Thesis ID: CBB197222725

Marketing Agencies for Science: Nonprofits, Public Science Education, and Capitalism in Modern America (2021)


Sease, Kasey Marie (Author)
Petty, Adrienne (Advisor)

The College of William and Mary
Petty, Adrienne
Publication date: 2021
Language: English

Publication Date: 2021
Physical Details: 300

Marketing Agencies for Science: Nonprofits, Public Science Education, and Capitalism in Modern America explores how the manmade environment of capitalism generated and transformed nonprofit public science education from the nineteenth century to today. Each chapter considers four untold histories of public-serving organizations—including the Smithsonian Institution and the Science Museum of Virginia—across nearly 200 years to identify common trends in, and unique transformations to, the ways that Americans teach each other about science. Ultimately, nonprofit institutions taught Americans more than lessons in physics or chemistry; they communicated the practical value of scientific knowledge to attract visitors and financial support. For-profit aspects of capitalism, including mass production and the accumulation of capital, were integral to the ways that philanthropic and public-serving organizations—typically designated as nonprofits today—first created and continued to offer science education. The public that nonprofits targeted varied over time, and immigrants, African Americans, and women of all backgrounds demanded affordable access to science instruction, effectively forging a gateway into scientific professions that are still in need of greater diversity today. Furthermore, nonprofit institutions blurred the boundary between accessible science information and profit in the United States as they developed profit-seeking forms and strategies to support public-serving ventures. As such, this project, unlike others that examine public science education, emphasizes how people reproduce and change the conditions of capitalism while embracing its underlying assumptions. Research institutions sold accessible science books to survive economic depressions; curators designed exhibitions to communicate an intimate relationship between scientific discoveries and economic progress; and for-profit corporations funded groundbreaking innovations that redefined, and increased the cost of, science education. As capitalism changed in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, so too did the lessons that nonprofits communicated to Americans about science.

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Authors & Contributors
Bensaude-Vincent, Bernadette
Berkowitz, Carin
Christensen, Lars Lindberg
Cowan, Brian
Djerf-Pierre, Monika
Fortey, Richard A.
Science Communication
História, Ciências, Saúde---Manguinhos
Public Understanding of Science
Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society
Historical Records of Australian Science
Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences
Alfred A. Knopf
MIT Press
University of Pittsburgh Press
Empire State Editions - Fordham University Press
Public understanding of science
Science and society
Communication of scientific ideas
Science education and teaching
Societies; institutions; academies
Laby, Thomas Howell
Moses, Robert
Osborn, Henry Fairfield
Futter, Ellen
Tweed, William Marcy
Green, Andrew Haswell
Time Periods
21st century
20th century
20th century, late
19th century
17th century
18th century
United States
Great Britain
Natural History Museum (London, England)
American Museum of Natural History

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