For visitors ages 10 and up, “To Risk or Not to Risk?” offers a series of exhibits that familiarize them with the concept of “risk.” The aim is to foster a better understanding of risk, introducing visitors to the idea of sensible risk-taking.

Through twenty-four interactive demonstrations, visitors learn how to calculate risks, to perform self-evaluations on risk aversion, and to recognize how society responds to danger and threat. A “light” version of the exhibit, with fifteen demonstrations, is also available.

The exhibition is divided into three distinct parts:

WHAT IS RISK?
Responsible risk-taking requires accurate risk evaluation. This first part of the exhibition presents visitors with basic concepts like the law of large numbers (a mathematical formula for calculating risks) and the three categories of risk—an ideal way to familiarize the visitor with the subject.

INDIVIDUAL RISK.
Risk assessment depends on the individual’s values and character. However, two universal guidelines do exist. In order to minimize the danger of risk-taking, one must learn to “back off” at the right time when involved in a risky endeavor. One must also learn to resist the temptation to seek control over a situation. 

SHARED RISK
The focus here is on risks taken both by smaller groups and by society as a whole. Visitors might be asked to become a member of a bomb diffusion squad or an executive at an urgent business meeting; forced to respond to a crisis, they learn just how crucial collaborative decision making and risk assessment are. This final section of the exhibition highlights the mechanisms that govern collaborative risk-taking.

The exhibition was coproduced with the Finnish Science Centre – Heureka (Finland), the Pavilhão do Conhecimento – Ciência Viva (Portugal), and with support from the Maif.


Some figures 200 000 visitors at Heureka in Finland!