Questions display in our foyer
Have you seen the questions displayed in our foyer? Is one of yours on there? In answer to some queries that we've had about it, we've put together a spot more information about it all:
Where did all of the questions come from? How were they collected and why?
The questions come from people of all ages and backgrounds, from every single postcode in Bristol and beyond - all genuine questions from real people, written exactly as they were asked.
We’ve been collecting questions from the city of Bristol since October 2017. Inspired by our visitors who had been sparking amazing conversations with their questions in the venue, we wanted to create a new experience based on the curiosity of our community. So we started a digital database of these questions.
With over 10,000 questions and counting there’s diversity in the questions themselves and the topics they cover. They have come from people in the venue at We The Curious, online from our website and also from lots of different places in the city - we’ve been ‘out and about’ to pubs, parks, festivals and more.
In 2020 we’ll be launching a new exhibition experience driven by people’s questions - funny, interesting and thought-provoking questions will be the starting point for all that we do, from new shows, exhibits and activities to sharing curiosity on bus sides and billboards round the city.
People often feel science isn’t for them or that they won’t ‘do’ it right and we want to open science up to everyone. Science is not just about answers, it’s about asking questions, and it can be messy and creative and involve conversation and collaboration. Crucially, it should be inclusive of everyone. Working with real questions from real people is one of the ways we, as an educational charity, can help create a culture of curiosity.
We have a space on our venue floor dedicated to collecting questions - image credit Dan Watkiss
What are we showing in this infographic?
Cultivating curiosity is at the heart of everything we do, and we wanted to highlight what makes the people of Bristol curious.
It turns out that people are curious about lots of things – so instead of keeping these brilliant, bizarre, thought-provoking and humorous questions hidden in a digital database, we want to celebrate them. The infographic has already sparked discussion, debate and the odd smile.
Questions displayed in the foyer
How were the questions chosen?
The questions were split into themes that people were most engaged and interested in – the universe was the most popular topic area and people also asked questions about gender, and god and all the rest you can see on the wall.
The specific questions within the themes were chosen to demonstrate a variety of viewpoints. The infographic is about revealing what people ask, not always about answering them immediately ourselves. They are conversation starters. We will be deeply exploring other questions later on as part of our new exhibition, but not here in the foyer.
A talk in our Studio - credit Paul Blakemore
Were the questions edited?
No, the questions are represented verbatim (including the one about cats being born in bright colours like red) – we made the choice not to edit people’s words, but to give their questions a platform, exactly as they were asked.
With a range of different ages, backgrounds (including some people for whom English is a second language) and beliefs, the questions are naturally very varied in wording and topic.
The question gathering cube - Paul Blakemore
Want to add in your own question?
If you’ve got a question, we’d love to hear it – you can enter it at wethecurious.org, or in our venue.