Tensions Exposed: Myth and Social Imagination of Scientific Exhibitions in Science Museums

Author Info
Chung-hsi Lin
Department of Cultural Heritage Conservation, National Yunlin University of Science and Technology

Scientific exhibitions usually aim at presenting the achievements of great scientists, with an assumption of 「exposing the truths of the nature.」. Following the current scientific paradigm, they deliver the so-call standard and accurate knowledge to their audience. By playing the sleigh of hands of 『multi-level imaginations,』 『heterogeneous de-contextualization, and 『mythological archetypes,』 scientific exhibitions in science museums employ the techniques of 「paradigm display,」 「interpretation display,」 and 「power display」 to erase the socio-political aspects of scientific activities, in order to present a pure, clean, and perfect image of science. Through this process of black-boxing, science become a new myth in the name of de-mythologizing nature. This paper examines how science become a new myth with the help of science exhibitions, in the hope of dissuading science museums away from the uniform and hegemonies fashion of display so as to provide new possibilities for multiple dialectic exhibitions with foresight and social consciousness.

Taiwanese Journal for Studies of Science, Technology and Medicine, Number 7