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What’s Next for Science Museums?

Two kids looking at a science exhibit, back viewScience museums are not just science lessons for kids any more.

As president and CEO of the Science Museum of Minnesota, Alison Brown ’80 says science museums are becoming something more—more contemplative, more thought-provoking, more people-oriented. “I’m leading a team that is helping us move away from the idea that museums curate only the facts and tell you what’s what,” says Brown, who is also a vice chair of the Board of Trustees of Pomona College. “We will always do real science. We also want our museum to be the place where you’re having two-way conversations and contributing your experience to the collective understanding—all while you’re having fun.”

In the ‘70s, she says, science museums were noisy with hands-on interactives and gadgets. “As people start seeing science museums not just as places for pushing buttons and pulling levers, but as places where they’re engaged in conversation and joining us in creating experiences that are worth their time—that’s an exciting future.”

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