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Updated: Apr 14, 2022


In Focus: "Olympic" Miraikan By Yuko Okayama Manager of International Affairs Section Miraikan The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation Tokyo, Japan Being a part of Miraikan I started my career at Miraikan as a Science Communicator with a background in volcanology. I remember going to work every day, excited to see what kind of visitors I would meet. I’ve always loved Miraikan, both as a place to work and a place to visit.I’m proud to work for an organization that strives to be at the forefront of what is happening in the world, and with energetic colleagues who enjoy their work and strive to achieve that goal. It's not easy because I always have to be fully charged as well, but it's very inspiring and I can learn a lot. Science Communicators’ role At Miraikan, one of the things that makes us unique is our Science Communicators, but their roles have changed since I was one of them more than 10 years ago. They are no longer mere interpreters, but also scriptwriters, each infusing their own personality into the role. Whether it is an exhibition, an event, or a dialogue, they gather, analyze, and interpret science information, then consider how to best communicate with, provoke, and create opportunities for each citizen to take actions. Miraikan and this Olympic year With repeated covid-19 state of emergency declarations being issued, the Olympics have quietly come to a close, and we await the Paralympics. Miraikan is located within the vicinity of these venues. All the spectator seats are empty and the crowded scene where people from all over the world come and go has become an illusion, yet we do what we can do. A special exhibition: SuperHuman “This is my body” that scientifically explain the appeal of athletes and show the potential of the human body is currently being held. Click here to take a stroll and and enjoy walking through it just as if you are there! The link will be valid until Sept. 5 2021! Miraikan’s Vision and the role of research An open research project with citizen participation will also be held during the special exhibition. This kind of cooperation and collaboration with researchers is now a standard at Miraikan. We aim to function not only in collaboration with researchers, but also as a platform to involve all stakeholders in taking actions. With Dr. Chieko Asakawa, the new chief executive director of Miraikan, on board this April, Miraikan will continue to move forward with its vision: At Miraikan, together with you, we “Open the Future”. ***

Exchange: Yuko introduces Mr. Keiichi Daishima of the Shizuoka Science Museum “Ru.Ku.Ru I would like to take this opportunity to introduce science centers/museums community with 172 members of local science engagement institutions in Japan which is called “Japan Science Museum Association (JASMA)”. JASMA joined ASPAC as an "exoplanet" member as a country network July 2021, in expectation of the diverse information and varied activities of ASPAC. JASMA shares traveling exhibitions, lends experiment kits, promotes exchange among science centers/museums staff, provides training programs in Japan and abroad, and supports a host of projects. Allow me to introduce Mr. Keiichi Daishima of the Shizuoka Science Museum “Ru.Ku.Ru” which Mr. Tomohiro Tomita, Manager of JASMA, strongly recommends as one of the major institutions actively contributing its activities. Yuko (Y): What kind of work do you do now? Keiichi (K): Actually I do everything as a playing manager. As a local science museum with less than 30 people, I have to look at everything from business planning and budget management to lectures, science classes, special exhibitions and trainings. The special exhibitions are particularly interesting because I can be involved in all aspects of the project.

Y: What motivates most in working at Ru.Ku.Ru? K: Ru.Ku.Ru is made up of parts of three Japanese words; look, listen, and touch, and I think the idea to learn through experience fits me well.

Y: How does Ru.Ku.Ru relate to JASMA activities? K: One of the attractions of JASMA is its traveling exhibitions. It is very convenient for us to be able to circulate what we have made in our own museum to other areas, or to make good use of what other museums and research institutes have made. We also provide training sessions at JASMA meetings to share the activities and learn from each other. I especially like it when young staff members participate in training sessions and get excited resulting in a lively, learning atmosphere.

Y: How do you feel about JASMA having joined as a country network ("exoplanet") which is a new category in ASPAC membership? K: I am very much looking forward to learning not only from Japan but also from overseas and I hope this will be a good opportunity to look into the activities of various science museums in the Asia Pacific region.***

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. OH 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!

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