The public mandates science center exhibits that are entertaining as well as informative. In addition, exhibits can also be performative, in that they act back upon the visitors with an injunction to change their ways. We give examples from two exhibits that not only inform, but also open up space for changes in behavior and perception, particularly in arenas of public health. We look at two recent and ongoing exhibits at MOSI – “Disasterville” and “The Amazing You” - and examine the affordances suggested by figures of speech such as eponymy, hyponymy, hypernymy and retronymy. Tropological research into museum exhibits appears to open up new lines of scholarship for understanding persuasion.
Lee, David H., Steier, Frederick & Ostrenko, Wit (2013). “Entertaining, informing, and persuading: Figures of speech to prepare for health and safety.” The International Journal of the Inclusive Museum. Volume 6, Issue 1