Hot Topics, Public Culture, Museums engages the highly problematic and increasingly important issue of museums, science centres, their roles in contemporary societies, their engagement with "hot" topics and their part in wider conversations in a networked public culture. Hot topics such as homosexuality, sexual, and racial violence, massacres, drugs, terrorism, GMO foods, H1M1 (swine flu) and climate change are now all part of museological culture. The authors in this collection situate cultural institutions in an increasingly interconnected, complex, globalising and uncertain world and engage the why and how institutions might form part of, activate conversations and action through discussions that theorise institutions in new ways to the very practical means in which institutions might engage their constituencies.
"This important book, about museums incorporating difficult and contested subjects into their work...helps merge isolated examples onto a more coherent and acceptable practice. The authors wish to propose change because they believe in a different definition of museums." - Elaine Heumann Gurian (consultant and member of Museum group) "This is a wonderfully assembled, fascinating and significant collection of examples which I hope will augment the confidence of CEOs and boards to break through their widespread inertia." - Emlyn Koster Ph.D (CEO, Liberty Science Center, Jersey City, USA)