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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by Bristol University Press 2023

Inclusion Is More Than an Invitation: Shifting Science Communication in a Science Museum

From the book Race and Sociocultural Inclusion in Science Communication

  • C. James Liu , Priya Mohabir and Dorothy Bennett


In this chapter, the authors’ share an ongoing shift in broadening science communication at a US-based science museum through incorporating museum staff’s beliefs, perspectives, and personal relationships with science. The goal is to highlight how science communication is influenced, challenged, and defined by the members of the community, and to invite educators, researchers, and stakeholders to rethink and question their approach to inclusion and diversity in science education. In particular, we present examples from our youth museum educators – known as Explainers – their trainers, and the programme director. These examples illustrate the different paths and perspectives that people in different roles take while communicating science, and how their identity, culture, and experiences influence their choices and the way they engage with science learning and communication. By creating an Explainer training programme that supports reflection and agency, we gradually changed the ways we conduct educational practices on the museum floors, such as demonstrations and facilitation, and as a result organically expanded the inclusiveness of our learning environment. The strategies that helped create this shift are also discussed, including institutional efforts, such as reshaping leadership style and cross-departmental collaboration, and individual training, such as developing Explainer habits of mind. These examples and strategies will help other informal science, technology, engineering, and mathematics learning institutions and future studies to establish a more inclusive science learning and communication environment.


informal learningscience communicationcommunityinclusivenesssciencetechnologyengineeringand mathematics (STEM)
© Bristol University Press 2023, excluding Chapter 12 © Tibisay Sankatsing Nava, Roxanne-Liana Francisca, Krista T. Oplaat, and Tadzio Bervoets
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