Hyperconnection: Natural History Museums, Knowledge, and the Evolving Ecology of Community

January 1st, 2007 | RESEARCH

Interviews conducted during the summer of 2006 with people in and around the international museum community suggest that the interests natural history museums share in common with each other and with other kinds of organizations and communities are creating an array of new links across institutional, social and cultural boundaries. These links are active, complex, networked relationships directed toward common purposes. Museums that are taking advantage of this emerging environment are becoming “hyperconnected hubs” across which knowledge is exchanged and action initiated. In forging a multitude of “weak ties” outward at different institutional levels, museums are finding that their shared activity with others brings to themselves new and often unexpected value across the “strong ties” that bind them together internally as institutions. Those natural history museums most able to participate as members of larger, interconnected entities are finding powerful new opportunities to more vigorously engage the world they study and the constituencies they serve. In the process, they are becoming increasingly open, active and relevant.


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Team Members

Tom Hennes, Author, Thinc Design


Publication: Curator: The Museum Journal
Volume: 50
Number: 1
Page(s): 87

Related URLs



Audience: Museum | ISE Professionals
Discipline: Education and learning science | History | policy | law | Life science
Resource Type: Peer-reviewed article | Research Products
Environment Type: Exhibitions | Museum and Science Center Exhibits | Museum and Science Center Programs | Public Programs