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Paper: Everyone Knows What a Scientist Looks Like: The Image of a Modern Scientist
Volume: 400, Preparing for the 2009 International Year of Astronomy: A Hands-on Symposium
Page: 304
Authors: Enevoldsen, A.A.G.
Abstract: Children are inspired to follow career paths when they can imagine themselves there. Seeing pictures of adult individuals who look like them working in a given career can provide this spark to children’s imaginations. Most (though not all) of the current available posters of scientists are of Einstein, and Einsteinlike scientists. This is not representative of the current face of science.

To change this, Pacific Science Center will host a photography exhibit: photographs of real, current scientists from all races, genders, beliefs, and walks of life. Photos will be taken and short biographies written by Discovery Corps Interns (Pacific Science Center’s youth development program) to increase the amount of direct contact between students and scientists, and to give the exhibit an emotional connection for local teachers and families. We plan to make the photographs from this exhibit available to teachers for use in their classrooms, in addition to being displayed at Pacific Science Center during the International Year of Astronomy.

The objectives of this project are to fill a need for representative photographs of scientists in the world community and to meet two of the goals of the International Year of Astronomy: to provide a modern image of science and scientists, and to improve the gender-balanced representation of scientists at all levels and promote greater involvement by under-represented minorities in scientific and engineering careers.

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