Workshop 3:  Representations

artis library - University of Amsterdam, May 2018

This workshop – organized in collaboration with the Huygens Institute - will examine  persistences and changes in the presentation of palaeontological science in the public arena, and the (potential and real) tension between the desire to interest the public on the one hand, while maintaining scientific authority and nuance on the other.  We will think about some of the major stereotypes, cultural references and images associated with palaeontology, and how these have interacted with palaeontology’s position in wider public discourse and the practices of palaeontological science.

Key themes and questions will include:

  • Why have been the main motifs and tropes in public discussions of the practices and institutions of palaeontological science, and the figure of the palaeontologist? In what ways have palaeontologists sought to take advantage of this, and how have they contested it?

  • What have been the most significant changes in the ways the life of the past has been presented to public audiences? What have been the most significant continuities? And in what ways have the various actors (scientists, musuem professionals, communicators, artists and members of the public) influenced them?

  • How have particular palaeontological representations been received and interpreted by public audiences, and how has this fed back into scientific conceptualizations and practices?

Confirmed speakers including:  Nikolaus Bernau, Raf de Bont, Paul Brinkman, Joe Cain, Heinrich Mallison, Machteld Maris, Jelle Reumer, Anne Schulp and Mareike Vennen.

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Videos & Audio of talks coming soon!