On February 29, 2016 Principal Investigators and project staff for AISL (Advancing Informal STEM Learning) projects funded by the National Science Foundation will convene outside of Washington, DC for the bi-annual meeting, hosted by CAISE (Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education). However, one distinguished informal science education leader’s absence will be notably felt.
Throughout his career, Dr. Alan J. Friedman was committed to making science more appealing and accessible to everyone. As the founding director of the astronomy and physics education program at the University of California- Berkeley’s Lawrence Hall of Science, he developed science education projects for children, teachers, and adults. He served as the senior planning consultant at the Conseiller Scientifique et Muséologique, Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie for a new national museum in Paris. Alan was the director of the New York Hall of Science (NYSCI) for 22 years, where one of his many accomplishments included the development of a science career program for high school and college students. This program helps students relate science to the issues in their own communities. He was also an original founder, Co-PI, and advisor of CAISE. While with the National Center, he was the inspiration for and founding director of the SENCER-ISE initiative.
Since his death on May 4, 2014, Dr. Alan J. Friedman’s contributions to informal science education have been recognized by many of the organizations with which he worked. To honor our colleague, mentor, and respected friend, we commissioned a special issue of our Science Education & Civic Engagement: an International Journal. This issue, which was guest edited by Dr. Margaret Honey, president and CEO of NYSCI, features tributes to Alan’s life and work as well as project reports and articles from informal science and higher education professionals. Dr. Ellen Mappen, director of SENCER-ISE, solicited for and edited the tribute section. He is also honored by NYSCI’s new Alan J. Friedman Center for the Development of Young Scientists, the Association of Science-Technology Centers Alan J. Friedman Science Center Dialogues, which made its inaugural debut the at 2015 annual conference, and more.
A limited printing of our ordinarily e-journal will be made available to Alan’s colleagues at the AISL PI meeting. Printing is made possible by contributions from the Noyce Foundation and the Alan J. Friedman Center for the Development of Young Scientists at NYSCI. The complete Summer 2015 tribute issue of the Science Education & Civic Engagement: an International Journal is available online.