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International Advisory Board

Professor Bruce Lewenstein

Professor of Science Communication, Cornell University

Professor Bruce V Lewenstein is a widely-known authority on public communication of science and technology⁠—how science and technology are reported to the public and how the public understands controversial scientific issues and ‘emerging technologies’ such as biotechnology and nanotechnology.

Trained as a historian of science, he often uses historical case studies in his research. He has also done extensive work evaluating ‘citizen science’ outreach projects, in which citizens fully participate in the scientific process by gathering, entering, and sometimes analysing scientific data. In general, he tries to document the ways that public communication of science is fundamental to the process of producing reliable knowledge about the natural world.

Professor Lewenstein’s work has two areas of impact: education for practitioners of public communication of science and technology; and the shaping of policy research on public knowledge and attitudes towards science and technology. His audiences range from local groups seeking to improve their communication, to national associations, to international settings where students and practitioners gather. Both the education and the policy work are tools of leverage, which ultimately contribute to better public understanding of science and technology.

Selected publications

  • Lewenstein, B V, 2016, Editorial: ‘Can we understand citizen science?’ [special issue on citizen science], JCOM: Journal of Science Communication, 14(4), online only at
  • Lewenstein, B V, 2015, ‘Identifying what matters: Science education, science communication, and democracy’, Journal of Research on Science Teaching, 52(2), 253–262. doi: 10.1002/tea.21201
  • Fahy, D and Lewenstein, B V, 2014, ‘Scientists in popular culture’, in Bucchi, M and Trench, B (eds), Handbook of Public Communication of Science and Technology, second edition, (London: Routledge) pp 83–96
  • Bell, P, Lewenstein, B V, Shouse, A and Feder, M (eds), 2009, Learning Science in Informal Environments: People, Places, and Pursuits (Washington, DC: National Academies Press)
  • Lewenstein, B V, 2009, ‘Science Books Since 1945’, in Nord, D P, Rubin, J S and Schudson, M (eds), The Enduring Book: Print Culture in Postwar America (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press), pp 347–360
  • Chittenden, D, Farmelo, G and Lewenstein, B V, (eds), 2004, Creating Connections:  Museums and the Public Understanding of Current Research (Walnut Creek, CA: Altamira Press)
  • Lewenstein, B V, 1995, ‘From Fax to Facts: Communication in the Cold Fusion Saga’, Social Studies of Science, 25(3), 403–436
  • Lewenstein, B V, 1992, ‘The Meaning of “Public Understanding of Science” in the United States After World War II’, Public Understanding of Science, 1(1), 45–68

Professor Sharon Macdonald

Alexander von Humboldt Professor of Social Anthropology, Humboldt University, Berlin

In 2002, Professor Sharon Macdonald carried out ethnographic research in the Science Museum, which was subsequently published as Behind the Scenes in the Science Museum, as well as in various articles. Since then, she has researched and published widely on many different kinds of museums, with the aim of developing museological theory and prompt experimental museum practice.

In 2015, she was awarded an Alexander von Humboldt Professorship—Germany’s most prestigious award for international researchers. With the funding that came with this, and with further funding from the Humboldt University, the Berlin Museum of Natural History and the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, she established a new research centre—CARMAH (The Centre for Anthropological Research on Museums and Heritage). Located in the Institute of European Ethnology, where she holds a permanent professorship, the centre’s aim is to undertake pathbreaking research into contemporary museum challenges and transformations.

Professor Macdonald also holds an Anniversary Professorship in the Department of Sociology at the University of York. Ranked top in the last two Research Excellence Framework competitions, the Department of Sociology at York has a long and strong record of research in science and technology studies, as well as in cultural sociology.

Selected publications

  • Macdonald, S, 2016, ‘Exhibiting contentious and difficult histories: ethics, emotions and reflexivity’, in Museums, Ethics and Cultural Heritage (London: Routledge)
  • Macdonald, S, 2016, ‘New constellations of difference in Europe’s museumscape’, Museum Anthropology 39(1): 4–19
  • Macdonald, S and Rees Leahy, H (eds), 2015, International Handbooks of Museum Studies (New York: Wiley-Blackwell)
  • Macdonald, S, 2013, Memorylands. Heritage and Identity in Europe Today (London: Routledge)
  • Macdonald, S, 2009, Difficult Heritage: Negotiating the Nazi Past in Nuremberg and Beyond (London: Routledge)
  • Macdonald, S and Basu, P (eds), 2007, Exhibition Experiments (Oxford: Blackwell)
  • Macdonald, S (ed), 2006, Companion to Museum Studies (Oxford: Blackwell)
  • Macdonald, S, 2002, Behind the Scenes at the Science Museum (Oxford: Berg)

Professor Jonathan Osborne

Professor, Stanford University

Professor Osborne’s research focus is a mix of work on policy and pedagogy in the teaching and learning of science. In the policy domain, he is interested in exploring students' attitudes to science and how school science can be made more worthwhile and engaging—particularly for those who will not continue with the study of science. In pedagogy, his focus has been on making the case for the role of argumentation in science education both as a means of improving the use of a more dialogic approach to teaching science and improving student understanding of the nature of scientific inquiry.

