Smithsonian Community Engagement Project on Implicit Bias is on Display at MOSH This Summer
Jacksonville, Fla. — Aug. 16, 2022 — The Museum of Science & History (MOSH) today announced its newest exhibition, “The Bias Inside Us,” is now open and will remain on display through September 11, 2022. The community engagement project from the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) was designed to raise awareness about the social science and psychology of implicit bias, the impact of this bias and what people can do about it.
“The Bias Inside Us” features compelling images, hands-on interactives and powerful testimonials and videos that unpack and demystify the concept of bias. The exhibition features six sections: Introduction, The Science of Bias, Bias in Real Life, Serious Consequences — Bias is All Around Us, #RetrainYourBrain and Personal Reflection.
Visitors can explore the foundational blocks of bias, the psychology of how it forms and how it influences behaviors both consciously and unconsciously. Interactive elements display how implicit and explicit bias show up in the world and how bias influences systems and policies that have consequences for many people and communities. One interactive experience invites visitors to think about how bias is reflected in product design, advertising, architecture and technology. Among the videos in the exhibition is a series that features eight voices from diverse perspectives sharing personal experience with bias.
“At MOSH, our mission is to inspire the joy of lifelong learning. This exhibition from the Smithsonian is an incredible opportunity to listen and learn, while advancing our collective understanding and appreciation for diverse perspectives,” said Bruce Fafard, President & CEO of MOSH. “This exhibition starts with an overview of how our brains work, how we perceive divisions and — most importantly — how we can change for the better.”
The exhibition features Spanish photographer Angélica Dass’ Humanae project, which reflects on the color of skin that challenges the concept of race. In this work, Dass documents humanity’s true colors through portraits, rather than the labels “white,” “red,” “black” and “yellow.”
This project aligns with MOSH’s ongoing commitment to showcasing works and subjects reflective of Northeast Florida’s diverse cultural community. Most recently, the Museum debuted “The Wonder Wall” by Princess Simpson Rashid as part of its Artist in Residence program; presented photography by Agnes Lopez alongside original art by local Filipino artists in “The Pinay Project: I Am Here”; and showcased works by neuro-diverse students from the North Florida School of Special Education and the THRIVE program at the University of North Florida through the ImagiNclusion exhibition, part of the organization’s ongoing Arts Infusion series.
In order to maximize opportunities for guests to engage, reflect, and discuss the content and concepts within the exhibit, MOSH has added volunteer student docents each week of the engagement. The docents are drawn from local colleges and universities and trained to facilitate positively focused conversations within the exhibit space. Docents are available to assist guests in their interactions with the exhibit components; listen to and discuss guests’ experiences and questions about the exhibit topics; and provide additional information about other resources that may be helpful.
“Bias is part of being human,” said Myriam Springuel, director of SITES and Smithsonian Affiliations. “Our goal through ‘The Bias Inside Us’ is to help individuals understand and counter their implicit bias and help communities thrive through conversation and greater understanding.”
“The Bias Inside Us” draws from the scientific research and educational work by psychologists Mahzarin R. Banaji of Harvard University and Anthony G. Greenwald, professor emeritus at the University of Washington. They defined the term “implicit bias” through their work on unconscious and conscious mental processes. Their book Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People (Delacorte Press, 2013) explores the biases people carry based on their exposure to cultural attitudes on areas such as gender, race, social class and disability status.
Major support for “The Bias Inside Us” is provided by the Otto Bremer Trust. Additional support provided by Acton Family Giving, Anonymous donors, The Beverly Foundation, Steve and Sheri Lear, Target, the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation Fund of the Minneapolis Foundation, Thomson Reuters, Alabama Power Foundation, Allianz of America, Valerie E. and William A. Anders, Atlanta Gas Light Foundation, Julie and David Burton, the Dreier Family, Lennart Ehn and Ginger Lew, Expedia, Trevor and Melissa Fetter, the Roger S. Firestone Foundation, Brenda J. Gaines, Myra Hart and Kent Hewitt, Charlie and Nancy Hogan, Judy and Bob Huret, Dr. Christine C. Jenkins and Mr. Pierre A. France, KNOCK, inc., Sarah Lawer and Frank Guanco, Leaders Forum, Kathleen Mason, Elyse Rabinowitz and Jim Porter, Dr. Philip S. and Alice Hoolihan Randall, Gloria del C. Rodriguez, the Family of Leona Roen, and Naoma Tate. Local exhibition support has been provided by Mayo Clinic in Florida. The Florida Humanities Council also provided support for exhibition-related programming.
“The Bias Inside Us” is based on an original concept developed by Tolerance in Motion: Steve Lear, Laura Zelle and Elyse Rabinowitz, founders; Ellen Glatstein, Laura Lipshutz, Alice Randall, Joanne Jones-Rizzi and Susan Shapiro, directors; Don Shelby, founding advisor; and the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas, Steve Hunegs, executive director.
MOSH will host several public events throughout the run of “The Bias Inside Us” to engage the community in conversations that celebrate our differences, including:
“We are especially grateful to our community partners who have joined us in developing complementary programming, where guests and members can further explore what makes each and every one of us inherently unique,” said Dr. Anthony Mortimer, Vice President of Education and Exhibits.
For more information about The Bias Inside Us tour at MOSH, including registration details for exhibition-related programming, visit themosh.org.
About The Museum of Science & History (MOSH)
The Museum of Science & History (MOSH) is located at 1025 Museum Circle near Friendship Park. MOSH, first chartered in 1941, inspires the joy of lifelong learning by bringing to life the sciences and regional history. Admission is $17.95 for adults; $14.95 for youth, students, active and retired military and seniors. There is no admission fee for children 2 and under or Museum members. Learn more at themosh.org.
Museum funding is provided in part by the City of Jacksonville and the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville, Inc.; State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Arts and Culture and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture; and the National Endowment for the Arts; Historic Museums Grants-in-Aid Program assistance provided by the Bureau of Historical Museums, Division of Historical Resources, Florida Department of State, Secretary of State.
SITES has been sharing the wealth of Smithsonian collections and research programs with millions of people outside Washington, D.C., for more than 65 years. SITES connects Americans to their shared cultural heritage through a wide range of exhibitions about art, science, and history, which are shown wherever people live, work and play. For exhibition description and tour schedules, visit sites.si.edu.