Museum comes to class - identity, heritage and education

Activity: Talks and presentationsConference presentations


Bruno Latour, Steve Woolgar and John Baird amongst others have shown, that the use of things and representations play a central and complex part in processes of science. The things and representations are often made by actors coming together through to form a multidisciplinary collaboration. Very little of what goes on is that straight forward.
But how do we express all this complexity using our university collections? The historians at the Technical University of Denmark have made the museum come to class and in this paper I, will discuss some of our approaches to university students and high school students.
The university students meet the artefacts and archivals from the university collection in history and science theory teaching. The historical material is embedded in the theme of different classes. One example is a class about our world being measured and recorded. Here, we use the story of developing measuring methods. This show, that instruments more than carriers of unchangeable knowledge. Instead we see the life and roles of instruments in the creation, change and circulation of knowledge. We experience the fight of many actors, who fought with materials and tinkered with bits and pieces to end up in a place, where actors felt, that they had something, which they could see on graphs and prints. In other classes students meet drawings and the bodily process connected with the drawing process and an extensive collection of materials.
High school students meet the collection in teaching material for high school. In one of these the students use the instruments in a virtual lab to get the feel for the tactile and bodily processes in the lab. The lab is connected to a number of stories of science, industry, technology, medicine and ethics.
Period2 Sept 2020
Event titleESHS - European Society for the History of Science: Visual, Material and Sensory Cultures of Science
Event typeConference
Conference number9
LocationBologna, ItalyShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • Identity
  • Heritage
  • Collection
  • Education
  • engineering education
  • History