THE BIG difference between the scientist and the layman in their knowledge and understanding of scientific principles and technology places a great handicap on the economic and cultural development of Pakistan, which academia does not sufficiently meet. In the world’s most economically advanced centers, science and technology museums have proven to be effective in bridging this gap considerably. Here, the exhibits of scientific material and their application to human use are easy to understand and present attractive features for all ages and conditions of people, educated and illiterate. Science museums can make a huge contribution to science education in Pakistan through a new dimension of education and access to education for those with limited opportunities.
Generally, museums are classified as history, science and art museums. In some cases, they can display identical objects, but from different perspectives. As in the case of an astrolabe which can be used to illustrate the history of machines, the science of celestial measurements, or the lineage of the ancient Arab craftsman. But art museums exist to provide both aesthetic gratification, while history museums to examine the successes and failures of human history, and science museums deal with the past, present and future. , as a way to help us understand their place in creation.
Science and technology museums are interested in principles, processes and products. In the broadest view, they will deal with mathematical, physical, chemical and biological sciences. Museums also deal with technology, the practical application of science, and thus deal with agriculture, industrial processes and public health. And there can be many special types of science museums, for example, health, farm, fishing, space and sea museums, etc.
The main concerns of the science museum are the school children who are more receptive in mind. Museum helps teachers by providing explanatory material in the field of classroom education. For adults who haven’t had many opportunities to get an education, also enjoy the science museum. In museums and galleries, it also plans to attract those with more advanced training and plans to serve high school and university students and the general public. The museum occupies a unique position among educational institutions that attract people of all ages.
Museums are traditionally curators of objects, but the purely conservative phase of museology is no longer justified as its sole objective. Unless the collections are used as a basis for active research or teaching, the institution will prove to be sterile.
Exhibitions are always at the heart of the educational program of museums, the use of exhibits is made more efficient in several ways, namely exhibition guide service, publications, auditorium programs, planetarium, etc. Among other things, planetariums have proven to be extremely useful in education, especially in the fields of astronomy, time measurement, navigation, topography, and especially to open minds to the magnitude of creation.
Knowledge will never develop without the spirit of inquiry, research must be included in any development program and from the start research activities must receive attention. In the natural sciences, this should be about collections rather than areas of the experimental laboratory, as only an institution supporting collections can encourage such work. With the current state of knowledge about the flora and fauna of Pakistan, there is only one museum – the Pakistan Natural History Museum (PMNH), and there is room for great exploration. systematic and it is the same in the fields of geology and others.
Science museums serve as authoritative centers for the identification of natural history material, as it is only on the basis of comparison with a scientifically documented and studied collection that such a service can reliably provide. . Science museums, in their research activities, conduct studies and critical explorations in the field and thus become sources of knowledge. Any well-staffed museum serves as a clearinghouse for research projects in its own region, and its advice is important on matters relating to a country’s national resources.
Public museums in Pakistan today are limited mainly and mainly to the fields of history, archeology and art. There are a total of 27 museums in Pakistan, while only two museums are science museums; The National Museum of Science and Technology, Lahore, and the Pakistan Museum of Natural History, Islamabad, others are university level museums which are not intended for the general public. An analysis, apparently based on a tally of these museums, indicates one museum for every 7,037,037 people in Pakistan, clearly showing the shortage of museums in Pakistan.
The greatest service to the museum movement at the present time would be to provide full support for at least one generalized museum comprising the fields of science, technology and industry, in each district headquarters that could serve as a training and indoctrination center for people in each of the skills necessary for the creation of other museums, especially in the scientific field and in other fields.
According to a 1956 study report “Proposal for the development of science museums in Pakistan” by Robert T. Hatt, a UNESCO science museum expert, “every city with more than 50,000 inhabitants should eventually have a Museum. Serving smaller centers, there should be traveling museums, “museumobiles”, providing educational stimulation to less privileged neighborhoods. Such an expansion of the museum program must, however, keep pace with the maturity of museums in large centers.
Instead of establishing large buildings at the start, a small exhibition space is much better than a large one; that a small beautiful exhibition is much more effective from a teaching point of view than a large bad one. A high standard in the first efforts would go a long way to gain the esteem of the community; a low level would handicap the future of development.
It is a mistake to build tall buildings at the start of a museum career. A museum is not a building but an organization, and until the organization has taken shape, trying to house it is short-sighted. Temporary neighborhoods offer the best opportunity for natural growth to the point where there is stability, constructive work, knowledge of needs, defined perspectives and anchoring in the sympathy that provides support. It is a question of virility, not of age… It is hardly justified to spend its own money or that of the public on a building unless the organization is well managed, active, growing and promises to pay. dividends in service.