It’s been a tumultuous 18 months for the Broader Impacts Criterion (BIC), the NSF merit review standard that gets a lot of grant-seeking scientists and engineers thinking about including plans for education, outreach, and diversity. First, Congress asked the NSF to explain exactly what it means by "broader impacts," and how it monitors compliance.
Science museums and their audiences often benefit from sub-awards provided by research centers which choose to address the NSF Broader Impact Criterion through partnerships for education outreach. Therefore, the National Science Board’s current review of this criterion (commonly known as “BIC”) alongside its companion criterion “Intellectual Merit,” is of particular interest to the science museum and entire informal science education community.
As many of you know, NanoDays is the NISE Network's annual festival of educational programs about nanoscale science and engineering and its potential impact on the future. Each Spring, hundreds of NISE Net partners across the country plan and host local NanoDays events (find out who participated in NanoDays 2011 here). We in the NISE Net ask that partners hosting events let us know about their experiences by filling out an online NanoDays report.
The demos and banners have been put away; the thank
you notes have gone out, the reports filed, and NanoDays
2011 is now a pleasant blur receding into the collective
archive of organizational events, while you, perhaps,
move on to tackle your next big project… BUT WAIT --
Have you forged a great partnership with a couple of local research centers for your NanoDays 2011 festivities? Plan now to keep the relationship alive and growing beyond April, continuing to serve your audiences, your partners and your home team. It’s easy to do, and the benefits could be HUGE.
Small Steps; Big Impact: A guide for science museum leaders developing partnerships with university based research centers has been published online at risepartnerguide.org. The online format facilitates visitors in selecting topics of greatest interest and it will allow th
NSF's Broader Impacts Criterion (BIC) gets a provocative re-examination in a special issue of the British journal Social Epistemology, and in that issue, the NISE Net's focus on science museum - research center partnerships is included as a model for authenticating and reinforcing the intentions of the BIC framers.
Nanoscale science gets a new periodic table, Nanopants skew public perception - news from the 2009 NSF NSE Meeting
Photo from the NISE Net Annual Meeting by Emily Maletz Graphic Design At the NISE Net Annual Meeting last September, we asked participants about their favorite nano educational experiences. Many talked about how exciting it is when researchers connect with the public. Here are a few examples of favorite experiences:
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