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America's first Science Fiction Museum Hopes to Learn Lessons from University of Glamorgan

20/04/2004. Contributed by Jessica Martin

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Professor Mark Brake, Professor of Science Communication at the University of Glamorgan, will be visiting Seattle this week to make a presentation to the advisory board of America's first ever Sci-fi museum.

The first science fiction museum in the United States, ExperienceScienceFiction will explore how science fiction reflects and comments on the human condition, promotes critical thinking about culture and society, and invites us to ponder the universe's infinite possibilities.

Professor Brake will be advising the board, which includes such luminaries as Steven Spielberg and George Lucas, on how best to develop the educational project of the museum.

"The museum has been created to recognise the cultural significance of science fiction," said Mark.

"The concept is in recognition of the worthiness and enduring qualities of science fiction as a cultural form. After all, we are talking about a genre that is now over 200 years old.

"One of the many relationships between science and science fiction is the 'what if' factor - science fiction is often the principles of science taken out of the lab, into the real world and multiplied by the Nth degree until a possible conclusion.

"There is a potential crisis in education at the moment caused by the lack of interest in science amongst children and people are looking to use science fiction as a way of counteracting that.

"However, we should remember that the primary function of Science Fiction is to entertain, as well as to educate.

The Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame, which will open in June, will be a 'hyper-museum,' an interactive, media-rich experience that combines one-of-a-kind artefacts and information in evocative environments that immerse visitors in alternative worlds.

Its exhibits and activities will demonstrate how 'the genre touches all forms of artistic expression and reframes the meaning of developments in science, art, and the humanities, giving us new insights into ourselves and the world around us'.

"There are certainly some potentially exciting opportunities for Glamorgan to link-up with the museum, possibly in terms of either study or even graduate employment," said Mark, "The museum has a remit to educate and they are already thinking in terms of global ambitions."


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