He has led one major project on 'Enhancing the Quality of Argument in School Science Education', from which the IDEAS (Ideas, Evidence and Argument in Science Education) materials to support teacher professional learning were developed. However, Professor Osborne believes that much science, if not more, is learned outside the classroom and how young people learn in that environment and what it has to offer formal education is another focus of his work—he was one of the partners in the NSF funded Centre for Informal Learning and Schools (2002–7).

Recent publications

  • Chin, C and Osborne, J, 2008, ‘Students' questions: a potential resource for teaching and learning science’, Studies in Science Education, 44(1), 1–39
  • Osborne, J F and Dillon, J, 2008, Science Education in Europe (Nuffield Foundation: London)
  • DeWitt, J and Osborne, J F, 2007, ‘Supporting Teachers on Science-focused School Trips: Towards an integrated framework of theory and practice’, International Journal of Science Education, 29, 6, 685–710
  • Osborne, J F, Erduran, S and Simon, S, 2004, ‘Enhancing the Quality of Argument in School Science’, Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 41(10), 994–1020
  • Osborne, J F, Ratcliffe, M, Collins, S, Millar, R and Duschl, R, 2003, ‘What “ideas-about-science” should be taught in school science? A Delphi Study of the “Expert” Community’, Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 40(7), 692–720
  • Osborne, J F, Simon, S and Collins, S, 2003, ‘Attitudes Towards Science: A Review of the Literature and its Implications’, International Journal of Science Education, 25(9), 1049–1079

Professor Helmuth Trischler

Head of Research, Deutsches Museum, Munich

  • Professor of Modern History and the History of Technology, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich
  • Director, Rachel Carson Center

Professor Trischler’s main research interests are knowledge societies and innovation cultures in international comparison; science, technology and European integration; transport history; and environmental history. Helmuth Trischler is the author of 36 books and edited volumes, more than 100 articles, and the co-editor of a number of book series, including Umwelt und Geschichte (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen) and The Environment in History: International Perspectives (Berghahn Books, Oxford and New York).

Selected publications

  • Trischler, H, 2016, ‘The Anthropocene – A Challenge for the History of Science’, Technology, and the Environment, NTM 24: 1–27
  • Trischler, H, and Gall, A (eds), 2016, Szenerien und Illusion: Geschichte, Varianten und Potenziale von Museumsdioramen (Göttingen: Wallstein)
  • Trischler, H and Oldenziel, R (eds), 2016, Cycling and Recycling: Histories of Sustainable Practices (New York und Oxford: Berghahn) 248 S
  • Trischler, H, Möllers, M, and Schwägerl, C (eds), 2015, Welcome to the Anthropocene: The Earth in Our Hands (Munich: Deutsches Museum)
  • Trischler, H and Kohlrausch, M, 2014, Building Europe on Expertise: Innovators, Organizers, Networkers (London: Palgrave Macmillan)
  • Trischler, H, Carson C and Kojevnikov, A (eds), 2011, Weimar Culture and Quantum Mechanics (London: Imperial College Press)
  • Trischler, H, 2010, ‘Physics and Politics: Research and Research Support in Twentieth Century Germany’, in Trischler, H and Walker M, (eds), International Perspective (Stuttgart: Steiner)
  • Trischler, H, 2007, 'Made in Germany: Die Bundesrepublik als Wissensgesellschaft und Innovationssystem’, in Hertfelder, T and Rödder A (eds), Modell Deutschland: Erfolgsgeschichte oder Illusion? (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht), pp 44–60
  • Trischler, H and Schrogl, K-U (eds), 2007, Ein Jahrhundert im Flug: Luft- und Raumfahrtforschung in Deutschland 1907 bis 2007 (Frankfurt a.M./New York: Campus)
  • Trischler, H and Lyth, P (eds), 2004, Wiring Prometheus: Globalisation, History and Technology (Aarhus: Aarhus University Press)