Controversy in Science Museums: Re-imagining Exhibition Spaces and Practice

Book Cover for Controversy in Science Museums: Re-imagining Exhibition Spaces and Practice by Pedretti and Navas Iannini. Teal with drawing of woman in an asylum looking out a window

By

Dr. Erminia Pedretti

Professor of Science Education at the Ontario Institute for Studies In Education at University of Toronto

&

Dr. Ana Maria Navas Iannini

Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Education at the Universidad de los Andes

Controversy in Science Museums focuses on exhibitions that approach sensitive or controversial topics. With a keen sense of past and current practices, Pedretti and Navas Iannini examine and re-imagine how museums and science centres can create exhibitions that embrace criticality and visitor agency.

Drawing on international case studies and voices from visitors and museum professionals, as well as theoretical insights about scientific literacy and science communication, the authors explore the textured notion of controversy and the challenges and opportunities practitioners may encounter as they plan for and develop controversial science exhibitions. They assert that science museums can no longer serve as mere repositories for objects or sites for transmitting facts, but they should also be spaces for conversations that are inclusive, critical, and socially responsible.

Controversy in Science Museums provides an invaluable resource for museum professionals who are interested in creating and hosting controversial exhibitions, and for scholars and students working in the fields of museum studies, science communication, and social studies of science. Anyone wishing to engage in an examination and critique of the changing roles of science museums will find this book relevant, timely, and thought provoking.


Pedretti, E., & Navas Iannini, A.M. (2020). Controversy in Science Museums: Re-imagining Exhibition Spaces and Practice (1st ed.). Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429507588