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Dead museum animals: from ‘order of nature’ to chaos of culture

Dr Libby Robin, National Museum of Australia

Collections 2009 series, 27 March 2009

Libby Robin looks at the use of dead animal collections in museums. She examines the scientific precedents behind these collections and how they are evolving from representations of science to components of social history and art studies.

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art, collection, museums, science

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What was it like: a perspective on history in museums

Brian Crozier, Crozier Schutt Associates

Collections 2009 series, 27 March 2009

Museum consultant Brian Crozier considers how material culture might be interpreted by museums for popular rather than academic audiences. He examines the cultural contributions that museums may make in the study of history.

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audiences, collection, exhibition, museums

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Flora Pell: Australia’s first domestic goddess

Alison Wishart, National Museum of Australia

Collections 2009 series, 27 March 2009

Alison Wishart examines the challenges of displaying rare cookery books in museums. She focuses on Flora Pell’s Our Cookery Book, published in 1916, and suggests display methods to allow better visitor interaction.

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domestic, exhibition, food

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Irish in Australia

Dr Richard Reid, National Museum of Australia and Brendon Kelson

Historical Interpretation series, 15 March 2009

Researcher, author and Irishman Richard Reid and photographer Brendon Kelson examine the role of the Irish in Australia, to be featured in a forthcoming National Museum book, The Scattered Children of St Patrick.

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collection, exhibition, migration, photography

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Introduction to the Creating a Country gallery

Dr Kirsten Wehner, National Museum of Australia

Behind the Scenes – Landmarks series, 11 March 2009

Curator Kirsten Wehner outlines the themes of the new National Museum of Australia gallery, Creating a Country (now Landmarks). It will look broadly at the history of Australia since European colonisation of the continent in the late eighteenth century.

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collection, colonial, exhibition

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Darwin and social Darwinism: the political use and abuse of natural selection

Tony Barta, La Trobe University

Charles Darwin series, 26 February 2009

Historian Tony Barta examines to what extent Charles Darwin’s ideas were misused by others and discusses the tragic effect of Darwinian eugenics in Australia and Germany.

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darwin, science

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A lunatic idea: British science and evolution on the eve of Darwin’s Origin of Species

Professor Iain McCalman, University of Sydney

Charles Darwin series, 26 February 2009

Historian Iain McCalman explores the dominant scientific attitudes to ideas of evolution in Britain in the years before Darwin’s Origin is published. He explains why evolution was widely regarded as a lunatic theory and was resisted so fiercely.

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darwin, science

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Evolutionary change in agriculture – the past, present and future

Dr Jeremy Burdon, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation

Charles Darwin series, 26 February 2009

The impact of adaptation and evolution on the development of modern agricultural crops and the use of genetically modified technologies is outlined by evolutionary biologist Jeremy Burdon.

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agriculture, darwin, science

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Darwin’s experiences in Australia

Professor Frank Nicholas, University of Sydney

Charles Darwin series, 26 February 2009

Frank Nicholas from the School of Veterinary Science outlines Charles Darwin’s visit to Australia on the HMS Beagle in 1836. What Darwin saw contributed to the wealth of evidence he assembled from around the world showing that species have evolved.

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darwin, exploration, science

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Social reactions to Origin

Dr Barry Butcher, Deakin University

Charles Darwin series, 26 February 2009

Historian Barry Butcher explores the work of four Australians who contributed to the growing corpus of Darwinian science from the 1860s to the 1890s: William Edward Hearn, Robert David Fitzgerald, Walter Baldwin Spencer and Alexander Sutherland.

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darwin, science

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