WISDOME is intended to promote interest in science and technology, particularly among the young people of Sweden.
At five Science centers in the country, Malmö, Stockholm, Göteborg och Norrköping will dome theaters show scientific visual productions specially produced for the theaters.
The productions are made at Linköping University in Norrköping.
SEK 150 million
For many years now, the city of Norrköping has had a dome-shaped interactive visualization theater for 360-degree presentations and films at Visualization Center C, Curiosum in Umeå, the National Museum of Science and Technology in Stockholm, Science Center Malmö Museums, and Universeum in Gothenburg are in the process of building their own dome theaters.
The domes house visualization technology, allowing visitors to experience places they would otherwise never be able to see, for instance inside the human body, back in time or galaxies deep in outer space, creating a context that gives people a handle on the incomprehensible.
“Science takes center stage. The dome plays a key role in creating impressions and immersing the viewer, but the visual experience is carried by the narrative,” says Anders Ynnerman, Professor of Scientific Visualization, who has developed Visualization Center C, and who, as Director of the Center, is also leading development of the dome productions.
From special effects in movies to mitochondria
The internationally ground-breaking visualization technology developed at Linköping University allows us to see what would otherwise be hidden from view, and creates understanding of complex interrelationships, large abstract volumes of data, and phenomena that are too small, too large, too quick or too slow for humans to grasp.
“The focus is on interactive learning, and we will be able to play a major role in the introduction of new and well-founded digital learning methods, not just at Science Centers, but also in schools, and on teaching training programs,” Ynnerman explains.
The team in Norrköping is using the results of ground-breaking research to develop stories and experiences explaining how the world works.
“The first production, which is about special effects in movies, will be ready by spring. A further four productions are planned – on space, AI, molecules, cells and mitochondria, and climate and the environment,” Ynnerman says.
Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation’s Jubilee Donation of SEK 150 million has made it possible to install the visualization technology at the five centers, and is also funding the five dome presentations.
“We want to inspire children and young people to discover how exciting science can be. Sweden’s Science Centers serve an important purpose by awakening curiosity about in scientific research in a playful way, and making it easy to understand. It is vital to do this with the help of the latest technology in the field, both because the technology is itself part of the science, and to attract as many visitors as possible,” says Peter Wallenberg Jr., Chair of the Foundation.
WISDOME is an acronym, and stands for Wallenberg Immersive Science Communication Dome.
“This initiative has already attracted a great deal of attention in the Science Center world, and will involve a number of international partners such as the American Museum of Natural History, and Singapore Science Center,” Ynnerman adds.
The first in line to open a new dome facility is Curiosum i Umeå, which is due to be inaugurated in 2020. Exhibitions, interactive labs and learning environments will be created alongside the domes.
Text: Carina Dahlberg
Translation: Maxwell Arding
Photo: Magnus Bergström