Storytelling, Science, and Religion: Promoting Reflection and Conversation about Societal Issues

Rae Ostman, Michael L. Zirulnik, Jenny McCullough Cosgrove

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The Science & Religion project explored the relationship of science and religion through creative nonfiction stories and public programs. The overarching goal of this work was to investigate whether and how museums can encourage reflection and conversation around big, important, and difficult questions. In this paper, we contextualize the project in the movement to address societal issues in museums, describe some of the design and delivery strategies we used to create public programs that were inclusive of diverse points of view, report the programs’ impact on participants, and offer lessons learned for museum practitioners interested in similar programmatic approaches or topics. We also reflect on our own attitudes and preconceptions as museum educators, considering why we felt this was a controversial topic and why we were surprised to discover that audiences were so receptive to it.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117-134
Number of pages18
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Conservation
  • Museology


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