EAGER: Science and Ethics in Informal STEM Contexts

Tuesday, December 1, 2020 to Wednesday, November 30, 2022
Resource Type:
Project Descriptions
Environment Type: 
Media and Technology, Broadcast Media, Films and IMAX
General Public | Museum/ISE Professionals | Scientists
Education and learning science | General STEM
Access and Inclusion: 
University of Rhode Island

As part of its overall strategy to enhance learning in informal environments, the Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL) program seeks to advance new approaches to, and evidence-based understanding of, the design and development of STEM learning in informal environments. This includes providing multiple pathways for broadening access to and engagement in STEM learning experiences, advancing innovative research on and assessment of STEM learning in informal environments, and developing understandings of deeper learning by participants. This EAGER seeks to explore the state of research ethics in practice in science and, specifically, how ethics plays out in informal STEM institutions, through lenses of multiple cultural traditions and perspectives. By means of producing a documentary, Decolonizing Science, the project will engage scientists and informal STEM educators in considering how informal STEM institutions could re-envision their work to fundamentally embrace inclusivity and belonging. The exploratory process will challenge and inform informal STEM learning institutions and the scientists with whom they work to consider how to navigate contemporary social tensions, support research that values diverse perspectives, and promote decolonizing practices. A significant component of the project includes screenings, workshops, and difficult conversations, in conjunction with informal learning institutions that are already on the front lines of new language and knowledge creation. The project will be a collaborative process as participants' thoughts, views, and arguments will shape the project from the beginning. Once the film is made, collaboration will continue by engaging science-based practitioners at institutions that serve communities of color and that are invested in working towards greater diversity, inclusivity, equity, and access. Discussions related to the film's screenings will inform how informal learning institutions can radically re-imagine their work and their spaces, including teaching, curation, research, communication, and knowledge and literature production.

The film will explore the origins, creation, and evolution of Western science as an enterprise that can sublimate, marginalize and re-narrativize the practices, procedures, ethics, and contributions of the underrepresented people of color in science. Through focus groups, interviews, and facilitated discussions, this EAGER will document and share the interactions among scientists, informal STEM educators, and filmmakers as they explore how to practice more ethical science in communities of color, on their lands, and within their nations, as well as how science can be portrayed and enacted within informal STEM learning institutions. The project seek to challenge and shift both informal STEM learning institutions and the sciences, through a yet-untested, well-considered, and humane approach to ethical practices of science and their implementation in informal STEM learning institutions through a film and by envisioning possible futures.

This project is jointly funded by Directorate for Education and Human Resources/Advancing Informal STEM Learning Program, the Directorate for Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences Ethical and Responsible Research program and the Directorate for Geosciences Education and Diversity program.

This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

Funding Program: 
Cultivating Cultures of Ethica, AISL, Integrat & Collab Ed & Rsearch
Award Number: 
Funding Amount: 

Team Members

Kendall MooreKendall MoorePrincipal Investigator
Amelia MooreAmelia MooreCo-Principal Investigator

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