Behind the Exhibit: Displaying Science and Technology in Museums and World’s Fairs
What are the narratives that stay behind public display of scientific artifacts and collections? How has scientific heritage been used in the public arena of the museum today as well as one century ago? The lesson will focus on the complex relationship that national and international exhibitions and science museums have had over the years, dealing also with the birth and diffusion of science museums. Among many examples, the seminar will focus also on the case study of the National Museum of Science and Technology Leonardo da Vinci in Milan.
Visual Science: How Science Uses Images
Images play a pivotal role in science today as in past centuries. Visual imagination is a central element of scientific practice as shown by different examples, from Andreas Vesalius to Robert Hooker, including the group of scientists that recently has obtained the image of a black hole. Scientists have used figures and representations (photographs, diagrams, models, natural history illustrations, etc) in many ways over the centuries: for knowledge-making, representation, education, dissemination or explanation. The lesson will explore this topic addressing some relevant case studies in the field.
Assistant Professor in History of Science at the University of Padova, Elena is a Historian of Science interested in visual studies in science, science museum studies, cultures of natural history, the history of evolutionary thought and the relationship between science and popular culture.
She is author of several books and articles and she is currently writing a book about how science uses images to be published in 2019 and editing a volume for the Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press on artefacts, scientific museums and exhibitions along the XX century.
The impact of digital media on Visual Communication of Science
Digital communication is becoming more visual: images and videos are regularly uploaded, downloaded, edited, re-contextualised, shared and re-shared on the Internet and social media outlets.
Though these visuals are widespread online, we still lack tools to discern their accuracy, authenticity and potential interpretations.
This impacts science communication in particular, as the wrong or doctored image can influence public perception of scientific controversies (e.g. vaccinations).
This lesson will provide examples and case studies of the factors to consider when interpreting and choosing online images for science communication.
Elena is a research fellow for the European Project RETHINK, and member of the Science Communication Unit at the University of West of England. She is currently involved in mapping the European digital science communication landscape and identifying gaps and best practices in online communication of science. Her PhD in Science Communication focused on how pro- and anti-vaccine images are shared among different Twitter communities and what they say. Elena had work experience in digital communication, and she has an academic background in neuroscience.
Best practices and potential pitfalls in the visual display of Quantitative Information
In this lesson theory and practice in the design of data graphics will be discussed. This comprehends analyzing the logic of depicting quantitative evidence, and reasoning about how to design, edit and improve graphics we use to present data.
Graphical integrity and graphical deception will also be examined, as communicators can skew how data is perceived, whether by using some well-known techniques or simply by not being proficient in these topics. This includes the analysis of sources of deception and the distinction between design variation and data variation.
Tommaso is a post-doctoral research fellow in physics at the Laboratory of Physical Science Communication of Trento, he is specialized in the use of new technologies in Physics Education. Since 2010 he performs as a visual artist exploring the intersections between art and science: recently, he presented his Augmented Lecture “HyperVision” in the Teatro della Meraviglia 2019 festival. He is co-founder of “Level Up”, a startup dedicated to science education sponsored by the University of Trento.