The BSHS Outreach and Education Committee is pleased to announce the opening of its fifth ‘Great Exhibitions’ competition. This prize is a biennial award for exhibits on the history of science, medicine and technology, kindly funded by the B.Gee bequest. The winner of the 2016 competition was the Adler Planetarium. Chicago, for their display ‘What is a Planet?’. Previous winners can be seen here.
The competition is open for any public exhibition that deals with the history of science, the history of technology, or the history of medicine. Entries are welcome from institutions in any country and exhibits may be permanent or temporary. Eligible exhibits must use artefacts or places of some kind and this may include buildings or locations, pictures, instruments, objects and books. Web-based exhibits are not eligible for the prize; we run a separate competition – the Ayrton Prize – for these. The closing date is 18th October 2018. Exhibits should go live no later than that date and still be available for viewing until the end of December 2018 to enable judging. If your nominated exhibition on the history of science, technology or medicine closes before end December we may still be able to include you in the competition – do still get in touch with us ([email protected]) to discuss whether we can arrange an early visit by the judges. . There will be two prizes one for large and one for small exhibitions. The latter has a prize of £300. The winning exhibits will be the subject of a special feature in the BSHS’s Viewpoint magazine.
The main criterion for judging this prize is audience experience and therefore the judges will consider:
- Originality: does the exhibit speak to current scholarly concerns within HSTM, HPS and/or STS? Does it present the audience with something new? Does it challenge preconceptions?
- Clarity: is the purpose or aim of this exhibit clear? Has it clearly identified what it wants to tell the audience about the history of science, technology or medicine? Is it easy to follow?
- Design: is the exhibit attractive and engaging? What makes this exhibit stand out from other exhibits? Does the design complement the subject matter?
- Learning: does it cater for its intended audience well? How accessible is the exhibit to a range of different audiences? Does the exhibit encourage audiences to be reflective about the role of HSTM?
An entry form can be downloaded here. Please submit this entry form and supporting materials by 18th October 2018 to [email protected] Supporting materials can either be up to 12 photographs of the exhibition or a 10 minute video. Whenever possible the judges will visit the exhibition or nominate a member of the Society to do so. Any further queries should be addressed to [email protected]
(Image: Plate from Joannes Hevelius’ Cometographia (1668), featured in the the What is a Planet exhibit at Adler Planetarium)