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…)
Is the art enough? Probably not. Art museum revenues are falling and museums need to experiment with new business models and ways to build a buzz and relevance with young audiences.
Yesterday, art critic Judith Dobrzynski wrote in her Real Clear Arts blog about how an upcoming nighttime event at the Hirshhorn is elitist, flaunted, and inexcusable. Dobrzynski says, “I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again, if museum officials don’t believe that art is enough, no one else will either.” What do you think? (more…)
Here’s a snapshot of the current exhibitions or activities being featured at a sampling of U.S. science centers, and their ticket prices for adults. (more…)
The following were the twenty most visited art exhibitions of 2010: (more…)
What’s the difference between a science museum and a science center? To insiders, the difference is the extent a museum is based on a collection of objects vs. experiences they create for visitors.
To the public, it’s largely immaterial. (more…)
Games on mobile devices are a new way to engage museum visitors. Two companies gave presentations at yesterday’s Museums & Mobile 2011 online conference.
One popular type of game is a miniature scavenger hunt, called “location-gaming.” The premise is that players go places (e.g., a restaurant or park), do fast, simple tasks (like typing something into their phone, or uploading a photo of something), and win a reward (the reward can virtual “points,” or something tangible, like a free postcard or sandwich). Other types of games are more thematic, such as creating playing-card “battles” between characters that appear in art. (more…)
Walking over rough sandstone blocks, between adobe houses, our $20/person tour wove through the streets and alleys of a small village atop a mesa in the Acoma Pueblo, in New Mexico.
The tour culminated in the local church (at right), the San Esteban del Rey Mission, which is a source of great pride, and also a symbol of Catholic persecution of traditional peoples. The earthen walls are many feet thick, and the roof is supported by centuries-old logs. (more…)