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It's geology time: Redesigning the Lapworth Museum of Geology

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Abstract

In 2014, the Lapworth Museum of Geology in Birmingham (United Kingdom) successfully undertook a £2.5 million redesign to restore its heritage, and to adapt its specialist-focused displays for public visitors. This essay unearths the museum's past to argue that previous displays, which required the pedagogy of geological professors to illuminate the objects for the museum's specialist visitors, are replaced by a multimedia display strategy which embeds the history of the museum's geologists within the exhibit narrative, bridging the gap between specialist and public knowledge, transforming the Lapworth into a 'museum at a university' rather than a 'university museum'.
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Keywords: Lapworth; Victorian; geology; history; museums; science

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 0000000122999255 University of Stavanger

Publication date: March 1, 2020

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  • Science permeates contemporary culture at multiple levels, from the technology in our daily lives to our dreams of other worlds in fiction. The Journal of Science & Popular Culture is a peer-reviewed academic publication that seeks to explore the complex and evolving connections between science and global society.

    Working with a distinguished international board, the Journal of Science & Popular Culture aims to create a unique forum in which to analyse, chronicle, and interpret this diverse landscape through original research articles, editorials, book and new media reviews, notes and essays. The journal also provides a site where emerging and established scholars can access salient knowledge and cutting-edge research. Contributions from academics, scientists, communicators, industry professionals, and practitioners with an interest in the science and society interface are invited. Any scholarly approaches or disciplines may be used and the Journal of Science & Popular Culture strongly reinforces interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research, opening up new possibilities for inquiry across and between the humanities and sciences.

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