Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education (CAISE)

March 27, 2009

Buridan just sent me this link. I’m really interested in the role of informal learning about science. I’m not so interested in Informal Science Education, however. One, IMHO, leads to engagement and internal motivation, and the other is a more temporary and passive external motivational experience. But that’s just my opinion, and I look forward to being proven wrong. Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education (CAISE)

What can informal science education contribute to efforts to engage publics with science-related issues? That’s the main focus of a report now available on the CAISE website, Many Experts, Many Audiences: Public Engagement with Science and Informal Science Education (PDF, 3MB). The report sums up work over the last year by a CAISE Inquiry Group led by Larry Bell of the Museum of Science, Boston, and Tiffany Lohwater of AAAS. Also contributing were Jane Lehr of TWIST (Theatre Workshop in Science, Technology, & Society, California Polytechnic), Bruce Lewenstein of Cornell University, Cynthia Needham of ICAN Productions, and Ben Wiehe of WGBH, as well as CAISE Co-PI John Falk and CAISE’s former director, Ellen McCallie (now of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Pittsburgh).

The group offers this report as food for thought and discussion. To that end, they will be leading a one-week online discussion starting March 23 in ASTC Connect, the online learning center, cohosted by ASTC and the New York Hall of Science’s TryScience project. The asynchronous discussion will take place in the forum called “Working with Scientists and Volunteers.” To enroll, set up an account on ASTC Connect, at, and use the keycode “volts” to enroll yourself.

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