Opening museums' science communication to dialogue and participation: the “Experimental Field for Participation and Open Science” at the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin
The Museum für Naturkunde Berlin (Natural History Museum — MfN) established participation and exchange as central elements of the entire institution alongside its research. In order to experiment with formats and settings for dialogue-oriented exchange and participation, an area within the exhibition round walk was designated for this purpose in 2018. Over the course of three years, the “Experimental Field for Participation and Open Science” has developed the practice of opening the museum's research and collection in a dialogue-oriented, participatory way. Focus lies on museum visitors and on reaching new groups who are not in close contact with science yet. The practice of opening and participation was tested, reflectively accompanied, and further developed during the whole time period. This article describes the idea, concept, design, and the results of the external evaluation of the formats of dialogue-oriented and participatory outreach in the Experimental Field at the MfN. It gives an overview of underlying ideas, design of the space, and how the goal of creating mutually beneficial encounters and enabling participation and co-creation was addressed.
Volume 22 • Issue 04 • 2023