In my thesis The Observatory conflict, I have undertaken to analyse a conflict that took place at the University of Oslo as a reaction to a decision made by the Collegium of this university in September 1997. The decision concerns the use of an old observatory building owned by the university. There are two parties fighting for the right to use the building. These are a research center of the literary works of Henrik Ibsen, "Senter for Ibsenstudier", and a group of natural scientists that intend to use the building as a museum of the history of natural science in Norway. Strong sentiments have been invested in the conflict.My approach to the conflict has been a point of departure in contemporary discussions on science communication. Thus, I mainly concentrate upon the idea of a science museum that has been promoted by the group of natural scientists.The thesis consists of three parts. In part one I present the conflict. In part two I analyse the nature of the building, basing my analysis on descriptions of it presented by both involved parties. In part three I concentrate on the natural scientists views on the nature of science communication and the relationship between science and the public. In all three parts the arguments presented by both parties in a debate that followed in the wake of the conflict will be of central importance. I also rely heavily upon a prospect of a museum the history of natural science that the group of scientists have presented.Key concepts in this thesis are boundaries, boundary work and boundary object which are used as analysing tools mainly in part two; while science communication, the relationship between science and the public and the public understanding of science are central notions to the discussion in part three.The thesis concludes that the aspect of science communication should have gained more attention in this conflict.