Informing  the  general  public  about  cancer  related  issues  is  regarded  as  an  important  element  of  the primary  and  secondary  prevention  since  the  beginning  of  this  century.  The  history  of  this  highly specialized  field  of  health  education  is  at  the  center  of  this  paper.  In  a  case  study  the  activities  of  the German Hygiene-Museum, which has been informing the  public  since 1911  by  way of  exhibitions, three-dimensional  educational  tools  and  various  other  media,  are  examined.  Not  only  are  basic  pedagogic approaches critically analyzed but  also  implicit  ideological and  psychological  factors.  One  example  is  the male  medical  doctor  continuously  researching  and  working.  Up  until  the  1980’s  intimidation  and  fear arousing  have  dominated  the  communication strategies.  Today,  the  strategies  primarily  use  an  emotional,positive  value  orientation  for  health  promotion,  especially  among  young  people.  Patients  in  self-help groups are included in cancer related health education to support their access to necessary support and live a meaningful life despite their illness. Finally contact is established between the general public and cancer patients.  For  the  former  this  means  a  reduction  of  fear  of  the  illness  and  insecurity in  dealing  with  those afflicted by cancer and for the latter the improved integration into their social environment.

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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Communicating knowledge or scare mongering?
A retrospective of the exhibitions on cancer in Dresden

Susanne Hahn  

Informing  the  general  public  about  cancer  related  issues  is  regarded  as  an  important  element  of  the primary  and  secondary  prevention  since  the  beginning  of  this  century.  The  history  of  this  highly specialized  field  of  health  education  is  at  the  center  of  this  paper.  In  a  case  study  the  activities  of  the German Hygiene-Museum, which has been informing the  public  since 1911  by  way of  exhibitions, three-dimensional  educational  tools  and  various  other  media,  are  examined.  Not  only  are  basic  pedagogic approaches critically analyzed but  also  implicit  ideological and  psychological  factors.  One  example  is  the male  medical  doctor  continuously  researching  and  working.  Up  until  the  1980’s  intimidation  and  fear arousing  have  dominated  the  communication strategies.  Today,  the  strategies  primarily  use  an  emotional,positive  value  orientation  for  health  promotion,  especially  among  young  people.  Patients  in  self-help groups are included in cancer related health education to support their access to necessary support and live a meaningful life despite their illness. Finally contact is established between the general public and cancer patients.  For  the  former  this  means  a  reduction  of  fear  of  the  illness  and  insecurity in  dealing  with  those afflicted by cancer and for the latter the improved integration into their social environment.

A copy of the full paper has not yet been submitted.

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