Face to Face: Connecting Scientists with the Public

November 29th, 2010 - Posted in 2010, Dimensions by Katie McCarthy

IN THIS ISSUE
November/December 2010

With their firm grounding in science and expertise in public engagement, science centers and museums are in a unique position to help scientists communicate effectively with the public. In this issue, we share stories of how science centers are bringing scientists and the public together to facilitate dialogue and enhance understanding.

This issue also contains a special supplement on the new ASTC-led Youth Inspired Challenge. This major initiative challenges ASTC members to engage young people in a total of 2 million hours of STEM-centered youth development programming over a three-year period.

Contents
Scientists and Science Centers: A Great “Glocal” Partnership Opportunity, by Alan I. Leshner
• Shared Experiences: Connecting Scientists and Visitors Through Portal to the Public, by Kristin Leigh and Lauren Russell
• Science in the City: Getting Scientists and Citizens Together, by Pino Zappalà
• Person-to-Person Interactions at Miraikan, by Mamoru Mohri
• Showcasing Current Science at the Utah Museum of Natural History, by Sarah B. George
• A Scientist Walks into a Bar, by Amanda Thomas
• A Tasty Concoction: Café Scientifique in Toronto, by Donna Francis
• Coffee and Cinema: Encounters with Jerusalem Scientists, by Varda Gur Ben Shitrit
• Helping Young Scientists Learn and Practice Public Engagement, by Lynn Uyen Tran and Catherine Halversen

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Scientists and Science Centers: A Great “Glocal” Partnership Opportunity

November 29th, 2010 - Posted in 2010, Dimensions by Katie McCarthy

By Alan I. Leshner
From ASTC Dimensions
November/December 2010

We in the scientific community, including both scientists and science centers, are living, as Charles Dickens would say, in “the best of times and the worst of times.”

The scientific enterprise has never been more productive, as scientific advances are coming at an almost incredible pace. For their part, science centers have evolved into tremendously important local and national resources through which millions of citizens, young and old, are exposed to cutting-edge science in personally meaningful ways.
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Teaching the Language of Science

November 28th, 2010 - Posted in 2010, Dimensions, From the CEO by Anthony (Bud) Rock

“I don’t get it.” This phrase, to students and educators alike, can signal intense frustration, or it can represent the starting gun for an exciting sprint toward new knowledge. Sometimes “I don’t get it” means “I’m not interested”; sometimes, it means “I thought something different”; and sometimes, it simply means, “I can’t conceive of it in the form in which it’s being presented.” In every instance, science centers and the activities that they offer can be instrumental in transforming “I don’t get it” into opportunities for understanding and engagement. (more…)

Global Issues, Local Efforts

September 15th, 2010 - Posted in 2010, Dimensions by Katie McCarthy

IN THIS ISSUE
September/October 2010


As respected members of their communities, science centers are well equipped to tackle science-based global issues in ways that are locally relevant. The United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) outline some of the most critical issues facing the world today, many of them with a basis in science: eradicating extreme poverty and hunger; achieving universal primary education; promoting gender equality; reducing child mortality; improving maternal health; combating HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases; ensuring environmental sustainability; and developing a global partnership for development. With the 2015 deadline to achieve the MDGs approaching, science centers across the world are addressing these global issues within their local communities.

Contents
• Ideas Changing Minds: Science Centers and the Millennium Development Goals, by Jan Vandemoortele
Declaration of Science Center and Museum Leadership Worldwide to the MDG Summit (PDF, 432 KB)
• Voices of Support for Science Centers, by David Dickson, Lidia Brito, Mohamed H.A. Hassan, and Luisa Massarani
• From Congress to Summit, by Brenton Honeyman
• Thinking Globally, Working Locally at Gujarat Science City, by Narottam Sahoo
• Energy, Health, and Climate Change: A European Perspective, by Maria Xanthoudaki
• Climate Change: A Global Issue in Our Own Backyards, by Walter Staveloz, with Kate Crawford
• A “Glocal” Approach to a Climate Change Exhibition, by Elaine Reynoso Haynes
• Targeting Climate Change Initiatives to a Rural Community, by Stephanie Ratcliffe
A Local Response to a Global Story: Demystifying the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill, by Hela Sheth
• Tackling Tough Issues in Science Centers: Two Local Responses to HIV/AIDS, by Derek Fish, Graham Walker, and Barbara Streicher
• Raising Avian Flu Awareness in Indonesia, by Finarya Legoh

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A Local Response to a Global Story: Demystifying the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

September 15th, 2010 - Posted in 2010, Dimensions by Katie McCarthy

By Hela Sheth
From ASTC Dimensions
September/October 2010

Every summer, staff members at the Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center in Mobile, Alabama, get together to review weather disaster plans in preparation for a major hurricane. We look at our insurance policy, take down the tent in our courtyard, and get new batteries for our weather radios. During the past decade, the Gulf Coast has experienced many devastating hurricanes; Ivan, Dennis, and Katrina remain household names that evoke feelings of despair for homeowners and businesses in the region, particularly those that rely on tourism. This summer, however, staff members got together for a different reason. We met to discuss how our center could help to explain the science behind the oil spill that began after Deepwater Horizon, Transocean Ltd’s drilling rig licensed to BP, sank in the Gulf of Mexico on April 22.
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