3 September 2019

Medical Museion wins international award


The Medical Museion in Copenhagen, Denmark, has won the prestigious UMAC Award for the museum’s experimental exhibition Mind the Gut.

Still image of a performance from the Mind the Gut exhibition

The Medical Museion has won one of the most prestigious awards in the museum world for its exhibition Mind the Gut, which brings together the brain, gut feelings, identity, bowels, bacteria, and microbiomes. The medical museum carries out research into science communication under the Metabolic Science in Culture program at the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research.

Mind the Gut’s thought-provoking blend of science, art and history shows how doctors, scientists, patients and artists have tried to study and treat the complex relationship between mind and gut. It is a puzzle that has occupied us for millennia, and which is increasingly a focus of contemporary science, fashionable lifestyle trends, and vigorous societal debates about the nature of health and treatment. Instead of answering these questions, the exhibition gives the public the space to reflect and develop their own thoughts.

Ken Arnold, Director of Medical Museion, states: “We are thrilled to have won this prestigious award from our international peers in the world of university museums. It reflects our ability to engage a general public with vital ideas from metabolic science and relate them to cultural, historical, and philosophical contexts."

The UMAC Award was created in 2016 by the International Council of Museums (ICOM). It honours excellence and innovation in university museums and collections worldwide. It seeks to distinguish recent outstanding contributions to all areas of museum and collections theory and practice, particularly those with interdisciplinary approaches and potential wide application.

The ICOM award committee states: “The 2019 UMAC Award is presented to Mind the Gut for its innovation, creativity, excellence, transferability, and significant impact on the university, the community and society at large.”

The award ceremony was held in Kyoto, Japan, on September 3, 2019 at ICOM’s 25th General Conference. The other nominees for the UMAC Award 2019 were the Art Museum, University of Toronto, Canada, for Figures of Sleep and the Night of Ideas, and the cooperation between Shanghai University (SHU) and Nagasaki International University (NIU), China-Japan, for their SHU-NIU Short-term Museology Internship Program.

Mind the Gut won the Bikubenfonden exhibition prize Vision 2015 and is sponsered by the Danish Arts Foundation. It is still possible to visit Mind the Gut at Medical Museion.

Further information:

Director Ken Arnold + 45 93 56 55 32 / kra@sund.ku.dk

Head of Exhibition, Bente Vinge Pedersen + 45 28 75 38 21 / bvpn@sund.ku.dk

UMAC – International Committee for University Museums and Collections:

ICOM presents The UMAC Award to university museums. For more information, visit: http://umac.icom.museum/about-umac/what-is-umac/