The twentieth century has known major changes in the field of science and technology museums.

If nowaday the structure and vocation of museums of science and technology tend.to be similar throughout Europe and North America, the situation was quite different at the beginning of the century.

In North America, in the nineteenth century, individuals, learned societies, Colleges and Universities owned such museums as a way of gaining more prestige. Museums of science and technology were the site of legitimacy and diffusion of high culture reserved to the élite.

A displacement of science occured at the beginning of the twentieth century. Many museums failed to adapt themselves to the prevailing modes of representations and therefore, disappeared.

In Europe, actors instigating new projects and conveying discourses were of different order.

The aim of the present communication is to proceed to an analysis of european and american contexts of scientific and technological museology.

Actors and their discourses will be scrutinized. The objective is to examine the representations  which shaped the field of science and technology as well as those that are molding it today.

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Discourses on science and technology museums in Europe and in North America

Christine Tarpin   CREST - Université du Québec à Montréal, Montréal, Canada

The twentieth century has known major changes in the field of science and technology museums.

If nowaday the structure and vocation of museums of science and technology tend.to be similar throughout Europe and North America, the situation was quite different at the beginning of the century.

In North America, in the nineteenth century, individuals, learned societies, Colleges and Universities owned such museums as a way of gaining more prestige. Museums of science and technology were the site of legitimacy and diffusion of high culture reserved to the élite.

A displacement of science occured at the beginning of the twentieth century. Many museums failed to adapt themselves to the prevailing modes of representations and therefore, disappeared.

In Europe, actors instigating new projects and conveying discourses were of different order.

The aim of the present communication is to proceed to an analysis of european and american contexts of scientific and technological museology.

Actors and their discourses will be scrutinized. The objective is to examine the representations  which shaped the field of science and technology as well as those that are molding it today.

A copy of the full paper has not yet been submitted.

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