March 22-25, 2006
Albuquerque, New Mexico

Interactions: Description

Creating A Research Agenda for the Cognitive Sciences, Museums and Technology

Leonard Steinbach, The Cleveland Museum of Art, USA

This professional forum will explore current issues in the cognitive sciences as they relate to museums and technology. The first glimpse of a proposed "Research Agenda for the Cognitive Sciences, Museums and Technology" will also be shared with participants having the opportunity to discuss and respond to that agenda, and become a part of the ongoing agenda vetting process.

The study and understanding of the relationship among art, technology, and the mind and how today's pervasive technology effects the way we relate to the world around us has been accelerating at an extraordinary pace. This knowledge would seem to have profound implications for the role of technology in museums and web sites, and how it might be used to achieve the best kind of on-site or online visitor experience, deep learning or other desired effect. Yet, as this mystery starts to unravel, it is also apparent that the necessary research to transform this knowledge into "an applied science" is not only far from complete, to a great extent it is far from being started!

This past January, a unique collaboration of the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art - Cleveland, the Cleveland Institute of Art, the New Media Consortium, and the cognitive science department of Case Western Reserve University convened an international gathering of close to 50 artists, technologists, art educators, cognitive scientists, and museum professionals to explore these issues in a two-day symposium, Understanding the New Dynamic: Art, Technology and the Mind. One outcome of that gathering was the identified need for a formal research agenda that will help bring useful answers and guidance to the museum and museum/technology communities. A preliminary "discussion draft" list was created. This professional forum isthe first public venue where the outcomes of this event are being made public, and response to these outcomes will help shape the next steps in furthering the agenda.

Professional Forum: Cognition [Issues]

Keywords: cognitive science, design, brain, mind