[Newsletter - August 2022] New Masters from AMEL 2022, Ongoing Reg for ASPAC AC 2022, and the Magnif
"NEW MASTERS FROM AMEL 2022"
The online ASPAC Masterclass for Emerging Leaders (AMEL) for 2023 for science communicators and was held last July 28 and 29. Everyone experienced a great exchange of ideas and the participants expressed how refreshing and heartwarming it was to be with their colleagues across the network. A feedback form has been sent to the participants this week so we can harvest your insights and also suggestions on how we can make our masterclasses even better.
A very big THANK YOU to our excellent and generous Master Troupers Graham Walker, Patrick Helean, Britt Lewis, Mikee Estorga and Pecier Decierdo (he helped in the program preparations but could not attend the masterclass because of unforeseen circumstances.) Shout-out too to our AMEL Tech team from The Mind Museum, Rizza de Claro and Aaron Espinosa. The Tech team also sends their most sincere apologies for the tech glitches caused by the power disruptions from the recent earthquake in the Philippines. *
Regular Registration now ongoing for the ASPAC ANNUAL CONFERENCE IN BURSA, TURKEY!
This year's ASPAC Conference will be in Bursa Science Center inTurkey from October 5-7 (with Oct 4 as the pre-conference and Oct 8 for the field trips). The theme is "The Role of Science Centers and Museums in Culture and Change."
One of our keynotes is a neuroscientist, Dr. Pireeni Sundaralingam, who will blow your mind with the latest insights about how our brain is coping with all the modern upheavals in being human. A detailed description of her keynote will soon be found in our ASPAC conference 2022 website.
We encourage everyone to consider going in this first in-person annual conference since 2019! If you can come, it will be our form of strong affirmation that amidst all the very tough challenges in the world now on all fronts, the work we do will help us change ourselves and the world for the better and therefore, worth all the time, energy and resources we devote to it. Click here to register! *
The MagnifiScience Centre: An Oasis
by Christoph S. Sprung
As a Berlin-native political scientist with extensive experience working on South Asian issues - and having worked and lived in Switzerland for more than a decade - I recently found myself at a new professional height. Today, as the director of Pakistan’s first contemporary and interactive science centre, I wonder how this happened: simply, in the middle of the pandemic, I got an opportunity to make a complete change and move to Karachi. After working for half a year for a major industry conglomerate, I was invited to transfer to lead the latest project of The Dawood Foundation (TDF). At the end of September 2021, TDF opened the MagnifiScience Centre (MSC) which offers hands-on learning experiences about science to improve science literacy. The not-for-profit foundation focuses on informal learning projects in the southern port city.
In contrast to most of the existing educational practices in the country – and the region - the MSC supports the development of critical thinking and problem-solving skills. MSC’s goal is to encourage people of all ages and backgrounds to explore and engage with science in an interactive and fun way.
The first time I visited this centrally located and newly constructed building, I instantly felt the buzzing atmosphere. The premises are surrounded by a nearly 200-year old wall and with a flush green garden full of indigenous plants and trees, like an oasis in a desert of houses and buildings in the city. I found it intoxicating to be surrounded by young, energetic and conscious staff, eager and proud to contribute to a project where every idea is welcome and can be realised. I felt like I was in a laboratory of ideas, where every thought is treated as a contribution with the potential to transform anything.
Having practised half my working life in events and programming in a multistakeholder environment at the intersection between governments, businesses, and civil society, I feel here now - even as a non-STEM-scientist – to be in the position to contribute what makes the centre even more a people’s place: a platform for everyone in Karachi and beyond. Our inclusive team of over 150 people consists of all language and religious constellations as well as different educational and life backgrounds.
Among the nearly 160.000 visitors we had the privilege to welcome during the last ten months at the centre, the most memorable moments were to welcome children of underprivileged areas and schools from the city and outside. One could see in their glowing faces and shining eyes that a visit to the centre was a lifetime experience. I can only hope that a visit is a starting point on a road paved of better education, logical thinking and towards an independent life of many opportunities.
The MSC has opened but is not completed yet. We’re aiming to open our last floor by the end of the year. Meanwhile, everything at the MSC is a first. Our first Christmas, first Holi, and first Ramzan and Eid. Our first open evening at the science centre. Our first summer camp, first programme, first television coverage. And in October we will experience our first ASPAC meeting in Bursa, where we hope to meet like-minded colleagues from the community to build new bridges from Karachi. It’s a wonderful feeling to be part of this from the beginning, while sitting in the driver seat – with a competent and future oriented team.*
Post your events on FB: Any ASPAC member can post their events and offerings in the ASPAC FB page. That will be the best platform for all our simultaneous announcements. However, should there be an event that you need the ASPAC leadership to officially endorse and solicit participation in, please click here to email details to the current Executive Director.
and IF YOU LOVE TO WRITE...: Whatever your role in your organization, if you love to write, please send me your article on whatever it is you think would be worthwhile to share with ASPAC. I cannot predict or limit what that will be as there are so many connections between our work and the rest of what others in the world are doing, This is especially ripe in these strangest of times. We are excited to see your insights! Please send me your piece and we will see how it fits in our ASPAC human story. We are excited to unearth the evolving pool of ASPAC writers! Thank you!