Blog

Viewpoints

Should science centers prioritize adult-oriented programs? What are the benefits and challenges of such programs?

This is an extended discussion of the question that appeared in the Viewpoints department of the May/June 2013 issue of Dimensions magazine. Scitech has been running adults-only nights twice a year since 2009, the year we turned 21. We started doing these evenings as we realized that there must be an increasing number of young... Read More

Should science centers and museums spend resources on hosting blockbuster exhibitions? Why or why not?

This is an extended discussion of the question that appeared in the Viewpoints department of the January/February 2013 issue of Dimensions magazine. “If they had more special exhibitions, then we’d get a membership and come more often.” —Science Museum of Minnesota visitor, August 2011 Our most recent audience survey, conducted in 2011 (n=830), suggests that... Read More

In your opinion, what should every museum be able to provide for the “ideal” museum experience?

This is an extended discussion of the question that appeared in the Viewpoints department of the November/December 2012 issue of Dimensions magazine. My ideal museum experience is memorable. It requires only one cool exhibit experience where I spend significant time, engaged in a way that taps into previous interests and expands my thinking. It makes... Read More

Should exhibitions be the central focus of what science centers and museums do?

This is an extended discussion of the question that appeared in the Viewpoints department of the September/October 2012 issue of Dimensions magazine. The central focus for science centers is serving the communities in their region. Many of the science festivals popping up in the United States are led by museums, reflecting the responsibility that science... Read More

How should a science center or museum’s success be measured?

This discussion was originally published in the Viewpoints department of the March/April 2012 of Dimensions magazine. Along with traditional measures of financial performance and customer satisfaction, a successful science center needs to show how it achieves its mission of engaging the public in science and technology. An innovative approach would be to convert evaluation studies into... Read More

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

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... Read More

Do you think science centers and museums have a role in developing or hosting exhibitions on controversial topics? Why or why not?

This 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.)... Read More

What is your institution doing to sustain high staff morale in tough economic times?

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... Read More