modern  ideologies  such  as  globalization  through  deconstructive  exhibits and create  multifold  stories  based  upon locality  through  reconstructive  exhibits.  The more  serious science  museums  are, the more relevant PCST is to the society.

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