Alan J. Friedman: Excellence in Science Education

The Lawrence Hall of Science (LHS) honored ASTC Fellow Alan J. Friedman with the 2008 LHS Excellence in Science Education Award at its 40th Anniversary Gala on May 9. Director of the New York Hall of Science for 22 years until his retirement in 2006, Friedman is known for his leadership and advocacy on behalf of informal science education. Earlier, while working at LHS, Friedman established the William K. Holt Planetarium and developed new programs–his first was on Stonehenge–that included the audience as participants, not just spectators. This innovation changed the way small planetariums around the world present astronomy to the public. Between his positions with the New York Hall of Science and LHS, Friedman spent two years at the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie, Paris.

Friedman has received many national and international awards, including being named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and of the New York Academy of Sciences. The AAAS also recognized Friedman with its Award for Public Understanding of Science and Technology for 1996-97. He received the ASTC Fellow Award in 2003, and in 2006 the American Association of Museums (AAM) named him to its Centennial Honor Roll. He is immediate past president of the Visitor Studies Association, a trustee of the Noyce Foundation, and a member of the National Assessment Governing Board, an independent, bipartisan group that sets policy for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), commonly known as “The Nation’s Report Card.”