Conference Review: first meeting of the Mexican Museological Reflections Group (MRG)


A group composed of interdisciplinary professionals has met for the first time on November 29th, 2016, at the “Universum Sciences Museum”, located on campus at the National Autonomous University of Mexico City. Focusing on the theme “The Sciences behind Showcases: Anthropological and Archaeological Processes”, participants joined for an academic discussion project aimed at contributing “to finding future possibilities for science museums”.

As Blanca María Cárdenas Carrión explains, the MRG was born in order to answer to the International Council of Museums (ICOM) suggestion that “shared knowledge and experiences between museum professional personnel and between them and peer institutions” can be beneficial for science centres, as it appears in their “Code of Ethics for Museums” published in 2013. Bringing together interdisciplinary scholars and specialists form different museums, whom had previously met through working groups and videoconferences, the first official meeting in Mexico City was rich in reflections and discussions about the “learning communities” pedagogical theory, also making use of social networks and a webinar to complement the work session formats. Find out more about ideas that emerged from the Museological Reflections Group in the meeting review written by Blanca María Cárdenas Carrión, just published on JCOM: “New possibilities for science museums: Museological Reflections Group, 1st edition”.

Current and future developments of science centres and museums all over the world are an important topic for JCOM’s readers and authors. In recent years JCOM has published research papers such as “Learning at the Science Museum. A study on the public's experiences with different types of visit at the Museo Nazionale della Scienza e della Tecnologia "Leonardo da Vinci" in Milan, Italy”, by Matteo Villa, “Unfinished Science in Museums: a push for critical science literacy”, by Amelia Hine and Fabien Medvecky, “Explainers of science centres and museums: a study on these stakeholders in the mediation between science and the public in Brazil”, by Chrystian Carlétti and Luisa Massarani, or “Narrative as a learning tool in science centers: potentials, possibilities and merits”, by Mai Murmann and Lucy Avraamidou. The comment “Evolution of evaluation in science museums and centres” by M. Carmen Sanchez-Mora focuses on visitor studies and other evaluation practices in science centres and museums, while the comment “Developing narrative exhibitions and science centres. Training needs of exhibition designers” by Peter Higgins and “The Cheshire explainer. Musings about the training of explainers” by Antonio Gomes da Costa explore training needs of professionals working in museums.