Science, brands and the museum

part of Science communication and innovation: zooming out for micro-level insights close to reality

This paper argues that for citizens to be engaged with science they need to be able to share analytical techniques as well as the results of analyses. The category of "brand" which condenses the instrumental with the symbolic is both powerful in its uses and familiar to laypeople. The paper shows briefly how the categories of penicillin, biotechnology and applied science can be analysed in this way. It suggests that historians apply such an approach to the historiography of such new categories as synthetic biology and that this might be useful to curators of such topics in museums.