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Re: Museology

What I'd like to see happen with at least one museum in the near future
is a great, comprehensive display on evolution - something that really
starts with the basics of geological time, natural selection and
genetics and uses mineral/fossil/live animal evidence in conjunction
with interactive displays to hammer the science home. Too often museums
run evolutionary theory as an undercurrent to their exhibits - even in
the great AMNH's "walk a cladogram" it is secondary to fossil display
and taxonomy - which is great for the visitor who is familiar with
evolution. But I haven't been to any museums where I've felt that a
visitor who wasn't sure how to vote in the school board elections would
walk away confident that this was an idea with merit and real
educational value.

Larry Dunn wrote:
> I'd like to see the fossil skeletal elements of the more significant
> species (at least) arranged so that important traits are front and
> center, with large signs pointing out what is thought significant
> about that element.
Couldn't agree more (well, except for the "large" signs bit).
Highlighting what you can actually learn from fossils would make a great
pinpoint laser interactive, esp. if you incorporate it into a full
skeletal mount.

There are a lot of good Cretaceous ecosystem walk-throughs around, but
would love to see an encompassing Jurassic environment. Walking past a
ceratopsian fossil weathering out of the ground is nice, but imagine
walking through a dry stream bed past the remains of a _Diplodocus_!
Putting a big sauropod in the same space as the museum-goer would (I
think) be much more powerful than having one up on a pedestal (so to speak).

Of course, at the top of my wish list for 21st century dinosaur halls
would be freedom from blatant sponsorship - the "McDonald's Fossil
Preparation Lab" and the AMNH Lost World exhibits are precedents that I
fear will only become more widespread in the next 50 years...

So yeah, where are all the exhibit designers that should be taking notes?