By Robert R. Janes – Preview of Museums in a Troubled World: Renewal, Irrelevance or Collapse (London: Routledge, May, 2009)
It is common knowledge that the planet earth and global civilization now confront a constellation of issues that threatens the very existence of both. These issues range from climate change to the inevitability of depleted fossil fuels, not to mention the bewildering array of local concerns pertaining to the health and well-being of myriad communities the world over. There is nothing new about these challenges and there is a burgeoning literature which offers dire warnings and solutions for their resolution. Surprisingly, museums are rarely, if ever, discussed in these books, causing me to conclude that the irrelevance of museums as social institutions is a matter of record.