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What makes scientific communities think the preservation of their heritage is important?

Author(s): S├ębastien Soubiran

Journal: University Museums and Collections Journal
ISSN 2071-7229

Volume: 1;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2008;
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Keywords: University of Strasbourg | Jardin des Sciences | scientific heritage preservation plan

The aim of this paper is to analyse the various role that were conferred to university collections and museums within the University Louis Pasteur of Strasbourg for the last thirty years. This reflection is at the crossroad of four major phenomena that occurred quite at the same period: the broadening of heritage concern, the building of scientific and technical culture of science, the entering into the era of communication, the rising concern of universities to be recognised as a cultural actor. All these phenomena participated at different level and in a different way to give a new role to university collections and museums and still do. Meanwhile, they are also various expressions of the dramatic changes to which French universities are confronted to since the late 1980s: for instance, disengagement of the State, rising of international competition, the praise of techno-scientific value of knowledge versus fundamental research, the rising concern of public opinion towards scientific research and their applications, the change of social position of academics within the political area. Thus university collections and museums participated to the numerous questionings university was confronted to toward its future. However, going with those changes, doesn't assure that university collections and museum are to be given a role once the change has occurred. Even if they are, what that role should be?
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