zaterdag 30 april 2011

Naturalis live science

Live Science in Naturalis
Thursday I went to Naturalis as they opened what might in commercial terms be called their concept store. A science work street, inhabited by employees of Naturalis who do their work in front of the public. Their work of conserving, cataloguing, charting, organizing. At first sight it reminded me of the Darwin Centre of the Natural History Museum in London: exhibiting the process of science, working with interactive displays that allow visitors to be part of the exhibition, the fact that the subject is life sciences....But up close I realised that Naturalis is actually going further. Much further. In the Darwin Centre the process of (life) science is made visible through interactive exhibits including short movies in which employees of the Natural History Museum tell about their work, the relevance of their work and their passion for their work. In Naturalis you can actually see the people at work. Live and in real life. You can talk to them, ask your own questions, assist them in the cataloguing...In short: it's truly interactive. It's not an exhibition made with interactives, in pointed fact it's not even an exhbition anymore. It is an interactive process of which you - the visitor - are a full part of it all - crowd sourcing Naturalis style. I was impressed. Truly impressed. Both by the concept and the operationalisation thereof, but also because having worked with Naturalis I think I have somewhat of understanding of what an enormous change this is for this institution. A complete turn around, from an institution which presented everything 100% finished, researched, thought through to now creating an open ended experience with many unknown and in a way uncontrollable variables. A fundamentally new way of thinking, of working, of looking at the concept of a science center/natural history museum and a new way of looking at science education. Especially the latter has captured my philosophical interest. My hat is off for Naturalis and I will follow with much interest! Some pictures and short movies taken with my iPhone (although it cannot beat the real experience). For the movies please go to my newly opened YouTube channel as I found it totally hopeless to try and upload movies on blogger. Takes forever and a day.

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