Informal Learning And Scholarship In Science And Society: A Multi-Disciplinary Workshop On Scientific Creativity And Societal Responsibility

March 1st, 2014 - February 28th, 2015 | PROJECT

This conference at Arizona State University is an early-stage activity inspired by the upcoming 2016 - 2018 bicentennial of the conception, writing and publication of Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein - or The Modern Prometheus." That book, and the dozens of films produced subsequently, have provoked questions for researchers and citizens that have endured for two centuries and are relevant today. - How have we gone from a world in which Mary Shelley could watch public demonstrations of voltaic power on dead animals to one in which the dissection of animals in classrooms is frowned upon, but the creation of new life forms via an international synthetic biology competition (iGEM) is celebrated? - How do literary, artistic and other cultural portrayals of science and engineering inspire and inflect STEM research? - What steps do contemporary scientists and engineers need to take in order to proceed with their innovative activity in a responsible fashion? - What role do lay citizens have in making decisions about science and technology?- How can we understand the broad relationship between creativity and responsibility? The convening brings together a USA and international group of educators in informal science education and multi-disciplinary scholars who study various aspects of the interactions of science, technology and society (STS). This team of natural and social scientists, engineers, museum professionals (Museum of Science, Boston (MOS); Science Museum of Minnesota (SMM)), artists and humanities scholars will begin to formulate plans for producing exhibits, educational programs and demonstrations, fiction and nonfiction writing contests, performances, and curricula that explore science education, ethics and artistry. An overarching goal is to establish a process that could create a national and global network of collaborators to plan programs worldwide and establish new professional collaborations of researchers beyond the bicentennial. The workshop, a first step toward a possible larger initiative, could be significant both for the public's engagement with contemporary issues of science and society and for stimulating new inter-disciplinary research on such issues.

Project Website(s)

(no project website provided)

Team Members

Edward Finn, Principal Investigator, Arizona State University
David Guston, Co-Principal Investigator


Funding Source: NSF
Funding Program: ISE/AISL
Award Number: 1354287
Funding Amount: 49997


Audience: General Public | Museum | ISE Professionals | Scientists
Discipline: General STEM | Life science | Literacy | Technology
Resource Type: Project Descriptions
Environment Type: Professional Development | Conferences | Networks | Professional Development and Workshops