Conference 2015 – Science and Society

Where Science and Society meet

There is no doubt that the public appetite for science is growing.The interface between science and culture continues to shift and is a constant point of excitement, interest and debate. Arguably science cannot be presented in isolation but as an integral part of our culture, intersecting with the arts and humanities, with museums providing ideal spaces to demonstrate and communicate this.

University museums are pioneering ways to engage audiences in the science research of universities and this conference will explore how these developments are more than advancing the public understanding of science. Instead they can engage audiences in current research agendas, the latest scientific breakthroughs and in the wider social and ethical issues connected to scientific research. Dynamic exhibitions and museum programming are increasingly creating a dialogue and sparking public debate. Such interventions in the gallery space facilitate knowledge exchange between the research community and our audiences, whilst also re-animating and challenging established perspectives of historical science and medical collections.

The 2015 UMG conference was held in partnership with University Museums in Scotland (UMiS)  on 23-24th September at Durham University.  The conference introduced delegates to the current science research landscape and explored the intersection of science with arts and culture in a museum setting. Keynotes and panel discussions addressed the challenge of combining these themes and linking collections in ways that inspires our visitors.

You can download the full conference programme here:  UMG UMiS 2015 conference flyer finalised programme

Listen to a selection of the conference presentations:

‘Science at Work.  Studying the Material Culture of Scientific Rationality’  Otto Sibum, University of Uppsala


Communicating the Controversial, Ling Lee, Cravings Project Leader, Contemporary Science, Science Museum


Communicating the Controversial, Ian Brunswick, Programme Manager, Science Gallery Dublin


Engaging with Science Research, John Heath, Pro-Vice Chancellor (Estates and Infrastructure), University of Birmingham


Communicating the Controversial, Rebekah Higgitt, University of Kent


Engaging with Science Research, Steve Cross, Public Engagement Consultant

Over 170 university museums and collections in the UK

More than 100 open to the public and 77 Accredited Museums

Holding some of the nation’s most important collections

In England and Wales, we hold 30% of designated collections

Both part of a University and part of the Museum sector

From major visitor attractions to research & teaching collections


Our collections guide and inform HE research as well as community outreach and accessibility.

UCL Qatar


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