Monday, August 24, 2015

Museums, Botanical Gardens and Planetariums

Three scientists discuss purpose…

Museologist: A museum has to have a clear purpose, for example, to collect, study and present artifacts.

Botanist: A botanical garden’s purpose is to collect plant specimens for research, conservation, display and education.

Astrophysicist: A planetarium’s purpose is to educate visitors about the night sky.

Moderator: We might note that museums and botanical gardens collect artifacts and specimens, but planetariums are a kind of theater and focus on presentation and education.
Stephen Weil described successful museums as having a clear purpose, that they had resources to reach their objectives, that they were effective enough to reach their objectives, and that they were efficient in using resources economically.

So perhaps museums and botanical gardens have common ground, whereas the planetarium is not part of that group. Just as Pluto, the dwarf planet, is not regarded as a real planet.

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