Broader Impacts - A Provocative New Look

Carol Lynn Alpert

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. The issue was edited by J.

Working with Researchers

Vrylena Olney

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:

Fall Mixers for Prospective Partners

Carol Lynn Alpert

We've already had snow in Boston, and the fall conference season is upon us, with some excellent opportunities for those interested in learning more about researcher - ISE partnership craft. First up on the schedule, the Association of Science-Technology Centers conference, which provides a splendid opportunity to get away to Fort Worth for Halloween (Oct 31 - Nov 3).

Changes Afoot at NIH - More $$$ for Science Education?

Carol Lynn Alpert

The National Institutes of Health maintains a 30 billion dollar portfolio of health and biomedical research, a yearly budget that roundly trumps that of the National Science Foundation (about 7 billion) and the National Nanotechnology Initiative (1.6 billion). Although NIH has no “Broader Impacts” criterion in its RFPs, it does expect researchers to contribute to education and outreach. This is fairly fertile territory for science museums to explore, perhaps through nurturing relationships with local NIH-funded research institutes. Now there's an interesting new development.

A Vaccine for Last-Minute-Itis

Carol Lynn Alpert

Several times in the past (check the RISE Group Page), I’ve written about the problem of last-minute-itis among NSF grant proposal writers. Symptoms of this illness are well-known to grant administrators at universities as well as at science museums, and, let’s face it, we’ve all succumbed to its indignities at one time or another. FastLane has to become a very WideLane on the deadline day for grant submission.

Why fund the NISE Net?

Carol Lynn Alpert

A short time ago, I heard from a veteran program officer in one of the NSF science research directorates that she was skeptical about the strategy of apportioning funds from these directorates to fund the NISE Net. Why not give the funds directly to the individual nano research centers to bolster their own education and outreach (E&O) programs? Why set up a whole new Informal Science Education (ISE) infrastructure to do it?