Editor's Advisory: Reporters invited to cover kickoff of new science education center

What: The launch of the new Center for Informal Learning and Schools (CILS), an international collaboration to improve science education by integrating the best of the informal learning that takes place in zoos, aquaria, natural history museums, and "hands-on" science centers with the formal learning that takes place in schools.

Keynote speaker and former astronaut Kathryn D. Sullivan will discuss "The Nature of Informal Science Institutions." The first U.S. woman to walk in space, Sullivan is president and chief executive officer of the Center of Science & Industry in Ohio and former chief scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

This meeting brings together the three collaborating institutions--the Exploratorium, the University of California, Santa Cruz, and King's College London.

When: Monday, February 4, 10 a.m. to noon

Where: The Exploratorium, Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco

Who: Goéry Delacôte, executive director of the Exploratorium, professor of physics at the University of Paris, and former director of Science and Technology Information, one of eight scientific divisions of the French Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique.

M.R.C. Greenwood, chancellor of UC Santa Cruz, a professor of biology, former White House associate director for science at the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and former president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Arthur Lucas, chancellor of King's College London, a professor of science curriculum studies, and deputy vice chancellor of the University of London.

Background: With funding from the National Science Foundation, CILS will build a bridge between the worlds of academic and informal science education. Participants will research and compare strategies of imparting scientific content. CILS will train educators, conduct research, and prepare the leaders of tomorrow's science centers. Additional financial support is provided by the NEC Foundation of America and the Noyce Foundation. For more information, visit



Editor's Note: The morning session includes an 11 a.m. photo opportunity tour of the Exploratorium.