Current Meeting

The 2019 meeting will be held in Edinburgh, 20–22 October, hosted by the National Museums Scotland, Science & Technology Department and Surgeons Hall. Program below.

The theme is Diversity. Presentations should consider both philosophical and concrete examples of how an attention to diversity can enrich understanding and practice in museums. "Diversity" may be interpreted broadly, encompassing both objects and people; but all proposals should have an explicit focus on the material culture of science, technology and/or medicine.

Examples might include, but are not limited to:
Diversity of makers, scientists and users of artefacts.
Materiality and diversity.
‘Hidden’ (or deleted) histories within material culture.
Excluded artefacts: missing objects, objects not collected, deaccessioned objects.
Diversity of scientific, technological and medical collections; and of objects and materials within collections.
Diverse (or not) audiences for artefacts.

Abstracts for 20-minute papers should be 100–200 words; abstracts for short presentations (up to 10 minutes) should be 50–100 words. They should be accompanied by a 50-word author biography and sent to by 3 June 2019.

The meeting will open at Surgeons Hall, the museum of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, and carry on at the National Museum of Scotland. Places at thel meeting are limited. Please email to register your place before 13 September. Registration for the meeting will close on this date.

Accommodations. A block-booked discount is available for rooms at the Ibis Edinburgh Centre South Bridge (quote reference 8484B00360).

PROGRAM ************

Artefacts XXIV: Edinburgh, UK, 20-22 October, 2019


Sunday 20 October

Day Visit Body Beautiful: Diversity on the Catwalk exhibition. National Museum of Scotland, Exhibition Gallery 2, Level 3 (Recommended, free, open 10:00-17:00

18:00—20:00 Drinks reception and welcome. Surgeons’ Hall Medical Museum

20:00 Dinner (by individual arrangement)

Monday 21 October
National Museum of Scotland

10:00—10:20 Arrival with coffee & tea

10:20—10:30 Welcome Xerxes Mazda, Director of Collections, National Museums Scotland

10:30—12:00 Session I: Documentation
Chair: Richard Dunn, Science Museum Group

Hattie Lloyd, Emma MacNicol, and Donata Miller, Science Museum, “One Collection and diverse narratives.”

Alexi Baker, Yale Peabody Museum, “Reawakening the diversity in an ‘old, white, male’ university collection”

Joyce Bedi, Smithsonian Lemelson Center, “Recovering diverse voices in the history of invention”

12:00—12:15 Coffee & tea break

12:15—13:00 Roundtable “Experiences of Disability in Science: Objects, Oral Histories, and Public Audiences”
Chair: Sophie Goggins, National Museums Scotland

Jessica Martucci, University of Pennsylvania; Britt Dahlberg, Science History Institute; Erin McLeary, Science History Institute

13:00—14:00 Lunch

14:00—15:30 Session II: Museums

Chair: Tim Boon, Science Museum Group Robert Anderson, Science History Institute, “Science Museums: Cases of nondiversity?”

Robert Friedel, University of Maryland, “Curiosities to Collections: Diversity and the meaning and purpose of science museums”

Roman Artemenko, Polytechnic Museum, “Descriptions vs Objects. Anomalies and internal censorship in collections of Polytechnic Museum”

15:30—15:45 Coffee & tea break

15:45—17:00 National Museums Scotland Session

Chair: Sam Alberti, National Museums Scotland

17:00—19:00 Reception and buffet

Tuesday 22 October
National Museum of Scotland

10:00—11:30 Session III: Objects
Chair: Eva Åhrén, Karolinska Institutet

Artemis Yagou, Deutsches Museum, “Hidden Diversity: A pocket watch with Ottoman numerals from the Deutsches Museum collection”

Neil Handley, British Optical Association Museum at the College of Optometrists, “Diversity among the medical professions: A spectacle with a history”

Karin Tybjerg, Medical Museion, University of Copenhagen “Epistemic diversity in a bottle of cholera”

11:30—11:45 Coffee & tea break

11:45—12:30 Short Presentations
Chair: Catherine Eagleton, University of St Andrews

Phil Loring, Norsk Teknisk Museum, “On not collecting animal research”

Sarah Baines & Francesca Elliott, Science and Industry Museum, “’I needed to be as good as the white engineers, or better’: bringing diverse workers’ voices to the Science and Industry Museum’s Power Hall”

Eleanor Armstrong, University College London, “The right stuff? Gender and sexuality narratives in permanent space science museum galleries”

12:30—14:00 Institutional Updates and Lunch

14:00—15:30 Session IV Humans
Chair: Chris Henry, Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh

Sappol, Uppsala University, “What should we do with historical collections of human remains and derivatives?”

Tim Huisman, Rijksmuseum Boerhaave, “Physical anthropology in the museum: Diversity and inclusiveness vs a traditional narrative”

Ageliki Lefkaditou, Norsk Teknisk Museum, “Instruments of race, tools for diversity”

15:30—16:00 Epilogue
Barney Finn, Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of American History, “Diversity among museums of history of science and technology”

16:00—17:00 Gallery tours at National Museum of Scotland

Wed 23 October
National Museums Collection Centre Tour (Optional)