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MLA Full: "What is a Museum?" YouTube, uploaded by thebrainscoop, 4 September 2013,
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APA Full: thebrainscoop. (2013, September 4). What is a Museum? [Video]. YouTube.
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Chicago Full: thebrainscoop, "What is a Museum?", September 4, 2013, YouTube, 03:05,
Wherein we ask researchers, curators, scientists, docents, and visitors alike how they would define a museum.
What's your definition?! Let us know in the comments below!

Thank you to everyone who provided answers for this video; we couldn't do it without you!


The Brain Scoop is written and hosted by:
Emily Graslie

Created By:
Hank Green

Directed, Edited, Animated, and Scored by:
Michael Aranda

Filmed on Location and Supported by:
The Field Museum in Chicago, IL

Enormous thanks to Katie Kirby, Esther Schmeiser, Martina Šafusová, Tony Chu, Andrés García Molero, and Seth Bergenholtz for providing the transcriptions on this episode!
(Re-vamped intro)

Emily: My name is Emily Graslie, and I've got one question and one question only, and that is: what is a museum?

Emily: What is a museum?

Guest 1: It's a place where they have lots of things.

Guest 2: A museum is a place where the past lives.

Guest 3: it's a place you can go on the weekend and you can have fun looking over things that are older than you are, and uh, learn something.

Guest 4: It's a place where you learn science!

Guest 5: I would consider a museum kind of a place to, uh, educate yourself on many different topics.

Guest 6: I think a museum is a collection of artifacts and specimens that people can use, um, from around the world. And it's not just that you can use them here and there, like they are these dead, idle objects, they're important in current research and future research.

Guest 7: They're places of history, places of science, places of learning.

Guest 8: A museum is like something that there's bones and stuff.

Guest 9: Where we go to find our roots and how we became these creatures.

Dinosaur: It's the uh place to explore and experience wonder.

Guest 10: A museum is a place of magic discovery. A place where people come and have their lives changed by little things that they discover here.

Emily: I want to ask you, um, what is your definition of a museum?

Guest 11: A place where you can come and learn things.

Guest 2 (again): A museum allows us to explore and find answers to questions we didn't even know we had.

Guest 6 (again): So essentially we're a warehouse for holding all of these things so scientists here in the museum can use them and scientists from around the world and into the futures can get to use them. 

Guest 8 (again): And at the bones museum, um, there's like cool bones like that there's dinosaurs.

Guest 2 (again): A museum is a place that we can go and look history in the face.

Guest 9 (again): A museum is not just about looking at the past, it's about feeling the past.

Guest 12: Starts with a collection, it goes to the people that research and use that collection to answer, uh, various questions about the natural history of this planet, cultural, biological, and past, present, and using that information to predict the future. And then, ultimately it's up to you, a museum, to present that information to the public, either through exhibits or education programs, uh, to tell the world what it is we learn from the specimens we have here. That's what a museum is to me.

Emily: That's a great answer.

Guest 10 (again): It's also a place where really, really good-looking men work.

Emily: So when I first started volunteering at the University Montana Zoological Museum, I had a preconception of what I thought a museum was. And when I went there and realized that they didn't have any public exhibits based I was really surprised. Now that I've been working in museums for a few years and I understand that they are ongoing research facilities, I'm still curious as to how researchers and both the public would define "museum." What do you think a museum is? 

(Re-vamped outro and credits)

Emily: It still has brains on it.