Towards Queer Tours in Science and Technology Museums

Eleanor Sophie Armstrong


This paper argues that the Queering the Science Museum tour series (2018) provides an example of a conceptual pathway for translating queer tour guiding approaches found in socio-historical and arts museums into STEMM spaces. I use participatory methods and qualitative and quantitative participant data to reflect on my work on the tours in the context of wider practices of tour-guided interventions. I highlight how the Queering the Science Museum tours, at the Science Museum, London, moved beyond existing models of queer engagement in socio-historic and arts museums by introducing an explicitly critically queer approach to science and technology, which has the potential to expand the possibility of queer interventions in museums generally. I close by examining the limitations of tour-as-intervention for change within the museum, while exposing the tensions around how resolving such issues would challenge queer theory’s call for rejecting the making of queer ‘normal’ within displays.


queer, science museums, tour guiding, participatory research

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Copyright (c) 2022 Eleanor Sophie Armstrong

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Museum and Society

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