Roy L. Shafer Leading Edge Awards

The Roy L. Shafer Leading Edge Awards are presented annually to ASTC members and/or their employees in recognition of extraordinary accomplishments in Visitor Experience, Business Practice, and Leadership in the Field that not only enhance the performance of their own institutions but also significantly advance the mission of science centers and museums.

About Roy L. Shafer

Roy Shafer’s science center career began in the 1960s, when he first volunteered at the Center of Science and Industry (COSI) in Columbus, Ohio. He soon became an important figure at the museum, founding its camp-in program and eventually serving for 13 years as COSI’s president and CEO. Shafer was a member of the ASTC Board of Directors for 11 years, including two years as president. After he started his own consulting firm, the Roy L. Shafer Company, he became ASTC’s organizational coach, helping the association to develop its mission, strategic plan, and core values and objectives. ASTC honored him in 1999 with the ASTC Fellow Award for Outstanding Contribution. After his death, the ASTC Board of Directors named the Leading Edge Awards for Shafer in tribute to his progressive thinking, dynamic leadership, and devotion to our profession.

Nomination Forms

Leading Edge for Visitor Experience   Leading Edge for Business Practice
Leading Edge for Leadership in the Field


Forms and supplemental information must be submitted by June 1, 2018.

E-mail address:

Postal address:

Roy L. Shafer Leading Edge Awards
Association of Science-Technology Centers
818 Connecticut Avenue NW, 7th Floor
Washington, DC  20006-2734


Nominated extraordinary accomplishments in Visitor Experience, Business Practice, and Leadership in the Field must have occurred in the past three years (since January 2015). ASTC members in good standing may submit a nomination for themselves, their employees, or other ASTC-member institutions or employees. Collaborations between ASTC-member institutions are also eligible. Each nominating institution is limited to one application per category per year. Nomination forms must be signed by the institution’s chief executive, board chairperson, or equivalent. Nominations from the home institution of a Leading Edge Awards jury member will not be considered.


A jury of professionals knowledgeable about the science center field, representing a broad spectrum of ASTC’s worldwide membership, will review entries and select finalists. Once detailed nomination information is submitted, the jury will review all finalists and select awardees. All decisions of the jury are final, including the decision not to choose an award recipient in a given category.

Awards Ceremony and Recognition

The 2018 Leading Edge Awards will be presented during the ASTC Annual Conference in Hartford, Connecticut. Each award will consist of an etched glass “Edgie” and a complimentary full conference registration to the 2018 ASTC Annual Conference (fees for special events, tours, and workshops are not included). Awardees will receive recognition in Dimensions magazine, on the ASTC website, and in a widely distributed press release. Awardees will also receive a special award winner logo to display on their website or other promotional material, and a press release to assist them in publicizing their recognition.

Past Leading Edge Award Recipients

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