Thank you, Boston!
The day after the election, we held an incredible two night event just outside of Boston, Massachusetts. It was a timely, empowering experience rich with art, technology, science, and conversation. Read through the highlights below, then check out our plans to expand the model.
ABOUT THE SHOW
On November 9 & 10, 2016, we launched our first installation of the "It's Only Human" exhibition.
Over 250 guests from across the Boston, Massachusetts community gathered to explore, discuss, and consider ways to navigate human bias. We paired inspiring work from artists with curated scientific research to create a window into the self that most people rarely see. Acclaimed psychologist, Dr. Mahzarin Banaji, met with guests and signed "Blindspot", one of the books that inspired it all. The talented Dr. Choukri Mekkaoui shared one of his incredible, large-scale interactive images of the real human brain. We used interactive technology and immersive mini-experiments to catch our guests in the middle of their own minds’ quirks. We started with the fundamentals, like visual illusions, and built our way up, step by step, through false memories, through media bias, through group influence, and finally, to complex issues like prejudice, stereotypes, and power structures. Guests spent hours combing through what one attendee lovingly dubbed "a deconstructed book", soaking in every image, every trick, every insight.
By the time we got to the hard stuff, people were ready for it; they craved it even. Somewhere between the emotional power of the art, the mind-bending science, and the moments of disequilibrium, we found it: a way in. A way for all of us to join together and talk to each other about our individual and collective shortcomings. A way to normalize bias so that we can try our hands at navigating it. A way to stop avoiding bias - to just admit it - so that we can start to do better. A way to plant a seed that could, in time, change everything.
We are so proud of this event, and so grateful to our community for embracing its mission and supporting this important cause. We couldn't have done it without you, Boston. Next stop, everywhere.
All proceeds benefit The People's Science, a 501(c)3 dedicated to developing creative and practical STEM engagement opportunities and 21st century information literacy tools. We work to address social, personal, and environmental issues by counteracting the underlying mechanisms that drive them.
We worked with a diverse team of artists, scientists, educators, and designers to offer a unique experience that was both educational and reflective. We also offered strategies for how we might leverage these insights to craft a better future.
We synthesized scientific evidence under the guidance of our scientific advisory board to feature interactive exercises about the science of bias. From the gold dress to the need to conform, guests enjoyed immersive experiences revealing the ways we filter the world around us.
We believe that our events should celebrate the local communities that support them. In addition to local artists, we featured local artisans, makers, food, music, and libations throughout the evening.
Warehouse XI • Somerville, MA
Our launch event would not have been possible without the gorgeous space and generous support of our venue, Warehouse XI.
Beer • Wine
Wine and beer was available, thanks in large part to a generous donation by Aeronaut Brewing.
PennyPacker's Fine Foods
Delicious, complementary food was available for guests.