POP Projects

Dive-In! Exhibition

Led by the Museums of the Universities of St Andrews, POP and the Scottish Oceans Institute collaborated to develop this exciting and ambitious new exhibition. Running from October 2021 to January 2022, the physical exhibition (Wardlaw Museum, St Andrews) and parallel online content is a contribution to the public conversation around the CoP26 conference’s pivotal climate change negotiations.

Audiences were invited to explore the ocean environment, climate challenges and consider the behavioural changes that they can make in driving positive change for people and planet. The narrative was underpinned by research case examples that showcase the role of marine science in guiding our understanding of and response to global challenges for the ocean and the climate. These research case studies are presented alongside/illustrated by the University’s natural history collections.

Not only did this exhibition aim to stimulate conversation and positive change, but also to break new ground on the role and approach of museums in stimulating positive transformations in our society and culture. To this end, we recruited additional expertise in the form of Adam Corner (climate change communicator) and Steve Slack (interpretation and evaluation consultant).

After the exhibition closed the Dive In! team worked through its impact evalulation from visitor experience surveys and focus groups. Its outputs are as follows:

  1. A Case Study here summarising what the visitor evaluation of the exhibition revealed, in turn shedding light on how exhibitions can engage visitors around pro-environmental behaviours.

  2. The Interpretation Guide hereoffers thoughts as our learning from the project, and as a means of positive encouragement to other museum teams making exhibitions that seek to provoke behaviour change in their visitors, especially in relation to climate change and other environmental campaigns.

Read our blog on the University of St Andrews Museum page, titled “Why the ocean?”: https://museumblog.wp.st-andrews.ac.uk/2021/10/18/dive-in-why-the-ocean/ [Published October 2021]

Check out the podcast from the University of St Andrews Museum Team “Curiosity Conversations” Featuring Hannah Ladd-Jones and Chris Leakey. Listen here: https://www.listennotes.com/podcasts/the-curiosity/dr-chris-leakey-and-hannah-x_lUaBG40h2/  [Released March 2021].

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