Climate Hack: Rapid Prototyping New Displays in Multi-disciplinary Museums

  • Charlotte ConnellyEmail author
Part of the Climate Change Management book series (CCM)


Ten years ago the Science Museum commissioned research in advance of the development of its new climate science gallery, finding that ‘museums are high on the trust scale, but currently have a low profile in the climate change debate.’ A decade later new research is needed into the role that museums can and should play in exploring the impacts of climate change. With eight diverse museums and a botanic garden, the University of Cambridge Museums are well placed to carry out research with a range of audiences and collections, not only those that are actively engaged with science and the environment. In January 2018 over a three-day ‘climate hack’, teams of climate experts, collections experts, storytellers, makers and hackers produced prototype exhibits that interpreted the links between museum collections, narratives and climate change. The event straddled the different types of collections held at the Museum of Zoology, Whipple Museum of the History of Science, Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology and the Polar Museum. It explored changes in animal diversity, the long history of scientific investigations, climate refugees and polar tourism. Visitor and participant feedback provides us with useful insights for developing future displays and developing a programme of audience research about how climate change might be interpreted across different types of collection and audience.


Climate Museums Digital making Storytelling 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Polar Museum, Scott Polar Research InstituteUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK

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