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The Engaged Scientist: Fostering Successful Museum-Researcher Collaborations

September/October 2007
IN THIS ISSUEASTC Dimensions cover September/October 2007

The IMLS-funded VolTS (Volunteers TryScience) project described in the September/October 2007 issue of ASTC Dimensions is a recent U.S. effort aimed at helping ASTC members forge better relationships with practicing scientists and engineers. But collaborations among content experts and museum educators are nothing new. Such partnerships date back to the founding of the field and continue to strengthen our institutions. Whether as museum volunteers or as partners in grant-funded projects, scientists and engineers welcome the chance to tell the public about their work and contribute to the goal of a “science-literate” society. In this issue, we share some examples of successful projects and examine the factors that make for success (or challenges) when two cultures—research science and informal science education—meet.

CONTENTS

• Where Science Meets the Public: Remembering the Founders of the Field, by Wendy Pollock
Content and Commitment: Insights from the VolTS Front-End Study, by Renee Miller
• A Passion for Public Engagement, by Eric Marshall
• In the Comfort Zone: Working with Scientists on Exhibition Design, by Sheila Grinell
• The Universe in a Cell: Partnering in a SEPA Project, by Roberta Cooks
• Better Communicators: Postdocs at the Exploratorium, by Kristin Abkemeier and Carolyn Sutterfield
• Portal to the Public: Bringing Scientists and the Public Together, by Lauren Russell and Dennis Schatz
• Making the Right Match: Four Approaches to Collaboration, by Theresa Mattei, Carolyn Sutterfield, Kathy Patterson, and Missy Miller
• Attracting Faculty: Getting Researchers Involved with a University Museum, by Beryl Rosenthal
• Spotlighting Research at Universum, by Cristina Heine

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