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Don’t be afraid of the dark: sharing our sins and doubts

Enter our space where you cannot see the others around you. Anonymised seating. Eye masks. Music playing in the background. Voices speak up to confess personal professional sins; doubts about their institutions and dubious things we do as a science engagement community. Then, some improved vision and light. We reflect on our sins and doubts and a philosopher provides context and general lessons. The darkness provides a sense of excitement; an atmosphere and a mindset for everyone to take a leap out of their comfort zone. It also provides the freedom, safety and comfort of not being watched and not having to meet someone else’s eye.

We probe our weaknesses, failures and regrets. Things that we have done wrong personally, things that our institution does that we disagree with and weaknesses in the system, things that we feel that our community of science institutions should not do. Attendees can share on all topics, including inclusion equity, trust and innovation.


Learning ecosystems researcher and project leader pop-upscientist

Session speakers

Amparo Leyman Pino
San Francisco
United States
Amparo has collected many examples of doubts and sins in her years of experience as a practitioner in the field of science communication and science museums. She convened a series of Confession Sessions during previous Ecsite Annual Conferences. Amparo will chair the first half of the session. She will act as an empathic and open catalyst for an atmosphere of trust and sharing. She will lead by example and share sins and failures of her own.
Frank Kupper
Associate Professor Science Communication & Public Engagement
Frank is a philosopher, a science communication researcher and an improv actor. He is also involved with the Instituut voor Faalkunde (Institute for the Art of Failure, aka Failology). Frank will share sins and doubts of his own. Also, he will provide overarching context to the participants’ stories and some philosophical tools for thinking about failure, sins, doubts and the way forward.
As the director of the Dutch national association of science centers and museums, Menno Tummers facilitates connections between people and organizations. Menno will share doubts and weaknesses of his own. He will also chair the second half of the session, and lead and structure reflection and analysis by the participants.
Curator Text and Language
Staatliche Museen zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz
Anna has vast experience in exhibit development and producing text for exhibition, both the fertile soil for committing sins, be it by omission, overdoing, or other spectacular failures. She brings the understanding and the compassion needed to redeem any possible collateral damages, her story would inspire others to share their own. Plus the dark is a judge-free zone.