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Can museums survive the postmodern?  [cached]
Suzanne Keene
Archaeology International , 2005, DOI: 10.5334/ai.0910
Abstract: Although archaeologists regard museums as vital repositories of important research materials, museum professionals take a broader view of their role in not only preserving natural and cultural heritage but also of how they could or should be presented, or interpreted, to the public. In this personal view, issues of what museums should be, or seek to be, in a postmodern world are explored.
What opportunities can university museums offer for academic-public interaction? Some lessons from London’s Beacon for Public Engagement
Steve Cross
University Museums and Collections Journal , 2009,
Abstract: UCL has recently been named one of the UK’s Beacons for Public Engagement, a group of higher education institutions tasked with finding ways to change the culture of Higher Education to include the public better. UCL’s new Public Engagement Unit has identified a number of barriers to university staff working with the public, and, alongside UCL Museums & Collections, is working to break these barriers down.
The “Natural” History of Medically Treated Temporal Lobe Epilepsy: What Can an Evidence-Based Approach Tell Us?  [PDF]
Colin Bruce Josephson,Bernhard Pohlmann-Eden
Epilepsy Research and Treatment , 2012, DOI: 10.1155/2012/216510
Abstract: We systematically reviewed the literature to describe the “natural” history of medically treated temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). No population-based studies recruiting incident cases of TLE irrespective of age exist. Prospective, population-based studies were limited to those recruiting only childhood-onset TLE or those reporting TLE as a subgroup of cohorts of focal epilepsies. Few studies have been performed in the “MRI era” limiting information on natural history secondary to specific pathologies. Available data suggests that TLE is highly variable, with unpredictable transient remissions and low rates of seizure freedom (30 to 50%). Etiology and failure of first and second drug seem to be the most important predictors for treatment prognosis. The role of initial precipitating injuries remains speculative, as imaging information of related events is either missing or conflicting. Prospective cohorts of new-onset TLE with long-term followup using advanced MRI techniques, timely EEG recordings, and assessments of psychiatric comorbidities are needed. 1. Introduction Temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) is the most frequent medically refractory epilepsy syndrome seen in epilepsy outpatient clinics. It has received considerable attention in recent years owing to the remarkable rates of remission that can be achieved through surgical intervention [1]. Mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (mTLE) associated with hippocampal sclerosis (mTLE-HS), a condition that can be detected by modern magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques with a high sensitivity and specificity, is now the most common indication for epilepsy surgery. To date, therapeutic advances in TLE have far outpaced our understanding of the natural history of the disorder. According to a recent International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) commission report [2], the natural history of mTLE-HS is characterized by key features such as a history of an initial precipitating injury and a presence of a latent and/or silent period. Prior publications have attempted to assess the course and prognosis of TLE, mTLE, and mTLE-HS using sophisticated electroencephalography (EEG), MRI, and histological techniques trying to identify the “natural” history of all types of TLE. Almost all these studies are limited by the fact that their perspective comes from tertiary care centers and surgical series [3]. The ideal natural history study requires a large prospective cohort of patients with new-onset TLE undergoing extensive structural and functional testing with a followup of >10 years. We conducted a systematic review of the
Conservation of Sandy Calcareous Grassland: What Can Be Learned from the Land Use History?  [PDF]
Anja Madelen ?dman, P?l Axel Olsson
PLOS ONE , 2014, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0090998
Abstract: Understanding the land use history has proven crucial for the conservation of biodiversity in the agricultural landscape. In southern Sweden, very small and fragmented areas of the disturbance-dependent habitat xeric sand calcareous grassland support a large number of threatened and rare plants and animals. In order to find out if historical land use could explain variation in present-day habitat quality, the land use on eight such sites was traced back to the 18th century and compared with key factors such as the amount of bare sand, lime content and P availability. There was no support for the common explanation of the decline in xeric sand calcareous grassland being caused by abandonment of agricultural fields during the last century. Instead, fertilization history was the main explanation for the difference in depletion depth of CaCO3 seen between the sites. The decline in xeric sand calcareous grassland since the 18th century is most probably the result of the drastic changes in land use during the 19th century, which put an end to the extensive sand drift. Since cultivation was shown to have played an important role in the historical land use of xeric sand calcareous grassland, grazing alone may not be the optimal management option for these grasslands. Instead more drastic measures are needed to restore the high calcium content and maintain proper disturbance levels.
Impact of CO2-driven ocean acidification on invertebrates early life-history – What we know, what we need to know and what we can do
S. Dupont,M. C. Thorndyke
Biogeosciences Discussions , 2009,
Abstract: As a consequence of increasing atmospheric CO2, the world's oceans are becoming more acidic and the rate of change is increasingly fast. This ocean acidification is expected to have significant physiological, ecological and evolutionary consequences at many organizational levels of marine biodiversity. Alarmingly little is known about the long term impact of predicted pH changes (a decrease of 0.3/ 0.4 units for the end of this century) on marine invertebrates in general and their early developmental stages in particular, which are believed to be the more sensitive to environmental disturbances, are essential as unit of selection, recruitment and population maintenance. Ocean acidification (OA) research is in its infancy and although the field is moving forward rapidly, good data are still scarce. Available data reveal contradictory results and apparent paradoxes. In this article, we will review available information both from published sources and work in progress, drawing a general picture of what is currently known, with an emphasis on early life-history larval stages. We will also discuss what we need to know in a field with very limited time resources to obtain data and where there is a high expectation that the scientific community should rapidly be able to provide clear answers that help politicians and the public to take action. We will also provide some suggestions about what can be done to protect and rescue future ecosystems.
