Planetariums between experience and enlightenment
Keywords:Science education, didactics, science centres, museum professionals, learning.
AbstractPlanetariums are committed to promoting public knowledge about astronomy and space. At the same time, they have a legacy of offering spectacular and immersive experiences in their dome programmes. These outcomes do not always sit comfortably together; in fact, international research shows that many planetarium staff members consider experience and enlightenment to be mutually exclusive. In this study, we develop the argument that enlightenment and experience do not necessarily contradict each other in the planetarium context. We survey staff members from Scandinavian planetariums on their perspectives of planetarium dome programmes, and show that here, enlightenment and experience are considered to be complementary in successful planetarium dome dissemination. We discuss these findings and offer our reflections on their implications for the practice of planetariums.
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