Creating Connections

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Science museums are in the business of making science accessible to the public—a public constantly bombarded with new information and research results. How the public understands this information will affect what they expect and take away from a museum's exhibits and programs. Creating Connections looks at the public understanding of research (PUR) and how it affects what science museums do. What are the opportunities and critical issues in PUR? What strategies are working and what are some pitfalls? What can be learned from the media's experiences with PUR? Creating Connections will be an invaluable resource for science museum professionals who want to guide their institutions and their visitors toward a new understanding of and appreciation for current research.

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Editorial Reviews

The writing and editing in this compilation is excellent. . . Creating Connections is a useful, well-written book. I recommend it
Visitor Studies Today
This volume contains essays from a 2002 conference, "Museums, Media, ad the Public Understanding of Research—An International Working Conference"...The book gives some sense of the breadth and intensity of the discussions, as well as providing a rich and diverse collection of papers on a central issue for science museums.
— George E. Hein
Creating Connections is a rigorous theoretical work that is both clear and stimulating. It will be of particular value to curators who want to reflect on exhibitions presenting developments in research, while stimulating researchers in the sociology of science, citizenship education, epistemology and ethics.
Visitor Studies Today - George E. Hein
This volume contains essays from a 2002 conference, "Museums, Media, ad the Public Understanding of Research—An International Working Conference"...The book gives some sense of the breadth and intensity of the discussions, as well as providing a rich and diverse collection of papers on a central issue for science museums.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780759104761
  • Publisher: AltaMira Press
  • Publication date: 5/28/2004
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 6.52 (w) x 8.92 (h) x 0.97 (d)

Meet the Author

David Chittenden is Vice President for Education at the Science Museum of Minnesota. Graham Farmelo is Director of the Dana Centre project at the Science Museum, London and Associate Professor of Physics at Northeastern University. Bruce V. Lewenstein is Associate Professor of Science Communication at Cornell University.

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Table of Contents

Part 1 Foreword Part 2 Acknowledgments Part 3 Introduction: Only Connect: Linking the Public with Current Scientific Research Part 4 SECTION 1: ON THE HISTORY AND CHALLENGES OF PUBLIC UNDERSTANDING OF RESEARCH Chapter 5 1. La buona e non mascherata filosofia, or the Exhibitionists Chapter 6 2. The Challenge and the Opportunity of Presenting "Unfinished Science" Part 7 SECTION 2: PUBLIC UNDERSTANDING OF RESEARCH: THE BIG OPPORTUNITIES AND ISSUES Chapter 8 3. Different Ways of Looking at Public Understanding of Research Chapter 9 4. Museums as Agora: Diversifying Approaches to Engaging Publics in Research Chapter 10 5. Evaluating Public Understanding of Research Projects and Initiatives Chapter 11 6. What About the Audiences?: Tailoring Public Understanding of Research Programs for Museum Visitors Chapter 12 7. Dangerous Ground?: Public Engagement with Scientific Controversy Chapter 13 8. Improving Public Understanding of Scientific Research: A View from the Research Side Chapter 14 9. New Alliances to Promote the Public Understanding of Research Chapter 15 10. Collaboration and the Public Understanding of Current Research Chapter 16 11. Funding and Institutional Issues Related to Public Understanding of Research Part 17 SECTION 3: SOME EMERGING PUBLIC UNDERSTANDING OF RESEARCH STRATEGIES AND APPROACHES Chapter 18 12. Understanding the Process of Research Chapter 19 13. Production Aspects of Promoting Public Understanding of Research Chapter 20 14. Bridging the Gap: Interpreting Current Research in Museum Settings Chapter 21 15. At the Cutting Edge: Showcasing Research Through a Public Exhibition Center Chapter 22 16. Catching Science in the Act: The Mysteries of Çatalhöyük Chapter 23 17. Public Understanding of Research in a Natural History Museum: The Darwin Centre Part 24 SECTION 4: WHAT MUSEUMS CAN LEARN FROM MEDIA PUBLIC UNDERSTANDING OF RESEARCH INITIATIVES Chapter 25 18. Emerging Best Practices at Research-Performing Institutions Chapter 26 19. It's the Way You Tell 'Em Chapter 27 20. Covering Science at the New York Times Chapter 28 21. Nova: The Leading Edge Chapter 29 22. Earth and Sky: Some Challenges of Communicating Scientific Research on the Radio Chapter 30 23. Crossing the Public and Commercial Broadcasting Barriers Part 31 Afterword: Not so Fast: Some Thoughts on Re-Visioning Public Understanding of Research Part 32 Appendix: Background and Thoughts on Museums, Media and the Public Understanding of Research: An International Working Conference Part 33 Bibliography for Public Understanding of Research Part 34 Index Part 35 About the Contributors

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