Stirring up Trouble: Museums as Provocateurs and Change Agents in Polycentric Alliances for Climate Change Action

  • Fiona R. CameronEmail author
Part of the Climate Change Management book series (CCM)


The aim of this chapter is to discuss key findings from the Australian Research Council funded international project, “Hot Science Global Citizens: The Agency of the Museum Sector in Climate Change Interventions” (2008–2012). The project looked to the museum sector—natural history, science museums and science centres—to play a role as resource, catalyst and change agent in climate change debates and decision-making locally and globally. The discussion focuses on a section of the research findings relating to the current and potential roles and agencies of natural history, science museums and science centres in polycentric climate change governing assemblages within Australian and US contexts. Through the analysis, eight strategic positions and role changes emerge for the different forms of the museum with a greater emphasis on collective action, networking and building more critical information on climate change as a complex issue and governing subject alongside activism in community and political contexts. In addition, re-working the relations between nature and culture across museum practice through a series of ecologizing experimentations was identified as a key role change in advancing sustainable practices in the long term.


Climate change Museums Agencies Polycentric governance Posthumanities 



This chapter is an output from the Australian Research Council funded Linkage project, Hot science, global citizens: the agency of the museum sector in climate change interventions, led by the author. Parts of this chapter have been published in Cameron, FR. 2012, Climate change, agencies, and the museum for a complex world. October, vo Museum Management and Curatorship, 27 (4): 317–339. Special thanks to Dr. Ben Dibley and Dr. Ann Deslandes for their contributions to focus group data analysis and Carolyn Meehan for quantitative gap role analysis.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Culture and Society (TemaQ), Department of Societal Development and Culture Studies (ISAK)Linköping University (LIU)LinköpingSweden
  2. 2.Institute for Culture and Society, Western Sydney UniversityPenrithAustralia

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