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This issue of the Journal collects articles under the theme of ‘communications’. Two articles examine the making of the Science Museum’s permanent new communications gallery – Information Age – looking at experiments in participation and the challenges of display. Historical articles investigate the role of non-users in the development of telecommunications technologies and at the historical antecedents of modern citizen science. Others articles explore communication with audiences through a study of visitor expectations of the role of museums in science policy, and describe an effort to communicate with musicians and listeners from a bygone age of acoustic recording through a unique recording re-enactment.