Publicaciones

Bol. R. Soc. Esp. Hist. Nat. 11, 2013


Artículos

El valor de las telas de araña: redes para la difusión de los museos y colecciones de Historia Natural


The value of spider webs: networks for the dissemination of museums and collections of Natural History

Ana M. Correas

Bol. R. Soc. Esp. Hist. Nat. 11, 2013

Resumen

Las primeras redes de museos comenzaron a surgir a mediados del siglo XX, asociadas al nacimiento de los modernos museos y centros de ciencia. En la actualidad, pocos son los países que no cuentan con alguna de estas estructuras que tienen como finalidad última potenciar la labor desarrollada por cada uno de sus miembros, al tiempo que propiciar la creación de relaciones de simbiosis entre los centros adscritos a la red, beneficiando al conjunto y al individuo. Producción de exposiciones conjuntas e itinerancia de las mismas, intercambio de materiales y personal, formación de profesionales de los centros asociados, reuniones donde discutir sobre cuestiones de actualidad en la ciencia y su difusión a través de los museos en la red, o la creación de billetes comunes que favorecen el acceso de visitantes a diversos museos en red, son algunas de las actividades más destacadas de las mismas. En el presente artículo se expone el inicio de las redes, se muestran algunas de las existentes, se discute el papel que juegan en la sociedad y se realiza una reflexión sobre el futuro de las redes de museos en general y de las de museos y colecciones de Historia Natural en particular.

Palabras clave: Museos, Centros de ciencia, Redes, Beneficios, Futuro

Abstract

The first museum networks began to emerge in the mid-twentieth century, associated with the birth of modern science centers and museums. At present, there are few countries that do not have any of these structures ultimately aim to enhance the work of each of its members, while encouraging the creation of symbiotic relationships between centers attached to the network, benefiting the whole and the individual. Production of joint exhibitions and travelling exhibitions as well, the making of materials (such as guides and statements) and personnel exchange, training of professionals from partners, meetings where discussion on current issues in science and its dissemination through the museums on the network, or creating common card tickets that allow to reduce the cost facilitating the access to a large number of people. These are just some of the most outstanding and well known activities carried out by the museums networks. All these activities allow to amplify the effectiveness of the results obtained by museums and science centres by their own and permit the optimization of resources available to members within it. When we review the objectives, missions and visions and future of all mentioned systems or networks, we find a common point: promote access to scientific culture to more people. Regardless of ownership and type of the members (in some cases, as we have seen there are museums and science centres, planetariums, aquariums and even art museums) in the network or the formula chosen for the establishment of the group -sometimes there are just informal networks of collaboration without legal figure- the multiplier effect of each of its components is the true value of the partnership. In this article, we outline the start of the networks, present some data about the netwroks in different countries, making a special emphasis in the Spanish ones, we discuss the role they play in society and make a reflection on the future of museums networks in general and those of the Natural History museums and collections in particular. In the case of the Natural History museums and collections, they have not been immune to the establishment of partnership structures which are enabling information sharing and relationship building -on regional, national or transnational level- of which are benefiting not only the members of these networks but the society. And it is in this point, while discussing about the future of these structures, their value in a global world, where we can find the real challenge. We can state that no centre for the dissemination of scientific knowledge must be isolated. But more than this, the scientific collections, not only of specimens but also their representations (such as anatomical models used for teaching purposes or literature) or processes and their instruments, must be also included. At the end, we can see that the real challenge is that of the bridging Natural History museums and collections with other disciplines, such as nanotechnology, physics or new materials. These bridges will facilitate the transmission of new knowledge, crucial for the survival of the collections and the door to a future of interactive networks to turn knowledge into action.

Keywords: Museums, Science centres, Networks, Benefits, Future





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(c) Real Sociedad Española de Historia Natural. Facultades de Biología y Geología. Universidad Complutense de Madrid. 28040-Madrid - e-mail: rsehno@bio.ucm.es