Should science centers and museums adopt ethical guidelines regarding corporate sponsorships? If so, what should these guidelines be?

January 3rd, 2012 - Posted in 2012, Dimensions, Viewpoints by Emily Schuster

This is an extended discussion of the question that appeared in the Viewpoints department of the January/February 2012 issue of Dimensions magazine.

Science centers and museums should adopt overarching gift acceptance and ethical fundraising policies that should be approved by their governing boards.  In addition, in order to ensure accountability and informed decision-making regarding corporate sponsorships, institutions should develop written and board-approved policies and procedures to protect their assets and reputation and to guide institutional actions consistent with their mission. The American Association of Museums (AAM) has developed a document on this topic: Guidelines for Museums on Developing and Managing Business Support, which is available on the AAM website; the Association of Fundraising Professionals provides additional resources, including the Donor Bill of Rights; and Board Source provides sample policies and a variety of white papers related to this topic.

Erik G. Pihl, vice president for development, Pacific Science Center, Seattle
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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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What is your institution doing to sustain high staff morale in tough economic times?

September 1st, 2011 - Posted in 2011, Dimensions, Viewpoints by Emily Schuster

 

Staff-intern outing in Chicago

This is an extended discussion of the question that appeared in the Viewpoints department of the September/October 2011 issue of Dimensions magazine.

We make time to celebrate successes! It’s important to focus on the impact our institution has on its visitors and how each staff person contributes to this impact. Additionally, we continue to have an Activities Team to develop time and space for staff to engage in fun activities during and outside of work hours. From chili cook-offs to baseball games, there are opportunities for staff to get to know each other and take their minds off of work from time to time. (Pictured: A staff-intern outing to a food festival in downtown Chicago.)

Joy Kubarek-Sandor, student and teacher programs manager
John G. Shedd Aquarium, Chicago

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What steps has your institution taken to maximize its relevance to its community?

June 20th, 2011 - Posted in 2011, Dimensions, Viewpoints by Emily Schuster

Zero waste lunch demo at ChabotThis is an extended discussion of the question that appeared in the Viewpoints department of the July/August 2011 issue of Dimensions magazine. 

 Chabot Space & Science Center has proudly become the local source for environmental science education. Our newest exhibition, Bill Nye’s Climate Lab, increases climate literacy through engaging, solutions-based activities. Chabot’s 50,000+ school field trip visitors receive a captivating demonstration on how to create a “zero waste lunch” (pictured), helping us integrate our aggressive recycling and composting program. Even our Full Circle Café utilizes locally sourced products, which our discerning community demands.

Robert Ade, communications and media coordinator
Chabot Space & Science Center, Oakland, California

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