Exhibition "Don't panic! Fear - friend or enemy?"

​Guido Bondolfi, Professor at Department of Mental Health and Psychiatry, University of Geneva:

"Everyone knows what fear feels like but few know much about its inner mechanisms. The exhibition encourages us to change the negative view of this emotion and evokes more compassion."

The exhibition "Don't panic!", launched by the University of Geneva in collaboration with the University of Zurich, addressed phobias in an interactive and playful manner and provided information about possible therapies. One of the aims of the project was to expand our knowledge and understanding of phobias.

The interactive exhibition for children and adults covered a range of topics related to fear: it playfully explained how fear develops in the brains of humans and animals and how it expresses itself physically. It also described what people with a phobia experience. By describing the neurological mechanisms of fear and the related illnesses, the exhibition showed how small the gap between normal fears and pathological anxieties is. Guided tours for adults and workshops for children were complemented with events during which members of the public could talk to specialists and debate questions about fear. Between March and November 2014, the exhibition was on show at the University of Geneva and at the Zoological Museum of the University of Zurich. Exhibits were explained in German, French and English.