PHoSTEM Network Workshops

Museums and the Public History of Science, Technology, Engineering and Medicine: Prospects and Issues

PHOSTEM is a joint enterprise of the Science Museum, London; Institute for the Public Understanding of the Past, University of York; and the Centre for the History and Philosophy of Science, University of Leeds, funded under the AHRC science in culture emerging theme.

Workshop series

We held three workshops in 2012/2013 to provide an opportunity for historians of science, technology and medicine to meet museum professionals to discuss a series of issues in the public culture of the history of science.

The popularity of historical leisure pursuits today is significant. Surveys show that more than 50% British adults express interest in learning more about family history. Television history programmes often have two million viewers, and historical magazines have monthly circulations of 80,000. This research network l explored the potential of this phenomenon for museums of science and technology to produce new kinds of historical exhibitions and events that display and interpret their historical collections more effectively. Simultaneously, it  looked at the potential of these museums for successful history of science knowledge exchange from universities.

Read a longer description of the project and its aims here (pdf)

Workshop outcomes

Cultural change, material culture and public history
Programme (pdf)
To learn more about the issues discussed please see the report from this workshop:
PHoSTEM York Meeting (pdf)

University engagement with museums and audiences
Programme (pdf)
To learn more about the issues discussed please see the report from this workshop:
PHoSTEM Leeds Meeting (pdf

Science Museums in a Changing World
Programme (pdf)
To learn more about the issues discussed please see the report from this workshop:
PHoSTEM London Meeting (pdf)