||The scientific and cultural project|
The scientific and cultural project
located in the South of France at Montpellier in the Languedoc-Roussillon
Region is a confederation gathered together under a unique name. The confederation
is made up of the three universities, the Science Research Institutes,
and the institutions for higher education so-called "Ecoles Nationales
Supérieures". All of them deal with similar topics such as ecology,
agriculture, agronomy, food and nutrition.
The scientific community of this Agropolis complex includes 2500 research and teaching people, which means it is one of the largest agro-food research complex in Europe. More than 50% of these research teams work in Less Developed Countries (LDC). In this way the Agropolis scientific community contributes to the struggle against food shortage on a worldwide scale.
In 1986, the Agropolis board of Administration decided to create a science center, the Agropolis-Museum, to be a cultural link between the scientific research community and the public. It was to be an educational center where scientific and educational material would be at the disposal of the public. Exhibitions on agro-food topics on a worldscale are presented to the public to help undestand problems related to food production. This museum aims to reach the largest public by offering several levels of interpretation.
Agropolis-Museum was also created as a place to collect and conserve museographical documents on agriculture and food at a worldwide scale, to create a world-wide collection on these topics. The main National Research Institutes of Agropolis such as CIHEAM, CIRAD, CNEARC, INRA and IRD (ex ORSTOM) represent a unique network to collect documents and set up exhibitions.
The museum aims to present the historical struggle of man to get enough food to satisfy his appetite ; to show how this struggle goes on endlessly and how scientific research can help on this ongoing struggle. The project is organized into three main sections : the Orientation room, the Thematic room and the Prospective room. Each exhibition is divided into sub-sections.
The central idea developed in the Museum is the notion of food-systems which are used to answer the question man put from his origin : What can be eaten tomorrow ? The food-system represents the way man organized society to get and eat food. The question is always the same but the answers document the History, Geography and the socio-cultural background associated with food. The idea of food-systems is explained in the museum through examples collected from all over the world where the Agropolis scientific community is working.
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