Museum of Science to Host World Wide Views on Biodiversity Forum

September 13, 2012

BOSTON - The Museum of Science, Boston will serve as a U.S. host of World Wide Views on Biodiversity Saturday, September 15, 2012. The museum is one of more than 30 host sites in 25 countries on four continents for the citizen participation project focused on the global issue of biodiversity. In each participating country around 100 citizens deliberate in a daylong meeting on what has to be done to halt the worldwide loss of biological diversity.

World Wide Views on Biodiversity encourages citizens around the world to discuss policymaking and raise awareness of biodiversity. Participants will share ideas and debate important issues and challenges regarding the global loss of biological diversity. The project was created by the Danish Board of Technology and its partners and is supported by the Secretariat of the UN-Convention on Biological Diversity.

World Wide Views was designed to provide policymakers with information and give them the opportunity to take citizens' views into account. The results of World Wide Views discussions around the world will be presented to the delegates of the Convention on Biological Diversity one month later at the COP11 Meeting in India. Experts, NGOs, industries and politicians already have a say in these international negotiations. The meeting aims for making the voices of citizens heard as well. The diversity of the citizen vote is safeguarded through a representative recruitment of laypeople of all ages, origins, professions, gender and education. The global proceedings will deliver detailed and in depth results and different views on a global challenge that affects everyday life of people around the world, in developed as well as in developing countries.

About the Museum's Role in World Wide Views

The Museum-hosted event, presented in partnership with the Science, Technology and Society (STS) Initiative at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, will connect Boston-area residents to an international network of ideas and possible solutions to the loss of biodiversity. This distinction will give citizens from Greater Boston the chance to make recommendations about global policy relating to this critical topic.

"As humans, we depend on the extraordinary variety of life on Earth, but we sometimes forget that we are part of the natural world," said David Sittenfeld, manager of the Museum's Forum program and site host for the Boston regional event. "The Museum is honored to host this forum and lead the conversation with Boston's citizens that could impact global policy on biodiversity. We're excited to hear the participants' thoughts and concerns, while giving our community the opportunity to communicate their policy recommendations on such a critical issue."

The Museum's long-standing commitment to educating and inspiring people to make informed decisions about science and technology aligns with the mission of World Wide Views. Through its innovative Forum program, the Museum has engaged members of the public in conversations about the impact of science and technology on the individual, society, and the environment. Forum programs bring together diverse groups of citizens, stakeholders, and scientists on emerging topics like nanotechnology, alternative energy sources, and toxic pollution, and invite them to discuss the issues.

Following the World Wide Views forum on September 15th, the Museum will host Biodiversity Day on Sunday, November 18, where museumgoers will be able to take tours inside and outside the Museum's Exhibit Halls and interact with scientists, naturalists, and members of the public. Visitors will explore ways that biological diversity provides us with food, medicine, materials for industry, and a cleaner and healthier environment. Visitors can then add their voice to the global conversation about major threats to biological diversity and how to protect Earth's resources.

The full-day forum on September 15 at the Museum of Science, Boston begins at 9:00 a.m. To join the conversation on Twitter, please follow: #wwviews.

About the Museum of Science

One of the world's largest science centers and Boston's most attended cultural institution, the Museum introduces about 1.5 million visitors a year to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) via dynamic programs and hundreds of interactive exhibits. Founded in 1830, the Museum was first to embrace all the sciences under one roof. Highlights include the Thomson Theater of Electricity, Charles Hayden Planetarium, Mugar Omni Theater, Gordon Current Science & Technology Center, 3-D Digital Cinema and Butterfly Garden. Reaching 25,000 teens a year worldwide via the Intel Computer Clubhouse Network, the Museum also leads a 10-year, $41 million National Science Foundation-funded Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network of science museums. The Museum's "Science Is an Activity" exhibit plan has been awarded many NSF grants and influenced science centers worldwide. Its National Center for Technological Literacy®'s engineering curricula have reached 35,500 teachers and close to 3 million students nationwide. The Museum has also: been recognized by Boston and Cambridge for its energy and sustainability efforts; named an Employer of Choice by Work Without Limits, a Massachusetts disability employment initiative; is Yankee Magazine's "Best of New England Readers' Choice" for Cultural Attraction in Science; and is El Planeta's Best Tourist Attraction for the Massachusetts Latino population. Visit http://www.mos.org.

Press Contacts

AJ Gosselin: 617.589.0251 or agosselin@mos.org