The topic “Positioning Academic Heritage. Challenges for Universities, museums and society in the 21st century.” covers a diversity of subjects.


We decided to divide the colloquium in four main sessions:


1) academic collections and heritage: how to bring university collections together,

2) science popularization and communication,

3) relevance to society,

4) museum management.


Below, a number of potential subjects for each session is listed:


1) Academic Collections and Heritage: how to bring university collections together 
As is generally known, university collections are very rich and diverse. The following questions could be treated:

- What makes a collection an academic collection?

- What do we do with university collections? How do we unlock these collections to a general public? What is the role of this heritage in a university context?

- How do we have to preserve and conserve that heritage? Does a university only need to provide storage room and research opportunities for its academic heritage, or do we need to make it accessible to the society?

- What do we have to safeguard and what kind of heritage do we have to reject?

- How do you bring together very diverse university collections in a multidisciplinary museum? What could be a main narrative?

- How can you make university collections attractive to the general public?


2) Science Popularization and Communication
Society nowadays wants to know the importance of fundamental research as carried out at universities and wonders where the society benefits from scientific research. So, it is also the duty of the universities to communicate scientific results to a broad public. The following questions are open for discussion:

- How can university collections be used for science communication and popularization?

- How is the technological progress in our modern society engrafted on the results of scientific research?

- Can a university museum make children of school age enthusiastic for science?

- Can university museums be used to make future researchers more enthusiastic for research?


3) Relevance to Society
In our modern society, a large number of different types of museums already exist. The following questions could be addressed:

- What is the relevance of a university science museum within the landscape of the already existing museums?

- What is the main task of such a museum?


4) Museum Management
The different collections at a university are very diverse ranging for example from archaeological objects to medical instruments. Bringing together such diverse objects is not always straightforward. The following questions could be treated:

- 'Best practices' of combining dispersed university collections in one museum?

- Who are the main visitors of a university museum?

- What should be the organizational structure of a university museum?

- What should be the priorities in the museum policy?

- Does the university has to manage such a museum on her own or do private partners have to be incorporated?

- How do you have to promote such a specific museum?

- What are the do’s and don’ts that can be learned from the experience of existing university museums?