A message from ASTC Board Chair Linda Conlon and ASTC President and CEO Anthony (Bud) Rock

February 10, 2017

We are witnessing a period of unprecedented focus on policies related to the role of science in society, with implications, locally and globally. The areas of concern are not limited to specific scientific topics or disciplines, but are extending more broadly to include questions of openness, transparency, free flow of ideas and people, and evidence-based approaches to important decisions impacting society. These are essential attributes of a trusted and respected global scientific enterprise. ASTC science centers and museums worldwide highlight these important elements as we educate and inspire future generations about the wonder and meaning of science in their lives.

With heightened discussion about these aspects of science and scientists in society today, we believe that it is important to provide all ASTC members with ASTC’s Statement of Principles and Practices for our field to serve as a guide and reference upon which to draw if needed in the course of discussions within your diverse communities. We hope that you find it useful.

This recent focus on science has also precipitated considerable discussion within the ASTC board about the role of science centers and science museums in our communities. No doubt, you have been having many of the same discussions within your own institutions. We know the importance of sharing current information and ideas among ASTC members, and we thank all who participate regularly in the ASTC community online discussions. We are now preparing a “flash-survey” to be circulated within the next week soliciting brief information about your institution’s policies, plans, and activities related to these important topics. We hope that you will take just a few minutes to complete the very brief online survey when you receive it, and we will compile and circulate this information as soon as possible.

Thank you for the value that you place on science and its importance in our communities everywhere.