We bring outstanding artists, scholars, authors, and scientists to the museum as Osher Fellows through the generosity of the Bernard Osher Foundation. Osher Fellows work with Exploratorium staff on programs, exhibit projects, and new endeavors, and share their own research and work with staff and the public. These thinker-in-residence fellowships are generally one to four weeks in duration.
The perspectives and backgrounds of our Osher Fellows are wide-ranging and reflect the Exploratorium’s multidisciplinary interests. Previous Fellows include Oliver Sacks, who helped in the planning of exhibits about memory; Richard Gregory, who worked with us on visual perception exhibits; photographer Rosamond Wolff Purcell, who provided guidance for the temporary exhibition Revealing Bodies; and Edith Ackermann, visiting scientist at MIT’s School of Architecture, who shared design principles of interactive learning.
|Christian de Duve||
Christian de Duve, a pioneer of modern cell biology and cell fractionation techniques, is the discoverer of lysosomes, cell organelles specialized for recycling and waste disposal. For his discoveries, Professor de Duve shared the Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology in 1974. In recent years, Professor de Duve’s investigations have shifted from biochemistry and cell biology to the mechanisms whereby life arose on our planet almost four billion years ago and evolved to produce all extant living organisms, including human beings. He is particularly interested in the manner in which chemistry and natural selection joined to produce the first living cells and in the significance of those events as they relate to the place of life in the universe, including the possibility of extraterrestrial life. Professor de Duve proved to be a brilliant scientist, a gifted and engaging communicator, and a delightful and generous human being. While in residence at the Exploratorium, he met with staff from the life sciences department, gave an in-depth brown bag on his work on the origins of life, and sat down for an audio interview of his life’s work for a future podcast. Professor de Duve also presented a lecture on the origin of life at Meet the Minds on November 14, 2006.
Eleanor is a cognitive psychologist, educational theorist, and constructivist educator. A former student, colleague, leading translator, and interpreter of Jean Piaget, as well as renowned Professor of Education at Harvard Graduate School of Education, she is one of the leading progressive educators today.
As a teaching researcher and reflective practitioner, she is especially interested in teaching and in the experience of learners and teachers of all ages, both in and out of schools. She applies Piaget’s pioneering observations on intellectual development directly to her research in the development of ideas and to teaching and training prospective and experienced teachers at Harvard University and on many continents. Eleanor has also been an elementary school teacher. Her participation in the 1960s curriculum development projects Elementary Science Study and African Primary Science Program was a germinal experience that led to her insights and practices in exploratory methods in teaching and learning. She has conducted teacher education and program evaluation in the United States, Europe, Latin America, Africa, Asia, and Canada.
Hubert Dyasi is a professor of science education at City College (City University of New York), where he has served as director of the City College Workshop Center for 20 years—a school and science teacher development institution at the college. In August 2006, he continued his fellowship, meeting with Exploratorium staff, including Director Dennis Bartels, and gave a brown bag lecture on “America’s Lab Report,” a National Research Council report of which he is an author. On an ongoing basis, he will serve as an advisor to our visioning project, helping to prepare the museum for its move to the piers.
Arthur Ganson is an artist-in-residence at MIT, a self-taught engineer, and the creator of intricate, whimsical machines that gesture. An entire gallery is devoted to his works at the MIT Museum; many more are displayed in galleries around the world. Art first came to the Exploratorium to create Chain Reaction. He invited staff to create elements in the chain, each of which triggered the next kinetic sculpture. On the night of Chain Reaction, the museum filled to capacity: the staff and public were transfixed. While working as an Osher Fellow, Art also met with the teaching staff about the relationship between art and science, and explored the nature of creativity with them. In addition, Art set up a mini-exhibition of his mechanical sculpture. Even after he left, he continued to send some of his pieces to the Exploratorium for display.
Michael H. Glantz is a senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and director of the Center for Capacity Building in the Societal-Environmental Research and Education Laboratory (SERE), where he works with museums on public outreach and develops ongoing education programs for scientists and college students. He is interested in how climate affects society and how society affects climate, especially how the interaction between climate anomalies and human activities affect quality of life issues. His research relates to African drought and desertification, and food production problems and prospects; societal impacts of climate anomalies related to El Nino events and the use of El Nino–related teleconnections to forecast these impacts; developing methods of forecasting possible societal responses to the regional impacts of climate change; and the use of climate-related information for economic development. He has also coordinated joint research in the Central Asian Republics of the former USSR.
Louis M. Gomez is an associate professor of Learning Science and Computer Science at Northwestern University. He codirects The Learning Through Collaborative Visualization Project (CoVis) at Northwestern, focusing on bringing next-generation computing and communication technologies, along with open-ended scientific inquiry, to high school classrooms. During his initial visits, Louis met with research staff and their colleagues on a broad range of research topics, including informal learning theory and practice, mobile and online learning, digital fluency, and museum schools. He gave an insightful and well-attended brown bag discussion on his experiences with the Chicago schools to increase basic literacy as a step to facilitate science learning and the useful partnerships that can be developed with commercial companies, universities, and nonprofit organizations. Louis was invited by Dennis Bartels to participate in the visioning process in anticipation of our move to the piers. He was also the featured speaker at the January 2007 Meet the Minds, in which he challenged the education field and social science researchers field to create more effective and targeted research programs for improving public education in urban school districts.
Richard is world-renowned visual perception scientist, and a longtime friend of and resource for the Exploratorium. He is the author/editor of many books on perception including The Oxford Companion to the Mind and Eye and Brain, and founder of the Exploratory, a science center in Bristol, England. He is also a professor at the University of Bristol. Richard assisted us in a variety of perception and physics exhibit development projects, and met extensively with our Seeing exhibit team, and worked extensively with our high school Explainers.
Elaine started her museum career at the Boston Children’s Museum and was part of the senior staff group that planned the museum’s 1979 move from its original location to a new warehouse facility along Fort Point Channel. She spent five years as deputy director of the United States Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., and two years as deputy director for the National Museum of the American Indian. She also has been involved in Te Papa (New Zealand’s national museum), the Cranbrook Institute, the Dubai Municipality Children’s Museum, and the National Discovery Museum (Thailand). She writes extensively; many of her essays appear in Civilizing the Museum (2006). In the essay “Moving the Museum,” she discusses the Boston Children’s Museum’s roller-coaster experiences during four years of planning for a move and the first year in its new building.
She is a board member for The International Council of Museums (ICOM), and a frequent keynote speaker at museum conferences nationally and internationally. She holds a master’s degree in education and originally taught art for K–6 before moving into the museum world.
Dr. Kris Gutiérrez is a faculty member at the University of Colorado at Boulder’s School of Education. Her research interests address the relationship between literacy, culture, and learning, and target how students appropriate cultural concepts. Specifically, her work focuses on the processes by which people negotiate meaning in culturally organized contexts, using language and literacies that are embedded within socio-historical traditions. Issues of equity and excellence are recurrent themes in her work.
Gutiérrez has conducted long-term ethnographic studies across various school districts. Her studies have centered on the cultural dimensions of literacy learning, the social organization of formal and nonformal learning environments, and the effects of new forms of mediation on student and teacher learning. She has also studied the effects of new policies and reform initiatives on English learners and their schooling practices; and reading and writing development in elementary- and secondary-school-age students, including English Learners and students from migrant farm worker backgrounds.
In 2006–2007, she was a Fellow at the prestigious Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. Most recently, Professor Gutiérrez served as a member of President Obama’s Education Policy Transition Team. She is currently serving as president of the American Educational Research Association.