Working Across Worldviews: Traditional Knowledge and Western Science

November 29th, 2011 - Posted in 2011, Dimensions by Emily Schuster

November/December 2011 DimensionsIN THIS ISSUE
November/December 2011

At the 6th Science Centre World Congress in September, science center and museum leaders from 56 countries resolved through the Cape Town Declaration to promote awareness of the value of Indigenous knowledge. In this issue, we examine how science centers and traditional and Indigenous communities are exploring commonalities and differences between traditional knowledge and Western science, building mutually respectful partnerships, and creating content that resonates with and empowers diverse communities. By championing science literacy while embracing differing worldviews, they are working toward a vision of science centers and museums as places where all voices can be heard.


Shifting Paradigms: Embracing Multiple Worldviews in Science Centers, by Laura Huerta Migus
• Collaborating with Integrity: Reflections from Cosmic Serpent, by Nancy C. Maryboy, David Begay, Laura Peticolas, Jill Stein, and Shelly Valdez
• Many Voices, One Exhibition, by Anton van Helden
Using Known Villains to Introduce Unknown Heroes, by Ramdas Iyer
• Can Indigenous Knowledge Help Communicate Science? by Mdumiseni Nxumalo
• Promoting an Understanding of Traditional Chinese Medicine, by Hongzhou Wu
• Native Science Field Centers: Integrating Traditional Knowledge, Native Language, and Science, by Helen Augare and Bonnie Sachatello-Sawyer

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Shifting Paradigms: Embracing Multiple Worldviews in Science Centers

November 29th, 2011 - Posted in 2011, Dimensions by Emily Schuster

By Laura Huerta Migus
From Dimensions
November/December 2011

Science centers and museums fill a unique community role as centers of learning, research, entertainment, and community congregation. Beyond teaching scientific concepts, the underlying motivation for all science center activities is promoting the value of science and scientific thinking to the general public. Science centers and museums face a number of challenges in fulfilling this mission, not the least of which is working to achieve this goal across cultures and worldviews.

Using Known Villains to Introduce Unknown Heroes

November 29th, 2011 - Posted in 2011, Dimensions by Emily Schuster

By Ramdas Iyer
From Dimensions
November/December 2011

In India, immunization against infectious diseases has been practiced, knowingly or unknowingly, for at least 4,000 years. Every village in ancient India had a temple to a certain goddess—for example, in southern India, the temple was to Mariamma, the epidemic goddess, while in northern India, the temple was to Sheetla Devi, the cool goddess who counteracted the wrath of hot-headed gods believed to cause smallpox. The temple was usually outside the village limits, possibly to limit infection, and was open air, exposing it to the harsh sun and rains.

Engaging the Public Across Worldviews

November 28th, 2011 - Posted in 2011, Dimensions, From the CEO by Anthony (Bud) Rock

In September, I was privileged to be among the more than 400 delegates from 56 countries who attended the 6th Science Centre World Congress (6SCWC) in Cape Town, South Africa. I want to express ASTC’s appreciation to all who organized and participated in this inspiring and highly enjoyable event. It was a learning experience for all, producing a Cape Town Declaration that commits our field to addressing global challenges through science learning.

Do you think science centers and museums have a role in developing or hosting exhibitions on controversial topics? Why or why not?

October 31st, 2011 - Posted in 2011, Dimensions, Viewpoints by Emily Schuster

Peace LabyrinthThis is an extended discussion of the question that appeared in the Viewpoints department of the November/December 2011 issue of Dimensions magazine.

Yes, we should. Science and technology raise controversial topics, and as institutions that promote civil engagement, we should present these topics as part of our responsibility to society. (Pictured: Bloomfield’s Peace Labyrinth exhibition.)

Maya Halevy, director
Bloomfield Science Museum Jerusalem, Israel


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