ERIC Number: ED482110
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Systematically Speaking: How Do Natural History Museum Web Sites Represent Science?
This paper explores the representation of taxonomy, systematics and other aspects of science on selected natural history museum Web sites, using two different but related approaches. One uses a series of categories relating to the nature of science (derived from an evaluation of exhibitions) and applies these to each Web site. In essence, this approach seeks to identify and, where possible, quantify evidence of representation of science as a human endeavor, scientists at work, the status of scientific ideas, doubt and debate, and opportunities for visitors to formulate their own opinions. The second approach concentrates on science processes and practices, the methodology and operation of science, including selection of research programs, collection and analysis of data, evaluation of evidence and its interpretation, development of models, hypotheses and theories, and publication, debate, and peer review. The paper shows that some natural history museum Web sites are now beginning to share their passion for science, especially less fashionable areas, such as systematics, and that such developments coincide with changes in views about the public understanding of science and about the roles of museums. (Contains 38 references.) (Author/MES)
Descriptors: Classification, Epistemology, Museums, Sciences, Scientific Methodology, Web Sites, World Wide Web
For full text: http://www.archimuse.com/mw2002/papers/hawkey/hawkey.html/.
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A