Pregnant Pauses: Science Museums, Schools and a Controversial Exhibition

  • Erminia PedrettiEmail author
  • Ana Maria Navas-Iannini


Recently, there have been movements towards the inclusion of critical and often controversial exhibitions in science centres and museums. In this case study we consider the controversial exhibition Preventing Youth Pregnancy, hosted by the Catavento museum (São Paulo, Brazil). Specifically, we explore responses from, and relationships between, school and museum communities that attended the exhibit. We begin with a brief literature review on informal settings and controversial exhibitions, and present a science communication framework that informed our research. Findings are framed by three major themes: building connections between the formal and the informal sector through collaboration, building connections with youth culture, and building pathways for change. The chapter concludes with a discussion about the challenges faced by museums and science centres in creating and/or displaying controversial exhibitions.


Controversial exhibitions Science museums Youth pregnancy Sexuality Socioscientific issues Brazil 



A special thank you to the staff and visitors of the Catavento museum in São Paulo, Brazil, for being so welcoming and generous with their time. We are also grateful to Mitacs Globalink and SSHRC grant #30124 for funding this research.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of TorontoTorontoCanada

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