Glass-boxing science: Laboratory work on display in museums

Caitlin Wylie
Museum displays tend to black-box science, by displaying scientific facts without explanations of how those facts were made. A recent trend in exhibit design upends this omission by putting scientists to work in glass-walled laboratories, just a window away from visitors. How is science being conceived, portrayed, and performed in glass-walled laboratories? Interviews and participant observation in several “fishbowl” paleontology laboratories reveal that glass walls alter lab workers’ typical tasks and behavior. Despite glass-walled labs’...
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