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Biomedicine in museums

Changing perceptions of biomedical scientists

By February 22, 2006No Comments

How do members of the public perceive biomedicine and biomedical scientists? What kind of experiences may lie behind these perceptions? And how do they change? These are crucial questions to be asked by any medical history museum that has the intention, somehow, to contribute to the public understanding of medicine. So far the answer is: We really don’t know. But something could perhaps be learned from a social experiment made by the Education Office at The Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.

They asked seven grade school children to draw a ‘typical’ scientist before and after a visit to the Fermilab. The differences were stunning — see, e.g., this before-and-after pair of drawings by Amy. More drawings can be seen here. Maybe the Danish University of Educaton (DPU) could make a similar study of how a biomedical scientist is viewed before and after visiting a lab at the Copenhagen medical faculty?

Thomas Söderqvist

Author Thomas Söderqvist

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