Elena Canadelli

Elena Canadelli Photo


Associate Professor - DiSSGeA UNIPD (IT)

Scientific Director of the Botanicum Museum of the University of Padua

President of the Italian society of the History of Science

Editor-in-Chief "Nuncius. Journal of the Material and Visual History of science"

of the history of science

Historian of Science


Designing natural history museums’ ecosystem between history and future digital perspectives

Natural history museums are a peculiar ecosystem between history and future digital perspectives. The paper will deal with the case study of the Botanical Museum at the Botanical Garden of the University of Padova, opened in February 2023, focusing on the coexistence and the interaction between physical artefacts and digital tools. The paper will also retrace the history of designing natural history museums and the complex interaction between space and specimens in the light of contemporary projects of mass digitization of natural history specimens.


Elena Canadelli is a historian of science interested in visual studies in science and science museum studies. Her current research project deals with the history of the botanical collections in Padua and the role of digitization in mobilizing the natural history objects. She's Associate Professor in History of Science at the University of Padova. She is Scientific director of the Botanic Museum, University of Padova and member of Spoke 7 “Biodiversity and Society. Communication, Education and Social Impact”, coordinator of Activity 7 (digitization of Italian natural history collections), National Biodiversity Future Center – NBFC, Italian Ministry of Research. She has been Editor-in-Chief at “Nuncius. Journal of the Material and Visual History of Science” and president of the Italian Society of the History of Science since 2021. She is member of the Scientific Committee of the Museo Galileo, Florence.