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From bench to museum--an unlikely journey.

Yu K - Mol. Biol. Cell (2013)

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Living Systems, Exploratorium, San Francisco, CA 94111-1456.

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I now work at the Exploratorium, an interactive science museum in San Francisco, directing the museum's Living Systems Department... The Exploratorium had recently been awarded a grant to develop a microscope facility where the public could control the microscopes to examine live specimens... The position described online was everything I was looking for—but that I did not know could exist in one job... Several months later, I found myself reporting to work as the one and only microscopist at the museum—a place that was at once a familiar childhood memory, yet completely foreign as a workplace... The learning curve was rather steep—not long after I started at the Exploratorium, a colleague and I wheeled a brand-new motorized stereo zoom microscope out onto the exhibit floor to try out with visitors... Our exhibits need to appeal to a range of visitors with diverse backgrounds and interests, so honoring the inherent beauty and “wow factor” of a biological sample viewed with a microscope became incredibly important... Every team member brings a critical expertise or skill to the project, and more often than not, works in some way with every other team member... Developing successful exhibits is also extremely challenging and is a skill unto itself... Seemingly simple exhibits at the Exploratorium are the result of months (sometimes years) of development... In one of my more recent roles, a colleague and I were asked to curate a new gallery of biology exhibits in preparation for the grand reopening of the Exploratorium (Figures 1 and 2)... Another had started out with internships in museums and media before landing a series of positions at science museums... Positions for scientists at museums do not crop up all that often.

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Exhibits at the Exploratorium are designed to appeal to a broad range of visitors with diverse backgrounds.
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Figure 2: Exhibits at the Exploratorium are designed to appeal to a broad range of visitors with diverse backgrounds.

Mentions: At the Exploratorium, projects for the museum floor are almost always developed by multidisciplinary teams. Depending on the project, there might be scientists, exhibit developers, carpenters, graphic designers, writers, structural engineers, artists, educators, programmers, education researchers, and volunteers involved. Every team member brings a critical expertise or skill to the project, and more often than not, works in some way with every other team member. Developing successful exhibits is also extremely challenging and is a skill unto itself. Seemingly simple exhibits at the Exploratorium are the result of months (sometimes years) of development. Curiosity and respect for other métiers is incredibly important, as are good communication skills and the ability to problem solve, both on your own and with a group. The broad range of expertise and interests represented in the museum never fails to amaze me, and it presents a constant opportunity to learn and appreciate other disciplines. Because the work is highly project-based, a “typical” day is hard to describe; it really depends on the kind of project you are working on and what phase of development it is in. In one of my more recent roles, a colleague and I were asked to curate a new gallery of biology exhibits in preparation for the grand reopening of the Exploratorium (Figures 1 and 2). For this large, multiyear project, I led a team with all the roles described in the paragraph above and more, so good management skills were important as well.


From bench to museum--an unlikely journey.

Yu K - Mol. Biol. Cell (2013)

Exhibits at the Exploratorium are designed to appeal to a broad range of visitors with diverse backgrounds.
© Copyright Policy - creative-commons
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3814140&req=5

Figure 2: Exhibits at the Exploratorium are designed to appeal to a broad range of visitors with diverse backgrounds.
Mentions: At the Exploratorium, projects for the museum floor are almost always developed by multidisciplinary teams. Depending on the project, there might be scientists, exhibit developers, carpenters, graphic designers, writers, structural engineers, artists, educators, programmers, education researchers, and volunteers involved. Every team member brings a critical expertise or skill to the project, and more often than not, works in some way with every other team member. Developing successful exhibits is also extremely challenging and is a skill unto itself. Seemingly simple exhibits at the Exploratorium are the result of months (sometimes years) of development. Curiosity and respect for other métiers is incredibly important, as are good communication skills and the ability to problem solve, both on your own and with a group. The broad range of expertise and interests represented in the museum never fails to amaze me, and it presents a constant opportunity to learn and appreciate other disciplines. Because the work is highly project-based, a “typical” day is hard to describe; it really depends on the kind of project you are working on and what phase of development it is in. In one of my more recent roles, a colleague and I were asked to curate a new gallery of biology exhibits in preparation for the grand reopening of the Exploratorium (Figures 1 and 2). For this large, multiyear project, I led a team with all the roles described in the paragraph above and more, so good management skills were important as well.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Living Systems, Exploratorium, San Francisco, CA 94111-1456.

AUTOMATICALLY GENERATED EXCERPT
Please rate it.

I now work at the Exploratorium, an interactive science museum in San Francisco, directing the museum's Living Systems Department... The Exploratorium had recently been awarded a grant to develop a microscope facility where the public could control the microscopes to examine live specimens... The position described online was everything I was looking for—but that I did not know could exist in one job... Several months later, I found myself reporting to work as the one and only microscopist at the museum—a place that was at once a familiar childhood memory, yet completely foreign as a workplace... The learning curve was rather steep—not long after I started at the Exploratorium, a colleague and I wheeled a brand-new motorized stereo zoom microscope out onto the exhibit floor to try out with visitors... Our exhibits need to appeal to a range of visitors with diverse backgrounds and interests, so honoring the inherent beauty and “wow factor” of a biological sample viewed with a microscope became incredibly important... Every team member brings a critical expertise or skill to the project, and more often than not, works in some way with every other team member... Developing successful exhibits is also extremely challenging and is a skill unto itself... Seemingly simple exhibits at the Exploratorium are the result of months (sometimes years) of development... In one of my more recent roles, a colleague and I were asked to curate a new gallery of biology exhibits in preparation for the grand reopening of the Exploratorium (Figures 1 and 2)... Another had started out with internships in museums and media before landing a series of positions at science museums... Positions for scientists at museums do not crop up all that often.

Show MeSH