1st Edition

Museums and the Climate Crisis

Edited By Nick Merriman Copyright 2024
    272 Pages 33 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    272 Pages 33 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Museums and the Climate Crisis shows how museums can respond to the interrelated global climate, biodiversity and pollution crises. They have a unique role because they take a long-term perspective, and their scholarship and independence mean that they remain trusted by the public.

    Providing insights and international case studies from a range of museum and gallery professionals, academics and consultants, this book explores how museums can use this unique perspective to engage the public as active citizens, and how they are exemplars of good practice in areas such as emissions reduction and encouraging biodiversity. It shows how museums can combat climate exhaustion by drawing on understandings about positive motivation, and how to develop exhibitions, events and activities that motivate visitors to take action. Taking a broad approach beyond purely climate issues, the contributions touch on the use of renewables, environmental controls and standards, travel (including virtual couriering), waste management (including recycling, plastic reduction and composting), reducing pollution and increasing biodiversity within museums.

    Museums and the Climate Crisis will be important reading to those studying in the fields of Museum Studies, Heritage Studies and Conservation. Taking a practical approach, it will also be beneficial to museum, gallery and heritage professionals who are grappling with the challenges of the climate crisis.

    1. The role of museums and galleries in addressing the climate and ecological crisis (Nick Merriman)

    3. Museums Empowering Climate Action (Sarah Sutton & John Fraser)
    4. The emergency is an octopus! Museums activating the public in a planetary emergency (Bridget McKenzie & Victoria Burns)
    5. Museums as Catalysts of Cultural Adaptation: the ‘Inside-Outside Model’ (Douglas Worts)
    6. Tackling the climate crisis: an overview of UK museums (Kathryn Simpson)
    7. Museums Tackling Climate Change: A Zimbabwean Context (Simbarashe Chitima)
    8. The Global South emerges: how cultural institutions in South America are using storytelling to call audiences to action in tackling climate change (Eduardo Carvalho)
    9. Collections Management and Conservation (Caitlin Southwick)
    10. The 100 Year Future: Museums and the Climate and Nature Crisis (Maria Balshaw)
    11. Culture’s contributions to the climate challenge - a brief account of Julie’s Bicycle (Alison Tickell)

    13. Taking Action on Climate Change and Sustainability at the Australian Museum (Zehra Ahmed & Jenny Newell)
    14. Cultivating Climate Leadership: Evolving an Institution to Address Climate Change and Helping Others to Do the Same (Richard Piacentini)
    15. Creating advocates for the future (Clare Matterson)
    16. The Whitworth – Transforming Manchester’s Gallery in the Park (Jo Beggs & Dean Whiteside)
    17. Responding to the climate crisis at Leeds Museums & Galleries (Lisa Broadest & Yvonne Hardman)
    18. Shaping a positive future at the Horniman Museum and Gardens (Carole Destre & Nick Merriman)



    Nick Merriman is Chief Executive of the Horniman Museum and Gardens in London and an Honorary Professor at University College London and the University of Manchester.