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Biomedicine in museums

Scientific/technological artefacts and nationality

I first got hooked on using Twitter in- and outside conference rooms when I attended last year’s Artefacts meeting at the Boerhaave Museum in Leiden. Hopefully the award-winning and refurbished National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh also has an acceptable wifi connection when hosting this year’s meeting, 7-9 October.

This year’s meeting is thematically focused on scientific and technological museum artefacts against the backdrop of the notion of nationality, i.e., questions like:

  • Do artefacts embody national styles or distinct communities of practice?
  • Do artefacts reflect particular national attitudes on the relationship between science and technology?
  • Do artefacts act as signifiers of nationhood and how are they enlisted in the construction of nationalist agendas?
  • National, international or local: how do museums aim at audiences through artefacts stories?

As the organiser, Klaus Staubermann, reminds us, the Artefacts conferences “are friendly and informal meetings with the character of workshops” (see my report from the Oslo meeting in 2007), and there is plenty of time for open discussion and networking (that is, both face-to-face and through Twitter).

Each contributor will get 20 minutes for presentation, followed by ample of time for questions and discussion. If you want to make a presentation, contact Klaus at not later than 30 April.

Thomas Söderqvist

Author Thomas Söderqvist

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