Magazine Contacts

Roberta Spada

I am a PhD Candidate at the Department of Design and at the National Science and Technology Museum Leonardo da Vinci (MUST) in Milan. My field of expertise is Science and Technology Studies (STS), an interdisciplinary field that looks at science and technology from a social and human perspective, investigating the relationship between science, technology, and society. I hold a BSc in Physics from the University of Bologna and a MSc in Science, Technology and Society from UCL.

The title of my research is "Objects as Practices: Collecting, Curating, and Exhibiting Radio Technologies from 1930s Italy at the Museo Nazionale Scienza e Tecnologia Leonardo da Vinci" and it lies at the intersection between STS, Museum Studies and Media Studies.

Its aim is to reconstruct the history of the collections and the galleries/exhibitions related to radio and television at the Museum to understand what narratives were constructed and enacted by the Museum about the history of the radio technologies in Italy. In order to do that, I use four non-human "privileged witnesses": four artefacts from the collections that are related to 1930s Italian radio technologies, which tell different stories through their biographies; stories that are both about their historical and sociotechnical context and about their life in the Museum as musealised artefacts.

Within the project, the Museum is seen as a place of co-production of technoscience, a network of human and non-human actors (most of all, the objects) where the relationship between science, technology, and society materialises through the practices of which objects, curators and exhibition designers are protagonists. The final goal of this STS theoretical framework is to back a historical and museological study of objects and collections up with a critical and reflexive understanding of the science and technology museum as a complex system including many dimensions, where many actors participate in the creation of specific knowledge and ways to make sense of science, technology, and culture.