Art in Science Museums brings together perspectives from different practitioners to reflect on the status and meaning of art programmes in science centres and museums around the world.

Presenting a balanced mix of theoretical perspectives, practitioners’ reflections, and case-studies, this volume gives voice to a wide range of professionals, from traditional science centres and museums, and from institutions born with the very aim of merging art and science practices. Considering the role of art in the field of science engagement, the book questions whether the arts might help curators to convey complex messages, foster a more open and personal approach to scientific issues, become tools of inclusion, and allow for the production of totally new cultural products. The book also includes a rich collection of projects from all over the world, synthetically presenting cases that reveal very different approaches to the inclusion of art in science programmes.

Art in Science Museums should be of great interest to academics, researchers and postgraduate students working in the fields of museum studies, cultural heritage management, material culture, science communication and contemporary art. It should also be essential reading for museum professionals looking to promote more reflective social science engagement in their institutions.

chapter 1|6 pages


ByRoger Malina

chapter 2|18 pages


ByCamilla Rossi-Linnemann, Giulia de Martini

chapter 3|1 pages


Edited ByCamilla Rossi-Linnemann, Giulia de Martini

section 3.1|10 pages

How art contributed to the public image of science

section 3.2|10 pages

Making meaning with art, science and technology

chapter 4|2 pages

Art as a narrative tool

Seeing the unseen
Edited ByCamilla Rossi-Linnemann, Giulia de Martini

section 4.1|13 pages

A house of collaboration

section 4.2|7 pages

Sophia’s Whale and the hypercubic showcase of sudden comprehension

section 4.3|9 pages

In the spirit of enquiry …

section 4.4|13 pages

Context, collaboration and contemporary culture

section 4.5|1 pages

Case studies

section 4.5.1|3 pages

Digital art

section 4.5.2|3 pages

Exhibit design and art

section 4.5.3|4 pages

Re-imagining hard data

section 4.5.4|4 pages

When the media influences the message

section 4.5.5|4 pages

Humans and computational creativity

section 4.5.6|4 pages

Artistic activism and narratives on environment

section 4.5.7|4 pages

Theatre and teaching

section 4.5.8|3 pages

The power of contemporary art gallery design

chapter 5|2 pages

Art for science education and enquiry

Patterns of thinking
Edited ByCamilla Rossi-Linnemann, Giulia de Martini

section 5.1|13 pages

The Exploratorium

section 5.2|11 pages

Art thinking

section 5.3|9 pages

Art as ingredient for meaningful science learning

section 5.4|10 pages

Answering the unasked questions

section 5.5|1 pages

Case studies

section 5.5.1|3 pages

The value of artefacts in participatory art

section 5.5.2|4 pages

Open-ended exploration

section 5.5.3|3 pages

Participatory performances

section 5.5.4|3 pages

Learning from community centres

section 5.5.5|3 pages

Video-making and new content producers

section 5.5.6|4 pages

Curation and open calls

section 5.5.7|4 pages

Encouraging long-term or top management collaborations

section 5.5.8|3 pages

Learning by making

chapter 6|2 pages

Art, inclusion, controversy and imagination

From facts to values
Edited ByCamilla Rossi-Linnemann, Giulia de Martini

section 6.1|10 pages

Criticality, imagination and interaction

section 6.2|10 pages

Shifting meaning, shifting contracts – biological arts and evolving museum ethics

section 6.3|11 pages

Decolonising natural history museums through contemporary art

section 6.4|1 pages

Case studies

section 6.4.1|4 pages

Imagining the future

section 6.4.2|3 pages

Questioning the roots of science

section 6.4.3|4 pages

Artist scientists

section 6.4.4|3 pages

Crossbreeding artistic and scientific research

section 6.4.5|3 pages

Questioning common museological practices

section 6.4.6|4 pages

Tackling “cold” topics through emotions

section 6.4.7|3 pages

Beyond answers

section 6.4.8|3 pages

Art connecting personal meanings and collective standpoints

chapter 7|3 pages

(open) Conclusions

The post-disciplinary museum
ByCamilla Rossi-Linnemann, Giulia de Martini