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Compared to other methods for disseminating medical knowledge, the scientific exhibit has a brief history. Although ingenious representations of anatomy, physiology, and pathology have been prepared for many years, only in this century have exhibits been produced in North America recognizable as the antecedents of today's elaborate displays.
The widespread use of scientific exhibits at medical meetings is a pragmatic measure of belief in their usefulness. But it may be instructive to consider what are the functions of these exhibits, as well as their advantages and disadvantages over other means of education. For, plainly, scientific exhibits are intended to be educational.
To the exhibitor, this form of presentation offers an unparalleled opportunity to discuss his work with large numbers of physicians. This face-to-face discussion offers all the implicit advantages of informality and consideration of individual questions and problems impossible through the printed word and improbable in the lecture hall. Balancing
SCIENTIFIC EXHIBITS. JAMA. 1966;195(9):776. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03100090110029