Osher Fellow • August, October, and November, 2008
Edith Ackermann was a professor of developmental psychology, who worked at the MIT School of Architecture, the MIT Media Lab (Future of Learning Group), LEGO Learning Institute/Vision Lab/ Educational Division, INVIVIA, and other organizations and research institutions involved in the intersections between play, learning, design, creative thinking, and technologies. Before moving to the United States, Ackermann was a Scientific Collaborator at the Centre International d’Epistémologie Génétique (C.I.E.G.), under the direction of Jean Piaget. Prior to her appointment as Osher Fellow, Edith was an advisor to the Exploratorium’s PIE (Play, Invent, Explore) group. Her work at the Exploratorium focused on formulating and assessing public activities for the museum floor. Edith met with staff to discuss plans for the proposed piers site, and to discuss the scope of Exploratorium educational outreach. She worked alongside PIE and visiting artist-in-residence Chris Bell on the creation and installation of several of his “Light Play” experiments, and gave a presentation about design principles of interactive learning that she has been developing at MIT.
Osher Fellow • August 1990, February 1991
Jont is a senior researcher in acoustics, cochlear modeling, and digital signal processing at Bell Laboratories in New Jersey. He worked primarily with exhibit development staff on new exhibit ideas in music and hearing, and ways to upgrade and improve existing sound exhibits.
Osher Fellow • January and July, 1992
Jeanne is a professor of music at MIT, and is widely recognized for her use of innovative techniques for teaching music, which interconnect with her research on the cognitive processes of learning. She helped us develop navigation and music exhibit ideas, as well as a possible teaching research collaboration project with MIT.
Osher Fellow • January 2019
Sculptor, artist, maker Julien Berthier “always did a lot of drawing as a kid," and he's turned that interest in drawing into a full-time career. His re-imagined drawings of urban surroundings, simple tools, and daily routines are a core influence on his work.
Some of these improbable scenarios, re-engineered devices, and explanatory diagrams may appear to be only ironic commentaries, fantasies, or impossible jokes. However unlikely the drawings, they served as initial sketches for intricate construction and engineering projects that have later come to fruition—among others, a boat that always seems to be sinking, a time-tracking meter that adds up working hours over a person’s lifetime, and an electric car powered by a long extension cord. In addition to these fully operational kinetic pieces, Berthier has also composed oil paintings, works in video, and site-specific installations.
Osher Fellow • February 2010
Remo Besio worked in the machine tool industry prior to joining the Swiss Science Center Technorama as a business administrator. In 1990, inspired by visits to the Ontario Science Centre and the Exploratorium, he proposed a radical new approach for Technorama: to transform it from classic, objects-based exhibitions into a lively, hands-on, modern science center learning environment.
His plan was accepted and he was appointed executive director to accomplish this transformation. Technorama built a world-class collection of kinetic, phenomena-based contemporary art pieces along with innovative, interactive science exhibits. His work was recognized with the Kulturpreis der Stadt Winterthur (Cultural Award of the City of Winterthur) in 2001. After eighteen years as executive director of Technorama, Besio retired in 2008. He now works as a consultant for new and emerging science centers throughout Europe.
In addition to his achievements at Technorama, Besio held a diploma in marketing and was an accomplished pianist who performed with the Zurich Chamber Orchestra.
Osher Fellow • April and July, 1993
Retired as director of education at Kings College in London, Paul is an internationally respected leader on assessment and teacher education. He is involved with a number of curriculum and education testing and assessment programs in the US and Europe, including the US National Standards Program to revamp the way assessment is carried out in the schools. He greatly helped us to think through and develop a plan for creating a degree-granting science teacher learning center based in the Exploratorium.
Osher Fellow • August 2013, September 2014
Michael Bradke is a musician, music ethnographer, educator, and musical exhibit and instrument designer. He leads workshops, educator trainings, and performs in festivals sharing traditional music and rhythm making with voice and body such as "clapping culture" and "mouth music," which often result in impromptu group performances. He has also organized instrument-making workshops at festivals, schools, art academies, and science centers. Bradke received the 2000 German Culture for Children Award, was part of the 2011 Abu Dhabi Science Festival, and designed many exhibits for Swiss science center Technorama’s special 2014 Soundscapes exhibition.
Osher Fellow • March and April, 2001
Ken Brecher is a theoretical astrophysicist and Director of Science and Mathematics Education at Boston University. His relationship to the Exploratorium dates back to 1976 when he asked Frank Oppenheimer to contribute an article to the MIT magazine on the occasion of (former Osher Fellow) Phil Morrison’s 60th birthday. Ken has been active in the world of informal science education, and served as Project Scientist for MicroObservatory project, which developed a network of telescopes controllable via the Web for use by students and teachers. At the Exploratorium, he contributed numerous ideas for new exhibits and, with the help of the Teacher Institute, built a walk-in exhibit that explores the ultraviolet spectrum. Ken also taught classes in the summer Teacher Institute program, participated in Iron Science Teacher, and worked with exhibit developers, Web site developers, the Cinema Arts staff, and others.