History of the museums, the mediators and scientific education
Brigitte Zana
JCOM : Journal of Science Communication , 2005,
Abstract: Before analysing the role of the mediators in relation to scientific education, I deem it important to provide a short overview on how scientific museums evolved from the early curiosity cabinets to the modern web cast. Although the term “museum” is no longer adapted to the new structures employed for the diffusion of scientific and technical culture, the evolution of the means of presentation has indeed led to several forms of human mediation. This is of course the main topic we are going to take into consideration today, as it is an important element for the impact our exhibitions may have on the public. Decisions and choices vary from structure to structure for reasons that are sometimes justifiable but that are more often than not economic in nature, since wages, which are in any case very high no matter which country plays host, come to bear heavily especially on the budget of small and medium-sized structures.
University museums in a university town: University of Tartu Museums in the service of the local community  [PDF]
Reet M?gi
University Museums and Collections Journal , 2009,
Abstract: University museums bring academic potential to bear on community development in culture, education and tourism. Tartu as the seat of Estonia’s oldest and only classical university provides an excellent example of this. Tartu is a town with a university that has for a number of centuries played an important part in shaping the face and identity of the entire nation. This article will discuss the role that the museums of the University of Tartu – the University History Museum, the Art Museum, and the Natural History Museum – play in the cultural and educational life of Tartu. The author will also touch upon the role of the museums as tourist attractions and support to the museums by both the municipal council and the university.
Miriam Clavir, Preserving What is Valued: Museums, Conservation, and First Nations  [cached]
Claudia Gualtieri
Altre Modernità , 2011,
Abstract: Miriam Clavir, Preserving What is Valued: Museums, Conservation, and First Nations (UBC Press, Vancouver, 2002, 295 pp., ISBN 0-7748-0860-8 e 0-7748-0861-6) di Claudia Gualtieri
Accessibility to university museums: A strategical objective
Edmon Castell
University Museums and Collections Journal , 2009,
Abstract: In the National University of Colombia there are currently 25 museums and collections including art, medicine, natural science, anthropology and history. Taken together, they comprise the largest, most diverse and most important museum in Colombia, and also the least known. The collections are the product of the conservation and research work of the university in the 141 years of its existence. In recent years, the National University of Colombia has not only become more aware of the importance of its cultural and scientific heritage, but also of the marginality of the work in the university museums. For that reason, in 2006 the university began to work on a Museums and Cultural Heritage Project to develop policies for the conservation, acquisition, documentation, research and communication of its own cultural heritage. The National University of Colombia hopes, through the development of a stronger, structured, ethical, responsible, efficient and representative project about Museums and Cultural Heritage to be better prepared for current challenges. In addition, the project hopes to generate a new landscape of accessibility to the museums and collections of the National University of Colombia. In short, the Museums and Cultural Heritage System of the National University of Colombia, through a ‘Museums portal’ located in a colonial building in Bogotá known as Claustro de San Agustín (Cloister of St. Augustine) seeks to highlight the cultural heritage of the university, and become, beyond the classrooms and research centers of the campus, an important reference for the meeting of teachers, students, citizens and other cultural and academic institutions.
Alternative legacies: Artist projects in history museums & the importance of context  [cached]
Lyndsey Boekenkamp
Journal of Arts and Humanities , 2013,
Abstract: The primary focus of this paper is to investigate why artists are drawn to working in history museums, and how an artist-driven critique of museum practices encourages dialogue about artistic and historical authority, and the role of the museum. Drawing from the fields of public history, art history, anthropology, and journalism, this study argues that artists play an important role in fostering multiple interpretations within traditional historical and academically informed museum practices. The primary theorists influencing this study include Art Historian, Douglas Crimp and his analysis of postmodernism; Professor of Art Education, Dipti Desai and her theory of ethnographic shift; Modern European Historian, Susan Crane and her theory of disruption or “excess of memory”; English Professor, Bettina Carbonell and her theory of “bearing witness”; and Patricia Romney’s analysis of Russian Philosopher, Mikhail Bakhtin and his theory of dialogism. As an outgrowth of this pre-existing scholarship, this study sought to prove that artists were better positioned to intervene in and manipulate traditional museum practices, not because they helped facilitate shared authority, but because they asserted their own artistic authority in the creation of alternative narratives. Through an analysis comparing Fred Wilson’s installation Liberty/Liberte—shown first in the 2006-2007 exhibition Legacies: Contemporary Artists Reflect on Slavery at the New-York Historical Society, and then in its current placement as part of the Historical Society’s official renovations—this study instead concludes that artists are more than capable of successful interventions in non-art environments – specifically, history museums. However, the context in which the artwork is placed, as well as the conversation between the artist and the institution throughout the duration of any project, has the power to make or break the success of these artist interventions.
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