Blog

Communicating Climate Change

Public understanding of climate science got an infusion of energy with the December launch of a major national collaborative designed to engage citizens of all ages directly in investigations of local indicators of climate change. Communicating Climate Change, a project of ASTC’s IGLO (International Action on Global Warming) Initiative, pairs 12 science centers with research... Read More

Saint Louis Science Center hosts first annual SciFest

On October 9–13, Saint Louis Science Center, Missouri, invited visitors to celebrate and engage in science at SciFest 08. The new annual event featured sessions and demonstrations on topics ranging from the science of chocolate and the physics of rock & roll, to climate change and the future of cancer research. Physicist Mark Lewney used... Read More

Dimensions, November/December 2008—Science Celebrations

IN THIS ISSUE November/December 2008 In 2009, science centers and museums will celebrate the Year of Science, Charles Darwin’s 200th birthday, and the International Year of Astronomy. Every year, many institutions plan programs around global initiatives like Earth Science Week and international holidays like World Environment Day. New celebrations such as NanoDays and the Cambridge... Read More

Cooking Up Science in Cambridge

By John Durant and P.A. d’Arbeloff From ASTC Dimensions November/December 2008 Recipe: Take one science city. Carefully extract the juiciest parts, making sure to retain all the most enthusiastic graduate students, and as many superstar researchers and Nobel Laureates as you can find. Mix thoroughly with generous quantities of actors, artists, broadcasters, critics, curators, entrepreneurs,... Read More

1,800 from 31 countries attend ASTC 2008

More than 1,800 science center professionals from 31 countries gathered in Philadelphia, October 18–21, for the 2008 ASTC Annual Conference. Over 140 conference sessions challenged participants to explore their responsibility to both their scientific and public constituencies. Keynote speaker Steven Berlin Johnson, a journalist, cultural critic, and web developer, encouraged science centers to become places... Read More

Back to school

Last year, ASTC members served millions of students through school outreach programs. That work continued this morning at the ASTC Annual Conference with an off-site session, Outreach Live. Presenters from around the region brought their science centers’ best outreach programs to the Friends Select School in Philadelphia for both students and museum colleagues. A roundtable discussion followed to review and evaluate... Read More

Museums and the mind

As advances in neuroscience reveal biological pathways underlying emotion, attention, and memory, how can science centers harness this new research to create effective museum experiences? In an October 19 session at the ASTC Annual Conference, Jayatri Das, senior exhibit and program developer at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, led a panel of experts in neuroscience,... Read More

Wowing with science

The Live Demonstration Hour has been an ASTC Annual Conference event for over 20 years. A hallmark of science centers, science demonstrations date back to the 17th century. Later, Benjamin Franklin entertained his friends and neighbors with his own experiments. This morning, presenters from across the United States wowed conference goers with their stretch rope walking skills, musical abilities,... Read More

Global sustainability: Where do science centers fit in?

How can science centers better catalyze public understanding and local action on climate change? At a plenary session October 19, ASTC conference participants joined in an animated, action-oriented discussion moderated by Joe Palca, science correspondent for National Public Radio. Providing background for the discussion were Anthony Leiserowitz, director of the Yale Project on Climate Change... Read More

Science centers and bioethics

What role should science centers play in addressing complex ethical issues in the biomedical and life sciences, such as embryonic stem cell research, cloning, global warming, genetically modified foods, and vaccine safety? In the session “Why Don’t They Understand? Public Perception of Controversy in Science” on October 18 at the ASTC Annual Conference, Arthur Caplan, director of... Read More