Friday, May 22, 2015

China 2015 | Visiting a Science Museum and Research Lab in Guangzhou

Billy Spitzer, Ph.D., is Vice President for Programs, Planning, and Exhibits at the New England Aquarium and Principal Investigator for the Aquarium’s climate change education initiatives. He is traveling to China on invitation from the U.S. State Department to discuss the Aquarium's climate change education work with several aquariums and zoos. 

Today is a bit more relaxed, with a visit to an oceanography research institute and a science museum. The South China Sea Institute of Oceanology reminded me of marine biological labs everywhere, with researchers in shorts and sandals, lots of graduate students, a generally informal atmosphere, and a small natural history museum with an old school collection of all sorts of specimens preserved in formalin. Several of the researchers had worked with our colleagues at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in the US.

Announcement for my talk on the bulletin board at the research institute

Discussion in the seminar room with research faculty and students

The Guangzhou Science Center is part of an enormous university complex outside the city. The center itself is so large it is hard to describe the feeling of walking inside. It felt like a hangar for the space shuttle. They have about 1 million visitors per year, and about 800 staff. The exhibits were generally very well done, and showed the development of science and technology in China in a cultural and historical context.

Scale model of the science center complex
Senior interpreter introducing my talk

Interactive exhibit showing stages in the growth of Guangzhou

Exhibit comparing Western and Chinese medicine

Exhibit showing how different parts of the brain activate different parts of the body

Billy will be sending periodic updates throughout his trip. Check back here for more updates.  

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