Dimensions, September/October 2009—Taking a Stand: Science Centers and Issues Advocacy


September/October 2009

Climate change, genetic modification of foods, stem cell research, nanotechnology, ocean resource management, alternative energy production—these are just a few of the fields of current scientific and technical endeavor that directly impact human lives. In all of them, choices made by scientists, inventors, entrepreneurs, and government officials both spark public interest and excite controversy. What is the responsibility of science centers to present exhibits and programs on “hot topics” like these? Should we be more active in promoting social applications of scientific knowledge? In this issue we hear from professionals who represent a range of responses.

  • Powerful Words, Strong Commitments, by Lesley Lewis
  • Aquariums as a Force for Change: New Roles for Conservation and Social Impact, by Julie Packard
  • Many Experts, Many Audiences, by Larry Bell, Tiffany Lohwater, and Ellen McCallie
  • Convening Conversations about Climate Change: The Adirondack Model, by Stephanie Ratcliffe
  • Making Choices: What Visitors Want to Know about Current Science , by Susie Wilkening and James Chung
  • Public Dialogue about Science: Creating Successful Experiences, by Kathy Sykes
  • From Public Understanding to Public Engagement, by Richard Jones
  • Global Warning: Next Steps for the Science Center Field, by Charlie Trautmann, Sheila Grinell, Emlyn Koster, and Kim Cavendish
  • When Scientists Take a Stand: Plenary Speakers at ASTC 2009, by Sheila Grinell

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