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The Science of Sharing: San Francisco Exploratorium Re-opens with Twilio-Powered Exhibit


The Exploratorium is a San Francisco institution, combining the arts and science in a fun and interactive way. The museum is celebrating it’s re-opening tomorrow at a brand new location on with an incredible amount of new exhibits and we’re very proud to be a part of it with the Twilio-powered exhibit “Text Fish.”

Envisioned by Bill Meyer, the Exploratorium’s Director of New Media, Text Fish is a part of a larger three-year development project called “The Science of Sharing.” Hugh McDonald, Psychologist and PhD, curated the The Science of Sharing’s exhibits to explore how humans behave when faced with resource sharing problems, and how that behavior can inform larger real world issues such as resource depletion.

Text FishText Fish is an interactive exhibit that puts Exploratorium visitors in charge of their own wildlife ecosystem to teach them about the consequences of overfishing. Here’s how it works. Users text the word “FISH” to a Twilio-powered number and their fishing boat, displaying the last four digits of their number, pops on screen. To hook a fish, just text “FISH”. Users need to catch three fish a day to stay alive, but must be careful not to overfish and ruin the ecosystem.

“Essentially, the dilemma we want to put people in is to balance their own desire to catch more fish than the other guy with the understanding that if too many people fish selfishly, they’re going to destroy the resource for everybody,” says psychologist Hugh McDonald. Check out this exhibit in action in the video below:


The Exploratorium opens April 17th (that’s tomorrow!) at Pier 15 right on the Embarcadero. Admission is $25 for adults, $19 for kids. Visit for more details.

Twilio is a proud supporter of the arts and other non–profit initiatives such as (x)Trees, WyldCo, Boston Light Blades, Silent Art Auctions and Jesus “Papoleto” Melendez’s poetry.

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