“It was a case of professional schizophrenia—but a very useful one,” laughs Ilan Chabay about his varied career path. He has dabbled in the natural sciences, exhibition design, museum administration, and higher education. Currently professor and senior fellow at the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies in Potsdam, Germany, Chabay advocates taking a similarly multidimensional approach to addressing global change. Here he advises on how science centers and museums can become key partners in transdisciplinary research for sustainability, as he’ll discuss at the 2013 ASTC Annual Conference in Albuquerque this October.
This interview appeared in the March/April 2013 issue of Dimensions magazine.
Whether it’s the world’s biggest wardrobe malfunction or MacGyver meets Survivor, Ainissa Ramirez knows that generating interest in science requires a hook. A professor at Yale University, Ramirez prefers the title “science evangelist”—in her words, a person who “takes the call” to ignite curiosity in kids of all ages. She spoke with Dimensions about the importance of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education—the topic of her TED Talk last year—and how to put science in unexpected places.
This interview appeared in the January/February 2013 issue of Dimensions magazine.
Watt’s Up? is both an exhibition and a question that Denise Amyot, president and CEO of the Canadian Science and Technology Museums Corporation in Ottawa, Ontario, is trying to answer through a cross-Canada initiative. Amyot spearheaded Let’s Talk Energy: Engaging Ideas for Canada’s Future, a six-year public engagement program launched in 2010. Her work earned her ASTC’s Roy L. Shafer Leading Edge Award for New Leadership in the Field, which she accepted at the 2012 ASTC Annual Conference last October. Amyot spoke with Dimensions about how she’s energizing Canada about energy.
This interview appeared in the November/December 2012 issue of Dimensions magazine.
Laddie and Jim Elwell grew up in the Eastern United States with ready access to museums. When they noticed a lack of such resources near Bemidji, the small Minnesota town they now call home, the couple took action. This year Laddie and Jim are retiring as executive director and financial officer, respectively, of Headwaters Science Center (HSC), which they opened 18 years ago. They spoke with Dimensions about their grassroots effort and how ASTC has helped them along the way.
This interview appeared in the September/October 2012 issue of Dimensions magazine.
The Greek philosopher Plato is quoted as saying that you can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. It’s a philosophy Nicole Lazzaro—president of XEODesign, Inc., the world’s first Player Experience Design consulting company—subscribes to today. Players’ emotions are at the core of gaming, says Lazzaro, and they are the reason why games can be so compelling. She chatted with Dimensions in anticipation of the 2012 ASTC Annual Conference this October in Columbus, Ohio, where she’ll share how science centers and museums can implement the power of play.