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Clear, simple and wrong: Misconception and oversimplification in science centres

“For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple and wrong,” journalist H. L. Mencken observed. In science centres, it is not easy to be educational and entertaining while remaining scientifically accurate at all times. As a rule of thumb we can follow Einstein’s recommendation: “Simplify as much as possible but no further.” But what is oversimplification? What if we use phenomena to illustrate our point even if it supports a misconception? For example, the popular Bernoulli ball exhibit has as much to do with the Bernoulli principle as the melting cheese in the microwave with the speed of light: not much. Feel free to bring your own examples to this workshop session. Together we will attempt to put them to trial and come up with explanations that are clear, simple and correct.

Convenor

Session speakers

Aaike van Oord, Museon
Program Manager / Curator
The Hague
Netherlands
Director
Ljubljana
Slovenia

Session speakers

Aaike van Oord, Museon
Program Manager / Curator
The Hague
Netherlands
Director
Ljubljana
Slovenia