The 11th Symposium of Chinese Science Museum (CSM) was held under the theme of "Science and Technology Collections – Collection, Research and Communication" at the China Science and Technology Museum (CSTM) in Beijing on April 19, 2019.
The 11th Symposium of Chinese Science Museum is held at the China Science and Technology Museum in Beijing on April 19, 2019.
The symposium aimed to promote communication and exchange of experiences on how to better collect and study science and technology collections and use them for effective science communication and education. Topics included Science & Technology Collections in Science Museums: Significance, Value and Function, Collecting Contemporary Science and Technology, and Communication through Science & Technology Collections: Objectives, Content and Strategy.
The event was co-hosted by the China Association for Science and Technology (CAST) Research Center for Science Communication and Popularization (CAST- RCSCP) of Tsinghua University, CSTM, and the Journal of Natural Science Museum Research.
Xu Shanyan, president of CAST- RCSCP of Tsinghua University, delivered a welcome speech. An Laishun, vice president of the International Council of Museum (ICOM) and vice president and secretary general of the Chinese Museums Association (CMA) attended the symposium and extended congratulations on the convening of the symposium on behalf of ICOM and CMA.
The meetings in the morning and afternoon were chaired respectively by Ou Jiancheng, deputy curator of CSTM and vice president and secretary general of the Chinese Association of Natural Science Museums, and Liu Bing, director of CAST- RCSCP of Tsinghua University. Over 120 scholars, experts and staff members from museums, universities, research institutes and relevant enterprises participated in the symposium.
Dr. Richard Kremer, president of the Scientific Instrument Commission of International Union of the History and Philosophy of Science (IUHPS), Gabriel Bevilacqua, vice-chair of the International Committee for Documentation (CIDOC) of ICOM, Claude Faubert, coordinator of the ICOM International Training Centre for Museum Studies (ITC), and Li Xiang from the National Academy of Innovation Strategy (NAIS) were invited to give keynote presentations during the symposium.
Dr. Kremer's presentation was entitled "From Cyclotrons to Calculators – Collecting Contemporary Science and Technology at University Museums". He analyzed the significance of contemporary science and technology collection for museums and the challenges they faced, and introduced the cases of the museums at Harvard University, Oxford University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Tsinghua University. Bevilacqua's presentation was entitled "Tech as Tool and as a Museum Object: Documentation Strategies for Science and Technology Collections." From a technical perspective, Bevilacqua introduced the application of OpenGLAM project in collecting and integrating resources. Faubert made a presentation entitled "Preserving our Technical Heritage: What to do with the Big Stuff." He shed light on the current state of industrial heritage preservation and exhibition and the role of museums in preserving the Big Stuff together with some case studies. Li Xiang's presentation, "The Significance of Physical Collections for Natural Science Museums – A Case Study of the U.S", analyzed the importance of physical collections under the current "Science-Centerizing" trend of natural science museums, using the cases of some U.S. museums.
Another 11 experts and scholars were invited to give thematic presentations during the symposium, focusing on topics like the study of collections, the collection and exhibition of science and technology heritage, digitalization of cultural relics, the transfer from collections to exhibitions, as well as communication through science and technology collections. They were from the National Museum of China, CSTM, Beijing Planetarium, Beijing Auto Museum, Qingdao Science and Technology Museum, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shaanxi Normal University, Beijing Zhongbang Exhibition Co., and Crane Co.
The keynote and thematic presentations sparked lively discussions among attendees of the symposium.