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Re: Another View (Was Review of AMNH Lost World Exhibit)

On Sat, 9 Aug 1997 00:15:29 +0000 dunn1@IDT.NET writes:
>> From:          jamolnar@juno.com
>> On Tue, 5 Aug 1997 22:38:38 +0000 dunn1@IDT.NET writes:
>> > How would you like it if your kids were taking a class on 
>Classical Mythology and 
>> >you discovered that their teacher's sole method of instruction was 
>> >show the kids an episode of "Hercules" every class?
>> What if this led the kids to the library to learn more? And they 
>> out the TV episodes the teacher showed were full of errors? 
>Kids do not question everything they learn in school, especially at 
>the pre-college level.  I submit that they question very little 
>of it.  Even many colleges today do not teach students to think 

You didn't answer my point.  I submit kids don't just learn in school. 
They eventually get exposed to other versions of myths, dinosaur facts,
etc.  They don't have to question it consciously, but they do notice the
differences.  Then they begin to form questions, even if it is the basic
one of "who's right?"

>> >Would you like it any more if you found out that UPN was helping 
>>> the school?  Was providing free vacations to the staff?
>> So what? 
>The school is taking money from the network so that the
>network can turn the students into good little consumer zombies.  
>This should not be the goal of the school.   The Lost World exhibit 
>is selling Mercedes cars and Spielberg movies at the American Museum 
>of Natural History.  This should not be the goal of the museum.

And it isn't the goal of the museum.  If that's what you got out of the
exhibit, the fault may not be the museum's.

>> I work for a non-profit, and all that means is that tourists,
>> local school systems, philanthropists, generous business and 
>> sponsors and {a little bit} local and state taxpayers pay my salary. 
>> Does that mean that if one of the corporate sponsors is a major 
>> that we shouldn't solicit their generosity?  
>(snip of taking polluter's money)
>Take as much of the pollutor's money for your museum as you can fit 
>in your pockets.  That's not a compromise of your mission. Let 
>them affect the way you teach whatever it is you teach, and you've 
>compromised your mission. Correct? 


>Or would you take their 
>money if they required that you put their logo all over your exhibits 
>and that you equivocate on environmental displays to represent their 
>own form of polluting in a more positive light? 

We've taken their money and put their logo all over _their_ sponsored
exhibit banners.  However, no sponsor dictates the content of the
exhibit.  That's part of the solicitation of funds agreement.  Mercedes &
Spielberg didn't dictate that their logos were on any other AMNH
exhibits, did they? Just banners for their exhibit.

>> I applaud your high standards, but life is full of compromises, 
>> Live with it.
>No.  Because you've chosen to live with it does not mean we all have 
>to.  I can choose to keep away, and keep my son away, from 
>Hollywood-product-masquarading-as-dinofact exhibits, and I 
>can give others my opinion to spare them the $12.00-a-head for such 
>"exhibits" if they are so inclined to miss them (and will continue to 
>do so). 

And you have the perfect right to do that.   However, I also have the
perfect right to pay for such an exhibit, knowing AMNH will be getting
some percentage of that money for their programs.  I've been a member
since 1969 and have never let it lapse.  I won't throw a baby out with
the bathwater, as others have said.

I have chosen to work here because the good my employer does outweighs
the bad of any corporate sponsors.  In fact, a few corporate sponsors
start out as just donors to get the tax break, then when they find out
what goes on here (many times from their kids), they end up volunteering
at functions, at the museum itself, on the board, etc., get
eco-conscious, and make changes back at the business.  Many big changes
start one person at a time, behind the scenes.

The dinosaurs of our Dinamation Dinosaur exhibit are not all correct
either.  Our compromise is for our interpreters to let people know about
the errors and enjoy them anyway.  We're not going to refuse certain
models because new information has made them obsolete.  We work with
them.  Some compromises, you have to work with.

Judy Molnar
Education Associate, Virginia Living Museum
All questions are valid; all answers are tentative.