Journal of Museum Education

How Should Museum Education Deal with the Current Loss of Confidence in Research in Society?

Angelika Doppelbauer

Journal of Museum Education, Volume 48, 2023, Issue 3: It’s All Fake, Honestly


There is an idiom in German that, translated word for word, says someone is “lying as printed.” This expression conveys mistrust toward the new,
revolutionary technology of printing and offers compelling parallels to our present situation after the digital revolution. Fake news spreads much faster than it used to, and many people blame social media for the loss of trust in experts and verifiable information we face at the moment. The museum as a research institution has so far been relatively unaffected by this loss of trust. But do we still feel comfortable openly inviting our audience to criticize the institution and its content in the sense of critical education? Although this might seem risky, our present society needs critical education more than ever. It can help us practice the methods of criticism and distinguish fake news from facts. The museum can be a safe place where people can learn about methods of research, democracy, and open discourse. Here, we can practice this open dialogue in personal contact with educators and each other. But additional training is required for educators to successfully mediate difficult and controversial discussions.

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