The paper shows how the epistemological dimension of science in a museum setting is enabled by the aesthetics of exhibits, by adopting multi-sensorial ways of presenting science. The results here discussed are based upon a field-work undertaken in the context of a research project at the Natural History Museum of Venice (NHM), a natural history museum which adopts multi-sensorial strategies of public communication and engagement. This peculiarity of NHM becomes fully evident thanks to visitors’ discourses and bodily movements. Visitors re-enact the aesthetics of science in their embodied multi-sensorial and cognitive experience of objects and spaces. The paper argues for the need to give aesthetics a bigger role in science communication contexts and practices, also by integrating it in visitors studies. The theoretical framework of the paper is informed by the critical apparatus of visitor studies (multi-modal analysis of video-recordings and interviews) integrated by recent debates in the aesthetics.
|Translated title of the contribution
|Performing science through aesthetics: the epistemology of science through visitors’ discourses and movements in a museum setting
|Number of pages
|Published - 2012