Case

Art and Science Virtual Exhibition “Viral Passion” (Napoli, Italy)

The virtual exhibition “Viral Passion” represents a journey into the world of viruses, in order to raise awareness about  the main viruses in human history and to encourage visitors to choose reliable resources of information.

Background

The exhibition “Viral Passion” is realised by the scientific and creative staff of Città della Scienza (The City of Science). It is an innovative complex consisting of a science center, a business innovation center, a training center, a fab laboratory, and a conference center.

Since 1996 Fondazione IDIS has been managing Città della Scienza in Naples, in the former industrial area of Bagnoli. The IDIS Foundation has been operating in Italy since 1987 and has always participated in the activities of the Ministry of the University and Research for the dissemination of scientific culture (Law 113/91 and Law 6/2000).
The science center of Città della Scienza is the first and the main science center in Italy, considering its size, activities and the number of visitors.

The City of Science targets all age groups.

Description

The aim of the City of Science is to work for building a knowledge-based economy, able to create real and quality work, and stronger social cohesion.  

In consequence of the measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Città della Scienza has transferred its initiatives of scientific communication to the Internet.

 The “Virtual Exhibition. Viral passion” project was born to present to the visitors, first of all through attractive images, the viruses that have caused the main diseases of human history. Secondly, its aim was to provide the visitors with the most serious and reliable scientific resources on the web, allowing everyone to build their own path of further exploration, carefully avoiding fake news. 

The exhibition is realized by the scientific and creative staff of Città della Scienza with the collaboration of university professors and students. 

The platform that is used for this virtual and viral experience allows a virtual tour through the exhibition, structured as follows: 

  • What are viruses
  • Rna viruses
  • Dna viruses 
  • In-depth section

Impact

The project carried out by the Città della Scienza was created in order to cope with an economic-financial situation resulting from the lockdown period and to bring back to the science, research, and the scientific method the important role they have always had in the history of humanity.

This initiative has allowed the creation of a virtual and interactive three-dimensional space that became a tool for scientific communication. It has been used for entertainment and for educational activities at schools as well. This virtual exhibition is still online.

The communication and the initiative has been supported by publications in the media. It is still online both on the portal of Città della Scienza www.cittadellascienza.it, and on the website of the virtual exhibition www.passionevirale.it. It was widely disseminated through sharing on the main social networks (Facebook with over 89,000 followers, Twitter, Instagram, Flickr).

The use of social networks has made it possible to bring science into everyone’s home, thanks to the videos, lectures and content published online. The contents are united by the hashtag #lascienzaacasa (the scienze is at home), #iorestoacasa (I stay at home)

Interpretation

The project has made accessible to everyone the scientific content of considerable importance during the pandemic, available at any time and in any place. It raised awareness and provided reliable information on the coronavirus, ensuring that everyone can deepen such a complex issue by referring only to guaranteed sources and avoiding fake news. 

The project succeeded to transform the fear of people toward viruses into curiosity and aesthetics, through scientific knowledge and attractive images of the interactive platform.

References

Author

  • Mara De Blasi, EduVita, info@eduvita.it
  • Hanna Urbanovich, EduVita, hanna@eduvita.it

Header photograph

Wikimedia Commons

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