Evaluation of Workshop, Transforming the Relationship Between Science and Society: The Manhattan Project and Its Legacy
In February 2013, the Atomic Heritage Foundation (AHF) brought together historians, sociologists and other scholars, as well as museum directors and thought leaders from the informal science education field to engage in a two-day discussion to explore ways to engage the public in the topic of the development of the atomic bomb in the context of history, society and culture. The workshop, titled "Transforming the Relationship Between Science and Society: The Manhattan Project and Its Legacy," had as its overarching goal to identify how the Manhattan Project might best be interpreted in a traveling exhibition that would tour museums and science centers around the United States and abroad; another goal of the Workshop was to understand how the informal science education field might undertake further scholarship on the relationship between science and society. To determine the effectiveness of the Workshop in accomplishing these goals, AHF engaged Insight Evaluation Services (IES) to assess the effectiveness of the workshop, including the extent to which it was well organized and implemented, encouraged a lively interdisciplinary discussion among participants, offered participants new insights and ideas about ways to communicate science in its social context to the public and supported plans for the development of a traveling exhibition on the Manhattan Project. Data for this evaluation were collected via observation of the Workshop and a follow-up web-based survey of participants' opinions regarding the proceedings. The appendix of this report includes the survey used in the study.