Question: How can we find less intimidating ways for visitors to talk with staff, experts and each other about the ‘hard’ stuff?
Answer: I’m just posting a quick set of links here (mostly due to time constraints). I’m also in the midst writing up some separate research I’m doing into “calls to action”, so will hopefully post that soon:
- Museums as places for who? And what? – reflecting on a #museumhour tweet chat based around roles of museums in the (new) political landscape
- Exhibitions as Contested Sites – research project looking at how to engage visitors with contested topics in museums and science centres, led by Dr Fiona Cameron, Western Sydney University. The resulting book, Hot Topics, Public Culture, Museums, has some nice case studies and theoretical perspectives. Will send a copy of the book to Claire after I get home
- Museums as Sources of Information and Learning – some early audience research findings from the above project
- Controversy in museums – some more readings and links, etc
- All about Evil exhibition – using social media for front-end evaluation publication in the Exhibitionist, along with the actual paper itself (a fascinating experiment now I think back on it!)
Question: Are we better off trying to actively design an experience that encourages visitors to engage in dialogue, or do we just enable it to happen serendipitously?
Answer: I don’t know! I do know that trying to ‘force’ unnatural behaviour is never going to work, but this is a question I’ll think a little more about.
It’s my final day at the Exploratorium, but there are still a few more posts to come – follow #osherfellow on Twitter for updates.