Museum for change Local paleontologists impact their community
Luz Helena Oviedo – Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. Colombia
Carlos Jaramillo – Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute Colombia
Juliana Restrepo – Parque Explora Colombia
Andres Vanegas – Museo de Historia Natural La Tatacoa Colombia
What does it take to support a local museum? How science can contribute to the development of a rural community? What are the needs and interests of research institutions when partnering with a community? How large-scale science centers can contribute to small museums? This proposal will draw on a specific experience in Colombia among Museo de Historia Natural La Tatacoa (a rural museum), Parque Explora (science center) and Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. These institutions partnered to develop an exhibit portraying Miocene fossils and the work of local researchers. This initiative will increase awareness to protect paleontological heritage and also, it is emerging as a possible source of income for the community. So far, locals' interest for science has impacted the community at many levels. In this presentation we will offer a practice insight focusing on the lessons learned from the different actors involved in the project. including the point of view from the community, paleontologists and museum professionals. We will also share the main challenges regarding design, content production, communication strategy and mediation. Lessons learned from this experience will shed light on how museums and scientific research institutions can support local and communitary museums, and viceversa, specially in low income countries where access to science is limited.
The author has not yet submitted a copy of the full paper.