NISE Network Forums by E8S4V8u


									NISE Network
Three Years of Findings
about a US Dialogue and
Discussion Program

Elizabeth Kunz Kollmann
Museum of Science, Boston
NISE Network Forum Team
• Museum of Science (Boston, Massachusetts)

• Science Museum of Minnesota (St. Paul)

• Exploratorium (San Francisco, California)

• Oregon Museum of Science and Industry

• Museum of Life and Science (Durham, North
Dewey on Democracy

“A democracy is more than a form of government;
  it is primarily a mode of associated living, of
  conjoint communicated experience. The
  extension in space of the number of individuals
  who participate in an interest so that each has to
  refer his own action to that of others, and to
  consider the action of others to give point and
  direction to his own...”
                                      (Dewey, 1916)
Forum Agenda
               • Introduction to Forum

               • Expert Presentations
                 – Nano-scientists
                 – Policy or ethics

               • Question and
                 Answers with Experts

               • Visitor Discussion

               • Report-out
Forum Stakeholder Groups
• What are our goals for and what have we
  learned about three stakeholder groups?

  – Museum educators / program developers

  – Scientists and researchers

  – Public
Stakeholder: Museum Educators
• Goals:                      • To achieve those
  – Create Forums
    attractive to audiences     – Forums have been
    at science museums            tested at all the NISE
    around the US                 Network Forum
  – Find a way to transfer
    Forums to science           – A Forums manual has
    museums around the            been created for
    US                            museums outside of
                                  the NISE Network
What’s been found?
• Forums can be
  successfully used at
  different institutions:

   – NISE Network
     institution Forums
     have been attended by
     over 600 people

   – Institutions outside of
     NISE Network are
     presenting their own
     Forum programs
Stakeholder: Scientists /
• Goals:                   • What we’ve done:
  – Create connections       – Local scientists have
    between the museums        been the speakers at
    and local scientists
                               most Forums
  – Use scientists to
    provide information      – Speaker guidelines
    during Forums              have been created

  – Expose scientists to
    diverse viewpoints
    from the public
What’s been found?
               • Scientists have been
                 used as speakers with
                 limited success:
                  – Content is not always
                  – Speakers appreciate
                    hearing what participants
                    have to say and being able
                    to pass on their expertise

               • Scientists are also
                 coming as participants
Stakeholder: The Public
• Goals:                         • What we’ve done:

  – Make the public more           – Over 40 Forums have been
    aware of science concepts        presented in the last three
  – Increase their
    understanding of the           – Forums have taken steps
    relationship between             to attract diverse audiences
    science, society, and the

  – Increase their familiarity
    with the viewpoints of
What has the public learned?
• Participants learned               • Participants valued:
   – Science/technology of              – Discussion with others
                                       [I valued] interaction with other
  I didn't have all that much          professional people from
  sense of the applications of the     varied backgrounds. (SMM)
  technology. (Explo)
                                        – Learning from experts
   – Societal aspects of
     nanotechnology                    Now I'm a bit better informed. I
                                       appreciated that the speakers
  How much society has to gain         spoke at a level that was easily
  or possibly lose from                understood but also technically
  nanotechnology. (NC MLS)             intriguing. (OMSI)
What’s been learned about
participant diversity?
                 • The audience is not
                   as diverse as we
                   would like:

                   – Few racial / ethnic
                     minorities and people
                     with disabilities are

                   – Most people are
                     already very familiar
                     with the NISE Network
                     Forums institutions
In conclusion
• Forums can be used at science museums
  around the US to get members of the
  public to discuss science and society

• However, involving scientists in this
  discussion can be difficult and the public,
  who attends, may not include all segments
  of society.
For further information

• NISE Network website:

• Email me:

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