In a number of ways, this last day of symposium appears to pay special attention to public accessibility, the relation with and the perception of science.
The recent exhibitions launched by the Ontario Science Centre (an agency of the government of ontario) show its mandate as informer and educator. This can be perceived in the public display and demonstrations of scientific breakthroughs and technological tools, programs geared towards education in schools and directed to a young audience, as well as a space that accommodates artistic exhibitions and installations.
Said that, as an exhibition space, the Science Centre, like any institution of this kind, has to make choices on what can and what cannot be displayed, what exhibitions to promote or to endorse.
It is then obvious that the latest exhibitions displayed at the science centre focus on “cutting edge”, “controversial” or “debatable” science. In this context, it is no wonder that exhibitions that involve the representation, construction, and manipulation of the body were able to gather lots of attention from the media and from the public.
this is the case of the “amazing” (note the amplifying attribute) aging machine
the controversial Gunther von Hagens BODY WORLDS 2
a new exhibition that explores a possible human voyage to Mars
While the goal of a science center might be to provide public accessibility to science, Dolores & David Steinman cope with the construction and perfection of biomedical visual models (in this case models and animations of blood vessels) and how such models may be received by individuals (the patient, the general public, the scientist).
In an era of “fascination with visibility and imagery” complex and technology enhanced images are often preferred tools that can help visualize raw data or mathematical models. thanks to their immediacy, visual models may be preferred to language. yet, they can generate miscommunication due to a lack of common language, manipulation of information, differences in interpretation of data.