Daily Blogs

What Can One Person Do?

Today we went to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and toured the Ocean Hall and the Human Origins exhibits. Upon taking a closer look at the Oceanic Hall there was a personal connection that the Natural History Museum was trying to portray to the visitors. The exhibits would start of giving the audience information about ecosystems, then would identify the problems the ecosystems were suffering with, then offer a solution that the visitor could do to help the situation. The way the Natural History Museum delivered the information made it less about the accusatory stand point and more about making a difference. In the exhibits there were many statements that said, “You can make a difference,” or “We ALL can be ocean stewards.” These quotes address the visitor on their own level and say we don’t have to wait for someone to come along and save the earth we can do it step by step on our own and still make a difference in the ocean ecosystem. This idea of not waiting for politicians and others to do important work was also brought up in our Micheal Walsh lecture when he mentioned that there shouldn’t be a stigma that we have to wait behind politicians to get things done sometimes we have to lead the way and in a sense force their hand to ensure cultural heritage is preserved.

Another important element that I took notice of at the Natural History Museum was accessibility to hearing impaired individuals. I found many of the interactives and videos had subtitles or as shown in the bottom picture separate devices that translated what was being said on screen. This particular video caught my attention because this is updated every few minutes to display new information about climate change and the oceans environment, yet they are still able to keep the translation for the video constant. Although they have this feature and more subtitles in the museum, I feel  as though the museum could expand their reach to the visually impaired and autistic audiences.

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