Provenance and the Role of the Public Museum Halifax March 8, 2011

Network Node: 
Tue., Mar. 8, 2011, 7:30pm - , 9:00pm

Halifax: Science and its Publics National Lecture Series Presents Part 3:
STREAMED LIVE AT: AND streamed    here
Video available to view here

Provenance and the Role of the Public Museum:
How the Life Stories of Artifacts Challenge Traditional Accounts of Science and History

Tuesday, March 8, 2011, 7:30pm ADT
Small Crafts Gallery
Maritime Museum of the Atlantic
Halifax, NS
Facebook event       here

Dr. David Pantalony, Curator of Physical Sciences and Medicine at the Canadian Science and Technology Museum and Adjunct Professor in the Department of History at the University of Ottawa presents a lecture on the role of the museum in translating accounts of science and history. Provenance, or the life stories of objects, is one of the foundations of collection work at a museum. It provides depth and meaning to artifacts. It can also be loaded with uncomfortable findings, potential controversy and ethical dilemmas. Science museums have avoided these issues and potential opportunities by not investing in serious provenance research. They have preserved and presented artifacts as general types without reference to their real, material lives and histories. This situation is changing and will have a dramatic impact on how science is understood by the public.

This event marks the fourth part of a multi-part national series on Science and its Publics created by the Situating Science Strategic Knowledge Cluster, ( and the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Public Affairs, (

Respondents: Robert Bean, Professor, Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and Ted Cavanagh, Professor, Architecture, Dalhousie University

This presentation is supported by the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic and the Nova Scotian Institute of Science.

Free admission

Reception to follow

Click here for more on the Lecture Series