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Dimensions

Dimensions, September/October 2006—Eyes on the Skies: Reconnecting Audiences with Astronomy

IN THIS ISSUE September/ October 2006 “Astronomical concepts and images have universal appeal, inspiring wonder and resonating uniquely with human questions about our nature and our place in the universe.” So wrote a distinguished panel of U.S. scientists in Astronomy and Astrophysics in the New Millenium (National Academies Press, 2001). One chapter in the repost... Read More

Dimensions, July/August 2006—Blogs, Podcasts and Wikis: Tapping the New Social Technologies

IN THIS ISSUE July/August 2006 More than a decade after the first museum web sites went online, a new revolution is sweeping the Internet. Driven by inexpensive and easy-to-use technologies, the phenomenon some call “Web 2.0” is allowing users of popular sites like Blogger, Flickr, and Wikipedia to participate actively in creating their own web... Read More

Dimensions, May/June 2006—Blockbusters: Asset or Liability

IN THIS ISSUE May/June 2006 What have science centers learned in the past decade about the effect of blockbusters, those wildly popular traveling exhibitions and large-format films that drive attendance and inspire media “buzz”? Do blockbusters help museums reach broader audiences, increase visibility in the community, grow membership? Is the boost in income and attendance... Read More

Dimensions, March/April 2006—Misunderstanding of Science: The Evolution Challenge

IN THIS ISSUE March/April 2006 With so many museum and science-related publications addressing the intelligent design/evolution controversy, what can ASTC’s journal contribute to the conversation? Perhaps we can best draw some lessons from our own failure to communicate. Although the science of evolution is not in question, public understanding certainly falls short. In this issue,... Read More

Dimensions, January/February 2006—Building Math Capacity

IN THIS ISSUE January/February 2006 In March 2001, the last time this journal focused on informal mathematics education, ASTC was about to publish Mathematics in Science Centers, the report of a National Science Foundation–funded survey of six institutions. That report closed by recommending that ASTC undertake a capacity-building initiative aimed at enabling more museums to... Read More

Dimensions, November/December 2005—Active and Engaged: Science Centers and Informal Learning

IN THIS ISSUE November/December 2005 Research into informal learning, like other types of scientific investigation, is incremental and self-referential. The process may seem opaque to observers; yet over time, consensus emerges and points to promising new avenues of exploration. The content of this issue was informed by three recent initiatives: the October 2004 commissioning by... Read More

Dimensions, September/October 2005—Engaging Citizens: Science Centers and Social Responsibility

IN THIS ISSUE September/October 2005 At the 4th Science Centre World Congress, held April 11—15, in Rio de Janeiro, attendees considered how science centers might succeed in “breaking barriers [and] engaging citizens” by providing the public with interactive, informal, capacity-building access to science and technology education. In this issue, we have chosen to continue some... Read More

Dimensions, July/August 2005—Mission Based, Market Savvy

IN THIS ISSUE July/August 2005 When we market science centers, what are we selling? A fun day for the family? Startling and weird phenomena? Meaningful encounters with principles that affect people’s lives? An introduction to the scientific method itself? For nonprofit museums, marketing is more complex than the classic “four P’s” of product, place (i.e.... Read More

Dimensions, May/June 2005—Closing the Gap: Reaching Female Audiences in Science Centers

IN THIS ISSUE May/June 2005 This issue was already planned when Harvard University president Lawrence Summers, addressing a January National Bureau of Economic Research conference on diversity in the science and engineering (S&E) workforce, set off a media storm. Speculating on why so few women hold high-level academic positions in S&E, Summers cited, in this... Read More

Dimensions, March/April 2005—The Art of Advocacy: Winning Public Support

March/April 2005 IN THIS ISSUE Strong public support for science centers and museums should be a given. With science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) high on government priority lists, and legislators worldwide eager to improve STEM education, strengthen science and technology workforces, and boost national economies, it seems logical that ASTC members would receive a... Read More