78. How Museums Present Public Health with Raven Forest Fruscalzo

Welcome to Museum Archipelago in Your Inbox, which does exactly what it says on the tin. Museum Archipelago, your audio guide to the rocky landscape of museums, is hosted by me, Ian Elsner.

Museums across the globe (including every museum ever featured on Museum Archipelago) are now closed because of covid-19. Some of those shuttered galleries presented the science behind outbreaks like the one we’re living through.

As Raven Forrest Fruscalzo, Content Developer at the Field Museum in Chicago and host of the excellent Tiny Vampires Podcast points out, the fact that museums are closed is an important statement: they trust the scientific information.

In this episode, Forrest Fruscalzo discusses the people that make up public health, how museums can be a trusted source of public health information, and examples of museum galleries that incorporate public health.

Museums closing I think is a really important statement that they're making: that they trust the scientific information that is being put out there. - Raven Forrest Fruscalzo

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This episode of Museum Archipelago is proudly sponsored by Pigeon 🐦, a real-time, intelligent platform that uncovers the power of wayfinding for your museum, enabling your visitors to maximize their day at your venue. To learn more about how Pigeon can help your museum, listen to the episode or read their blog post, Does Indoor Navigation Enhance Visitor Experience in Museums? A Primer on Museum Management Technology.

Gallery Continues ⏭️

This week's episode underscores the difference between museums that make science part of their mission and those that don't. That difference reminds me of one of my all-time favorite episodes: Faith Displayed As Science: How Creationists Co-opted Museums with Julie Garcia. The episode features a study of Creation Museums around the U.S. It ends up being about museology and how we signal our values in a museum context, which seems particularly relevant today.

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Now Free: National Treasure on Club Archipelago!

I'm releasing our Archipelago at the Movies 🎟️ on National Treasure for free this week for anyone who needs an extra hour of museum content while being indoors. And this is a good one: the most dramatic moments of 2004’s National Treasure take place at museums across Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and New York City, but the movie (and Nicolas Cage) go far deeper on issues of public ownership, provenance, and museum tour groups than the action-packed plot suggests.

For Club Archipelago members, the episode on 2009’s Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian is out now!

🎟️ Listen for Free