Dispatches from the Future of Museums
Jan. 14, 2010

Museums in majority-minority America
Center for the Future of Museums
"We have no idea what it means to be Latino in 2050. None. Clueless." That's what CFM lecturer Gregory Rodriguez told a live audience in Washington a few weeks ago. Find out what else he said by joining the lecture webcast on Jan. 27, from 2 to 3:30 EST. In addition to the lecture, "Towards a New Mainstream?," the Webcast includes an overview of U.S. demographic trends in the coming decades, a live Q&A session with Rodriguez, a panel discussion and moderated chat rooms. For more details or to register, visit http://www.futureofmuseums.org/events/lecture/rodriguez.cfm.More

Being a curator was the 51st best job in 2009
The Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal lists the 200 best and worst jobs in the U.S. in 2009 based on five criteria — environment, income, employment outlook, physical demands and stress — according to a newly released study from job site CareerCast.com. No. 1 on the list is actuary.More

The numbers behind Americans' everyday lives
Washington Post
You may think that the last place to find a portrait of a nation is a book full of numbers. But turn the pages of the Statistical Abstract of the United States, and you find some intriguing figures. Mostly, you learn how we’re living and changing. ♦ View the Stat Abstract for free at http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/.More

Study: Too much TV may lead to earlier death
The more time you spend watching television, the greater your risk of dying at an earlier age, especially from heart disease, according to a new study. The bottom line: the problem isn't just TV; it's technology in general. The white collar office worker — trapped in a cubicle, fixated on a computer screen for hours on end — has had healthy basic activity engineered right out of his or her work day.More

A year into Obama's presidency, is America postracial?
Christian Science Monitor
A year ago, many Americans, mostly white ones, congratulated themselves on having moved beyond the nation's "original sin" of slavery into a "postracial America." Amid the fervor over the nation's first black president, few beyond the black media bothered to ask black Americans if they also felt the country had entered a new era.More

Too weak to lead the workplace?
Pew Research Center
Only 15 percent of Americans say that the scarcity of women in top business positions is primarily owing to their lacking the toughness required of the job. Another 16 percent saw their ascendance blocked by their shortcomings as bosses as compared with their male counterparts.More

Will U.S. museums succeed in reinventing themselves?
The Art Newspaper
"You never want a serious crisis to go to waste," Rahm Emanuel, President Obama's chief of staff likes to say. By that measure, art museums may have been handed a historic opportunity. As we all know, the Great Recession has been tough on museums, especially American ones. Layoffs, furloughs and hiring freezes have become common. Endowments shrank by up to a third during the worst of the market swoon—the larger the institution, the steeper the losses. In America, certainly, the economic downturn is hastening a realization that business-as-usual won't work anymore—and that's not necessarily a bad thing. ♦ Quotes CFM research on the future of museums.More

What will change everything?
On Point Radio from WBUR
John Brockman is the founder of the Edge Foundation, which runs the science and technology Web site Edge.org. Every year, Edge asks scientists and thinkers a "big question," and publishes the answers in a book. The latest, just out, is "This Will Change Everything: Ideas That Will Shape the Future." It's based on the 2009 question: "What game-changing scientific ideas and developments do you expect to live to see?" The 2010 question, "How is the internet changing the way you think?," has just been posted.More

Opinion: Obama's right, The wealthy don't need a huge tax break to support charity
Christian Science Monitor
What motivates people to donate to charities? The charitable deduction was first enacted into the federal tax code in 1917 as a way to possibly incentivize charity. Yet here we are in 2010, still arguing about whether reducing that incentive for the very wealthy will result in any drop-off in giving. Shouldn't we know by now?More

Nature's evolving frontier — How will it involve future generations?
The Florida Times-Union
The original frontier or the "meeting point between savagery and civilization" was closed by 1890 according to Wisconsin historian Frederick Jackson Turner. The legendary era of forests, thick enough for squirrels to leap between the trees from the Appalachian Mountains to the Mississippi River, of clear, drinkable waters flowing from the Great Lakes, of flourishing wildlife in which thousands of bison thundered across the plains and bird migrations darkened the skies — that era of pristine abundance is gone.More

DePaul University exhibition explores process of paring down museum collections
The public is invited to explore the fascinating process of how an art museum decides what works to remove from its collection in "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Museum Collections and 'Deaccessioning,'" which opens this week at the DePaul University Art Museum in Chicago. The exhibition examines the process of deaccessioning, an important but seldom discussed part of forming a well-focused museum.More

Have you bought a ticket to Orhan Pamuk's new novel yet?
The Guardian
Nobel prize-winning author Orhan Pamuk's new novel, "The Museum of Innocence," transports us from the pages of its 83 chapters to 83 displays of objects belonging to his fictional characters in his real-life Museum of Innocence expected to open in the summer of 2010 in Cukurcuma, Istanbul. The city, with its lost glory and memories of greatness past is transformed into a museum in Pamuk's work, a testament to the author's love affair with memory and his beloved hometown.More

Canadian museum rolls out unique iPhone, iPod Touch app
IT Business
The Canadian Museum of Civilization hopes to entice younger visitors by being the first museum in the country to provide audio and video guides via the iPhone and iPod Touch.More

Blind women changing views of art at the Cummer Museum
The Florida Times-Union
Orpah Abbott is a member of "Women of Vision," an 11-year-old group of 16 women ages 65 and older who lost their sight later in life and live alone. They meet monthly at the Cummer in Riverside, Fla., to appreciate art and create their own. In the process, they have radically affected the Cummer. "We are a visual arts gallery, and they have taught us to rethink things," said Hope McMath, museum director.More

How to thrive by design in tough times
American Libraries Magazine
The local economy is down, the library budget is slashed, but circulation and gate count have skyrocketed. While it may seem optimistic, hidden in this "good news/bad news" scenario most libraries are now enduring is a rare opportunity: Figure out what people really want from our libraries in order to turn novice users into loyal customers. ♦ Practical advice from the library community about using retail evaluation tools to build and retain diverse audiences.More

Why design thinking is the next competitive advantage
HBR IdeaCast via BNET
Roger Martin, dean of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, explains how companies in any industry can apply design thinking to rejuvenate business. He argues that the new competitive advantage will be a killer combination of analytical thinking plus intuitive, creative thinking.More

Try your hand at climate prediction with Climate Wizard
The Nature Conservancy, the University of Washington, and the University of Southern Mississippi have collaborated to create an online interactive "Climate Wizard."  You can review the last 50 years of data, or look at predictions out to 2050 and 2080 using one of about 30 different circulation models and emission scenarios.More

Eleven ways to visualize changes over time — A guide
Flowing Data
Deal with data? No doubt you've come across the time-based variety. The visualization you use to explore and display that data changes depending on what you're after and data types. Maybe you're looking for increases and decreases, or maybe seasonal patterns. This is a guide to help you figure out what type of visualization to use to see that stuff.More