The Observation Experiment

Observation Experiment exhibition banner upscaled


Date: March 1, 2022 - April 1, 2022


MSU Museum - Main Gallery
409 West Circle Drive
East Lansing, MI 48824

Through MSU Museum collections and the research of graduate students at Michigan State University, the exhibition “The Observation Experiment” explores the various ways we observe our world. The exhibition invites viewers to contemplate how observation can lead to understanding and ideally make the world better for all.

The exhibition highlights several perspectives on the theme of observation including the observation of humans in order to understand behaviors, events, and how to do new things; the observation of flora and fauna so that we can understand the planet, its effect on us, and our impact on it; and the importance of observation in determining what is valuable to preserve in our world and working toward ensuring others can observe it in the future. Parts of the exhibition remain unfinished and ask Museum visitors to observe within the Museum as an experiment aimed at discovering new ways of co-creating exhibitions.

Using artifacts and specimens from the MSU Museum’s collection as inspiration, sections of the exhibition were created by three doctoral students at MSU in the SEEK (Sharing Expertise and Exploring Knowledge) Fellows program. The SEEK Fellowship is sponsored by the Michigan State University Graduate School to help doctoral students discover ways to communicate knowledge to broader audiences. Graduate students involved in the exhibition are Sandy Burnley (Department of English), Carson Broeker (Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology), and Ramya Swayamprakash (Department of History).

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