Canada’s Museum of Science and Technology faced big challenges when it was suddenly shut down due to mold in 2014. It was gutted, then given three years to completely rebuild and reopen. At the same time, it set out to redefine what it means to be a museum in the 21st century. How should digital technologies shape visitor experiences? How can museums project their content beyond their four walls to audiences around the world? How do museums, who have for millennia been “Voice-of-God” purveyors of knowledge, incorporate perspectives other than their own in a “post-truth” era?

The man at the centre of this story got the job of running the museum when he was just 33 — a digital native imposing new ideas on traditionally stuffy institutions. He was not without his detractors, internal and external. Many experts disagreed with his approach, and the debate spilled onto the pages of The Globe and Mail and the
National Post.

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