This special issue of Ethnologia Europaea takes an innovative approach to analysing the co-presence of animals, plants and humans in exhibits of various kinds in order to probe the potentials of the multispecies museum. From open-air museums with live animals to (natural) history museums displaying the work of the taxidermist, the contributions give rich insights into the the different ways that museums represent our multispecies world. Museums are increasingly seizing the chance to become pivotal spaces of learning, reflection, discussion and experience in the face of ecological crises at the beginning of the twenty-first century. By exploring multispecies relations, they invite human visitors not only to encounter the other-than-human but also to reflect on their own position as humans.
The open section of this issue includes an article by Peter Jan Margry on the scientific misconduct of the former Amsterdam Free University (VU) professor of political anthropology, Mart Bax: On Scholarly Misconduct and Fraud, and What We Can Learn from It. As the editors explain in the editorial, it is on the occasion of migrating all the back issues and articles published in Ethnologia Europaea over the last 50 years to the Open Library of Humanities, that Margry was invited to write about Bax’s fraudulence, based on an evaluation made by VU commission as well as his own investigations. The seven articles published in Ethnologia Europaea between 1988-2000 by Mart Bax have now been retracted from the journal.
In addition to Margry’s article, a contribution by Tore Rinke Bangstad entitled: Beyond Presentism – Heritage and the Temporality of Things, a theoretically informed article considering the significance of materiality for the production of temporal orders in heritage practices. Going beyond a semiotic approach, the article explores what can be achieved when we look at the performativity of objects, using the example of museum practices in Norway.