Dead Science Graveyard

by ryan

For those of you who didn’t make it out to Phantasmagorium-atorium at the Exploratorium on Friday night, you missed a hell of a party. There was a hilarious puppet show, a chance to lay down in a coffin, a purveyor of decaying animals, and a sugar skull making workshop. One of my favorite parts of the event was the cemetery of dead science ideas. The concept may have caused a bit of controversy as there might be quibbles about the meaning of ‘dead’ and the meaning of ‘science’ but I loved the installation. It was produced by members of the Exploratorium staff (and contributed to by a number of Explainers). I thought that besides being a beautiful organic piece of artwork, it made a great point. We put faith in science as a way to understand the universe, yet it is illuminating to discover the times that science led us astray. It would be extremely arrogant to think that now, finally, we know everything about the universe. And in fact that is the point. We are in the business of constantly experimenting, gathering evidence and testing out ideas to create a evolving understanding of ourselves and or surroundings. In my mind the exploratorium is all about questioning assumptions, which is something that someone had to do to prove the ‘dead science ideas’ wrong. Without further ado, here are some of the notable Explainer contributions to the scene.