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What is the primary role of the museum in the modern world?

Museums have many roles, responsibilities and functions, some of which arose with the origin of western museums hundreds of years ago, others very new. This is a major debate in the field of Museum Studies as well as other associated fields. Some historical roles have included the museum as a place for academic research, as an educational institution, or both. Most museums continue to perform in this role. More recently the museum has been championed as a place of social interaction, a center for social justice and even a space for experimentation, invention and innovation where visitors can learn how to get involved. What do you think the museum does?


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  • Nov 18 2012: I believe the museum serves as a place for reflection of lessons learned from our past. They also are places where idea peculation can occur which lead to innovation. I believe museums would be better suited near colleges or educational institutions. It would better serve the educational community to encourage or require the attendance of its members at museums.

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