Science and technology are defining characteristics of our society and, in striving to meet the needs of the public for meaningful narratives about the past, public historians need to pay more attention to their history. Museums, with their educational mandates and historical collections, should be an obvious vehicle for fulfilling this role. The situation, though, has been complicated by the science center movement which emphasizes transcendent scientific principles. The ability of historians and curators to demonstrate the explanatory power of history and make good on the promise of object-based exhibitions and programs will depend on meeting significant institutional and intellectual challenges. It will also depend on support from the wider public history and museum communities.

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