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Weighing the Evidence: Making Informed Health Care Decisions

Health care in the United States is expensive and complex, and there are many competing interests that make it an increasing necessity for health care consumers to take an active role to better advocate for ourselves and those who are impacted by the decisions that are made. Making effective health care choices requires both science literacy and critical thinking skills to understand and evaluate options.

The Weighing the Evidence: Making Informed Health Care Decisions (tentative title) project team will work with medical experts, researchers, health and medicine journalists, and community partners to improve visitors' critical analysis skills and ability to review evidence so that they can make informed health care decisions. To meet this goal a traveling exhibition will be developed that will utilize a unique collection of historical and contemporary quack medical devices that was donated to the Science Museum of Minnesota when the Museum of Questionable Medical Devises closed in 2002. While the collection is rich in fun and entertainment, it also offers a multitude of opportunities to reflect on science, society and ethics, skepticism, and objectivity. This collection, along with interactive experiences, theater programs, outreach programming and a companion web site will provide visitors with the tools needed to become more knowledgeable health care consumers.

SEPAWeighing the Evidence is made possible by Science Education Partnership Award funding from the National Institutes of Health.

HealthPartnersPlanning for this project was supported in part by a contribution from HealthPartners.

Image © Tanya Constantine/Tetra Images/Corbis