Stanford EE Computer Systems Colloquium

4:15PM, Wednesday, Dec 5, 2007
NEC Auditorium, Gates Computer Science Building B03

Science communication, science literacy and public support
new models in place of old thoughts

Rob Semper
Executive Associate Director, Exploratorium
About the talk:

Scientists often think of solving science and society concerns in terms of a lack of public understanding of science. overcoming a lack of public science literacy. But new models of public science literacy are beginning to change the paradigm from a one way transmission approach of lecture, publishing and journalism to one of public engagement and even debate. From approaches such as the use of "framing" to shape the discussion to the movement from public understanding to public dialog to the role of science centers as intermediary institutions between the world of science and the public, new thinking is emerging for this critical arena.

About the speaker:

Rob Semper, a physicist and science educator, is Executive Associate Director of the Exploratorium, Director of the Exploratorium's Center for Media and Communication and Interim Director of the Exploratorium’s Center for Teaching and Learning. In addition to supporting the graphics, media, editorial and information resources needs of the Exploratorium, the Center for Media and Communications is the home of an extensive commercial publishing program, a variety of radio and television broadcast projects, the Interactive Media Laboratory researching the use of new tools for learning and the Exploratorium's Website and Webcast activities which develops interactive media for the museum setting and external venues. The Center for Teaching and Learning supports the relationship between the Exploratorium and the formal education environment through teacher development activities, field trips and explainer programs and outreach efforts and is the headquarters for CILS, the Center for Informal Learning and Schools.

Since 1977, Rob has been project director for a number of NSF and NASA sponsored exhibit, education and media projects at the Exploratorium including most recently a series of Internet test-bed projects designed to explore the use of on-line museum responses to support school science instruction. He is also executive producer of "The Exploratorium’s X-Lab", an integrated children’s television, publication and Website project focused on developing problem solving skills. In 1988, during a leave, he was a Schumann fellow at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and director of a creative collaboration between Apple Computer and Lucasfilm Ltd. that developed interactive multimedia education projects combining computer graphics and film and video technology. He was the recipient of the 1994 NSTA's Informal Educator of the Year award. His personal academic interests are in visual thinking, the use of media in education, the impact of environments on learning and distributed learning environments.

Contact information:

Rob Semper
San Francisco, CA