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Science Museums and Cultural Images of Modernity: Scientific Communication, New Identities and Sociopolitical Constraints on Science Museums in Spain

Chapter

Abstract

This paper studies the role of science museums in Spain and their contribution to the public communication of science and technology (PCST). In particular, it analyzes the social and political contexts in which science museums have developed in Spain over recent decades and evaluates how sociopolitical circumstances have conditioned both the content of the museums and the way in which the museum projects have been executed. An analysis of the institutional context in which these museums have been created in Spain suggests that there is an interrelation between scientific dissemination and the institutional and sociopolitical context in which it took place. The proliferation of museums and science centers has brought about greater dissemination of science in Spain, but their existence is not simply a response to the desire for scientific communication, as the museums are not merely places for the transmission of scientific knowledge, or places where science is consumed. They are also scenarios and symbols, institutions used to construct new discourses of an identity based on the idea of modernity, and are used politically to locate the local, regional and national in a globalized context.

Keywords

Science museums Science centers National museums Science in society Scientific culture Museums in Spain 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Social Anthropology, Research Project CSO 2011-29413University of BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain

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