The project is an experiment with spatial research communication. Its aim is to communicate social scientific knowledge about the development of new research and controversial technologies, for instance, controversial stem cell research. It is founded on a wish to experiment and find new ways of doing research communication. The experiment is designed to
- Communicate with more than words
- Make the communication dialogical and interactive
- Communicate about research-based problematics, rather than ready-made ‘packages of knowledge’.
The experiment is created in close collaboration between the spatial designer Birte Dalsgård and the social scientist Maja Horst. It is developed on the basis of an earlier experiment – The Stem Cell NetWork: a Social Science Laboratory – which was created in 2005. The present project is carried out in 2007 and 2008 at the Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy, Copenhagen Business School. It is based on a grant from The Danish Research Council for the Humanities.
The Stem Cell NetWork II: Landscape of Expectations is designed as a movable installation of approximately 30 m2, which can be placed in public, in order to create debate and reflection about the regulation of and expectations towards new technology. The goal is to increase visitors’ sensitivity about the social shaping of new technologies and their own participation in these processes. The installation is designed to invite dialogue about the ethical, social, economical and cultural consequences of research and new technology, and to make this dialogue physically visible through the visitors’ interaction with the installation.
The installation was opened to the public for the first time at the Festival of Research 2007. It is subsequently exhibited in various public places and at a number of conferences. The target group is adults without specific knowledge about stem cell research or other new technologies.
The creation of the installation, however, is not just a communication project. It is also a research project. It is an experiment and the process is closely documented in order to collect experiences and knowledge produced in the process. Visitors to the installation are observed in order to analyse their reception of the installation.