Are Museums the Perfect Climate Change Education Tool?


Published in Nautilus Magazine's blog Facts So Romantic, September 25 2015

When Hurricane Sandy destroyed much of the New York and New Jersey coastlines, in October 2012, the looming threat of climate change abruptly became personal for a large portion of the East Coast—specifically Miranda Massie, a former public-interest lawyer. Seeing her city wasted, she realized that there was nowhere for the public to assemble and discuss what their future on a warming planet might look like.

So, she started the Climate Museum Launch Project, with the goal of building an education hub to, as its website states, “move climate awareness to the center of public life.” If the Climate Museum Launch Project secures funding, New York City would become home to the world’s largest, most ambitious climate-change museum. And it would be the first in the US dedicated to tackling a challenge all science museums face: how to represent changing and politicized science.

But how does a museum, something that by its very nature enshrines ideas of the past and present, become a forum for talking about the future?

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writingJen Kinneyurban policy