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Science Museums in Transition


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About the Author

Carin Berkowitz is the director of the Beckman Center for the History of Chemistry at the Chemical Heritage Foundation. She is the author of Charles Bell and the Anatomy of Reform and of a series of articles on anatomy, images, and objects published in Bu Bernard Lightman is professor of humanities at York University and president of the History of Science Society. Among his most recent publications are the edited collections Global Spencerism: The Communication and Appropriation of a Brit


"This book allows its readers to see what that paradoxical institution-defining process looked like, both in broad outlines, over a decades-long panorama, and close-up, in exquisitely researched and well-written micro-narratives. Taken together, these essays explain why museums became increasingly important and shed further light on the tensions inherent to museums' still-in-transition existence."
--Annals of Science
Science Museums in Transition blurs distinctions between exhibitions and museums with a deft appreciation of the role of performance and spectacle. It stresses the variability of architecture, function, display, and values across the nineteenth century, and therefore what was regarded as a 'museum' and what might be considered to be 'science.'"
--Sophie Forgan, Captain Cook Memorial Museum
"On both sides of the Atlantic, exhibitions, public demonstrations, and a salmagundi of museums made science available to all kinds of audiences. The essays in this enjoyable collection add mightily to our understanding of nineteenth-century science, and they remind us that a vibrant world of public engagement existed where science was performed and put on display."
--Steven Conn, Miami University
"This is a well-conceived and illuminating collection that writes back into museology the protean and contentious varieties of the science museum."

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