There are gender wars, and then there are casualties. It wasn’t until 2011 that the behemoth toymaker LEGO acknowledged girls’ desire to build with bricks, even though the company had long before made a seemingly effortless pivot to co-branding, video games, and major motion pictures. So it’s little wonder that girls face all-too-real obstacles when […]Read more
The system of getting knowledge about science to the public is broken. One major crack in the system is a disconnect between science museums and new science research.
Science museums matter
Aside from the news media, which now has less science coverage as the journalism business contracts, museums play a vital role in how the public learns about science outside of school. New data show that science museums play an important part in this informal learning.
Despite enthusiastic scientists who are using social media, leading citizen science, and supporting other kinds of outreach, the vast majority of scientific information is ensconced in journals and conferences.
To connect this knowledge to the public, it’s common practice for closed-access journals to give journalists free (advance) access to new articles. But the same courtesy is not provided to science museums that would also benefit from new articles, as well as a back library of older articles. And science museums rarely budget for journal subscriptions. (more…)
Over 70% of U.S. museums are in economic distress, according to a new report from the American Association of Museums. Here are some key findings: (more…)
In April 2009, a dozen 53-foot tractor trailers delivered the latest blockbuster exhibit — Harry Potter: The exhibition — to the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. The exhibit was big on magic, with 400 costumes and props from the films, including 17 wands, Harry’s famous round glasses, the Marauder’s Map, Harry’s Nimbus 2000 broom, Hermione Granger’s Yule Ball gown, and a lot of oversized furniture. The movie props were big draw. The exhibit was at the start of its tour, and the Chicago museum was the first venue. (more…)