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/ecm diskurs 47: Curating challenges in science and technology


Sunday, June 21st, 10.30am, via zoom
Public Lecture by David Rooney, Honorary Research Associate, Royal Holloway, University of London
Moderation: Martina Griesser (/ecm-director team, Vienna)

Curating in museums of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) brings particularly distinct challenges. What are the ‘objects’ of these subjects? How can we display and interpret them meaningfully? And how can we tell stories of the people of STEM that move away from uncritical hagiography while accepting that some historical figures do carry public recognition? At the heart of these challenges is a critical engagement with audiences. Who are we curating for, and how can we make powerful cultural experiences?

David Rooney is a curator, historian, geographer and writer. He was formerly Keeper of Technologies and Engineering at the Science Museum, London, where he was Lead Curator of Mathematics: The Winton Gallery, designed by Zaha Hadid Architects. He has also worked in the curating of historic sites. In this session, he will offer perspectives drawn from 25 years of curatorial practice in which he has sought to creatively address some of the challenges of STEM. And, after considering existing case studies, he will begin to explore what a STEM museum might look like in a spatially distanced world.