Teaching Science to the General Public Mission of the Wagner Free Institute of Science Wagner Free Institute of Science, 1700 W. Montgomery Ave., Philadelphia, PA Chartered in 1855 “Science education should be available to everyone” Branch No. 1 of the Free Library of Philadelphia (1892)
Wagner Free Institute of Science, 1700 W. Montgomery Ave., Philadelphia, PA
The Institute has continued to carry out Wagner's initial goals of offering free science courses, while also functioning as a library, lecture hall and museum. In this sense, the Free Institute exists much as it did in the 19th century, although the surrounding North Philadelphia neighborhood has lost the opulence which fostered the museum. Due to its now remote locale, the museum has sunk into relative obscurity, and is unknown even to many Philadelphians.
Leidy personally developed and supervised the reorganization of the collection into systematic displays. Specimens and cases were arranged so that visitors moved from simpler to more complex organisms and through geologic time as they walked through the exhibition hall.
2000-2001 Genetic Engineering And Its Impact On Society 2001-2002 Human Genetics in the Genomics Age 2002-2003 Bioterrorism 2003-2004 Genetic Aspects of Infectious Diseases2004-2005 Genetics and Popular Culture 2005-2006 Genetics of Inherited Diseases
diversity, expectations from the course (content), self-image as “students of science”
Challenges as the instructor
presentation of highly technical information, limited resources, impact of controversial topics, designing assignments for the certificate program
Other outreach – Home schoolers, Genetics Mentor Network, responding to random website inquiries