Enhancing Visitors’ Interest in Science – A Possibility or a Paradox? : A Study of what Scientific Content Staff Members Choose to Display
Within the enterprise of science and technology centres there exists explicit aims and ambitions to enhance visitors’ interest in and knowledge about science. Meanwhile, several researchers question the choice of the scientific content in exhibitions when arguing that a too unproblematic view of science commonly is presented. But how do staff members consider what scientific content to include and how this content can be organised in exhibitions? The results from interviews of staff members, responsible for planning and creating new exhibitions, suggest that they consider the scientific content of their exhibitions to a high extent in terms of organizational matters. This means that the staff members tend to not consider discussions about what aspects of science to include or exclude. Further on, the results imply that the relation between science and society risk being implicit to the visitors, whereas the aspect of scientific processes tend to be overlooked when constructing new exhibitions. The staff members express an anxiety in displaying scientific uncertainties or different models of explanations when arguing that this risks confusing the visitors. However, these aspects of science are, in the field of science education, considered crucial in order to create curiosity and interest in science. Does this mean that science and technology centres, through their eagerness to enhance young visitors’ scientific literacy, risk contributing to their detachment from or unconcern for scientific issues?