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Electric Adventures and Natural Wonders: Exhibitions, Museums and Gardens in Nineteenth-Century Denmark

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  • Department of Molecular Biology
This article analyses a new market for communicating science in late nineteenth- and early twentieth century Denmark. When, as in this context, popular science is defined broadly as scientific knowledge communicated to lay people, popularisation covers an enormous span from enlightenment to entertainment, from newspapers to exhibitions and from researchers to workers. Tracing back the pioneering days of science communication to the second half of the nineteenth century this study presents a generation of science popularisers from scientists to enthusiastic amateurs and a new group of professional communicators. While more public places emerged for communicating science the popularisers eagerly appropriated the many new means of communicating to a wider audience. By focusing on the physical settings for science communication-exhibitions, museums and scientific gardens-and by analysing communicative strategies and narratives within these settings this article adds to our understanding of the complexity of ‘popular science' and ‘science popularisation' in late nineteenth-century. The local narratives defined by the specific contexts of these settings-places or media-enables us to get an understanding of both what the popularisers intended and hopefully invite future studies of the always elusive public reception.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPopularising Science and Technology in the European Periphery, 1800-2000
EditorsFaidra Papanelopoulou, Agustí Nieto-Galan, Enrique Perdiguero
Number of pages35
Place of publicationFarnham
PublisherAshgate
Publication year2009
ISBN (print)978-0-7546-6269-3
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-7546-9327-7
Publication statusPublished - 2009
SeriesScience, Technology and Culture, 1700-1945

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