Different Images of Science at Nordic Science Centres

Different Images of Science at Nordic Science Centres

Publication Type:
article-journal
Date Issued:
2007
Authors:
Eva Davidsson , Anders Jakobsson
Language:
eng
Page:
1229-1244
DOI:
10.1080/09500690600969848
Abstract:

Science centres aim to present science in ways that will attract visitors and enhance public interest in, and knowledge of, science. But what images and different aspects of science are visitors confronted with at Nordic science centres? This study aims to explore the different aspects of science that are displayed and the ways in which these aspects constitute different images of science. In this study, staff members who work with the planning and creation of new exhibitions were asked to answer a web-based questionnaire, identifying the extent to which different aspects of science were displayed in their latest exhibition. They were also asked to voice their opinions on what, and to what extent, they would like to display different aspects in future exhibitions. This study shows that exhibitions today, in particular, choose to display the wonders of science, presenting science in a product-oriented and unproblematic way. The study also reveals a great discrepancy between what staff members display at their latest exhibitions and what they want to display in future exhibitions. They express a will to emphasise aspects of science on the basis of a societal and cultural perspective. This means that controversial issues, values in society, non-western science, and scientific processes constitute important components for future exhibitions.

Keywords:
Science centre Informal setting Exhibition Nature of science