3 Technical Culture and the Contemporary World

3.1. Introduction

In 2017, the Palais de la découverte celebrated its 80th anniversary and the Cité des sciences et de l’industrie celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2016. On this occasion, a symposium brought together the main historical players in this cultural adventure, which over the years has seen the birth of scientific, technological and industrial culture centers, as well as the celebration of science and a number of festivals, exhibitions, and radio and television programs. Several natural history museums have also benefited from major renovations, demonstrating our society’s (and beyond) interest in science, in contemporary culture and public debate.

We can only be delighted to see that “science in the making” [BLA 16] is thus brought to the forefront and at the service of all, but is the same true for the world of technology? Of course, the turn of the 21st Century saw the Musée des arts et métiers reopen its doors in a completely renovated appearance and its collections take place in conservation spaces of a quality previously reserved for fine arts collections [FER 97]. Similarly, technology has entered general education as a discipline in its own right. However, in the end, are technology and industry now as much a part of our culture as science? Nothing is less certain, and to date, the concepts of technical culture and innovation culture remain mainly confined to the professional vocabulary. However, the need ...

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