In 2010, Mayo Clinic partnered with the Rochester Public Library to bring the national touring exhibit "RACE: Are We So Different?" to Rochester, Minn. The exhibit was free of charge to the public. The RACE exhibit will also appear at science museums in Arizona and Florida in 2011 and 2012.
The RACE exhibit explores the issues of race and racism in the United States and is designed to appeal to people of all ages, interests and backgrounds.
"The RACE exhibit brings together the everyday experience of living with race, its history as an idea, the role of science in that history, and the findings of contemporary science that are challenging its foundations," says John Noseworthy, M.D.
"We believe the RACE exhibit will serve as a wonderful prompt for us all, for the people of Mayo Clinic and for the greater community — a prompt that will provoke thought, inspire conversation and challenge convention."
"RACE: Are We So Different?" promotes the appreciation and understanding of the origins and impacts of race and racism. It provides an opportunity for visitors to discuss and reflect on a powerful topic in their daily lives through artifacts, historic and contemporary photography, multimedia components and interactive experiences.
The exhibit provides a unique learning opportunity for Mayo Clinic staff, patients and the community to further understand the importance of diversity and respecting differences.
The exhibit explores race from three different perspectives:
Human beings are more alike than any other living species, and no one gene or set of genes can support the idea of race.
Sorting people by physical differences is a recent invention. Economic interests, power struggles, science and even popular culture have played a role in shaping the American understanding of race.
Although race may not be a real biological concept, it certainly is real both socially and culturally. In this section of the exhibit, visitors will explore the concept of race in American life — at school and work, at the doctor's office, neighborhoods, and through sports and entertainment industries.
The RACE exhibit was developed by the American Anthropological Association in collaboration with the Science Museum of Minnesota and funded by the National Science Foundation and the Ford Foundation.