Dimensions, July/August 2015—Collections: More than Just Objects

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July/August 2015

In recent years, the line between collections-based and hands-on museums has sometimes become blurred. Many collections-based museums are incorporating hands-on experiences to help visitors connect more deeply to collections, while many science centers are finding that combining real objects with interactive exhibits and programs can create more meaningful visitor experiences. Collections can be powerful tools for stimulating visitors’ interest in science, giving them insights into the processes of science and innovation, and helping them understand and act on critical issues in a time of global change. In this issue, we examine how science centers and museums are using collections to engage visitors meaningfully in science and to explore and protect our world.

  • The “Stuff” of Museums: Collections, Interactivity, and a Call to Action, by Sarah B. George
  • The “Total” Museum: A Tool for Social Change, by Jorge Wagensberg
  • Exploring Our World Through Museum Collections, by Stephenie Livingston
  • The Musée des Confluences: Telling Humanity’s Story, by Bruno Jacomy
  • Past Forward! Inspiring Tomorrow’s Innovators Through Objects and Stories, by Paula Gangopadhyay
  • Up to Code: Setting Ethical Standards for Natural History Museums, by Eric Dorfman
  • Creating Your Acquisition Policy, by Freda Matassa
Online departments

From the CEO: Science—The Endless Frontier: An Important Anniversary
Our Boards in Action: Rick Barr on Improving Children’s Health in Mississippi
Q&A with David Attenborough: The Promise and Limitations of Virtual Reality

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