Cultivating Innovation and Optimism

February 21st, 2012 - Posted in 2012, Dimensions, From the CEO by Anthony (Bud) Rock

I begin this column with a confession of sorts. I am not a science fiction (SF) reader. And yet, I am intrigued by the recent commentary of renowned SF writer Neal Stephenson in World Policy Journal. Stephenson laments the loss today of the “techno-optimism” of science fiction’s Golden Age—from Tom Swift’s photo telephone, to radiotransporters and robots in the works of Arthur C. Clarke and Isaac Asimov, to James Bond’s inventive gadgetry.

Where are those sources of imaginative innovation today? Where is the counterbalance to the apocalyptic tones of so many writers (and game designers) and the scientific skepticism and innovation risk aversion emerging in the general public?


Informal Science Learning: Unpredictable, Chaotic…and Viral!

January 3rd, 2012 - Posted in 2012, Dimensions, From the CEO by Anthony (Bud) Rock

I recently represented ASTC on the scientific advisory board of a large media group that held its annual retreat in the pristine Colorado wilderness. Gathered together were leading scientific researchers, innovators, captains of industry, technology-based investors and philanthropists, artists, and science communicators.

In a relaxed venue, this diverse group explored the science issues that are most vexing in our world today and the topics only just visible on the edges of the horizon. The group examined, as well, the constantly changing ways in which the public obtains (and retains) science information now and in the foreseeable future.

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.

Achieving Impact in Our Communities

October 12th, 2011 - Posted in 2011, Dimensions, From the CEO by Anthony (Bud) Rock

I recently “googled” the words “mayor,” “commission,” “task force,” and “science” and was astounded at the extensive number of socially relevant topics that are being considered by local decision makers in every corner of the globe. In nearly every instance, a body of scientific experts conveys wise counsel to policy planners. Occasionally, such initiatives include “public forums,” often composed of representatives of various special interests.

More than ever, though, our local leaders are recognizing that lasting and positive policies require not only scientific rigor and integrity, but also transparency and determined efforts to build and retain public trust—which begins with a fundamental public grasp of the science in the policies.

New Dimensions

August 23rd, 2011 - Posted in 2011, Dimensions, From the CEO by Anthony (Bud) Rock

ASTC is committed to helping our members worldwide achieve their goals, by equipping individual professionals with essential skills, providing member institutions with valuable information and perspectives, and linking our members to one another.

With this mission in mind, we proudly launched the newly redesigned Dimensions magazine with our July/August 2011 issue. We hope you’ll find the new magazine to be even more relevant, readable, and attractive.


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