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Home  > G. Brown Goode Smithsonian Education Lecture Series Documentation
G. Brown Goode Smithsonian Education Lecture Series
The Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies produces the annual G. Brown Goode Smithsonian Education Lecture Series. Through this series, named after the Smithsonian’s earliest proponent of museums as educational institutions, Smithsonian staff can help keep abreast of emerging developments in education pertaining to many aspects of their work, from exhibit design to outreach in the schools.

The 2010 theme is:
New Ways to Broaden Access by Engaging Audiences

“How WEB 2.0 Is Changing the Nature of Museum Work”
Lynda Kelly, Ph.D.
Head of Audience Research, Australian Museum
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (Ring Auditorium)
Washington, DC
Friday, May 21, 2010
2:30–4:30 pm

Critics have argued that museums need to move from merely supplying information to providing usable knowledge and tools that enable visitors to explore their own ideas and reach their own conclusions. The argument seems especially relevant today, when technology gives individuals access to communication, information gathering, and analysis.  Dr. Kelly’s presentation will examine the impact of Web 2.0 across museums, focusing on three areas of museum practice: learning, exhibition development, and organizational change.

Lynda Kelly, Ph.D., has published widely in museum evaluation, and writes the Audience Research ( blog, with a readership of about 1,500 a month. She is particularly interested in visitor experiences and learning and how these can be measured; young children’s learning; indigenous evaluation; strategic uses of audience research; and new technologies in organizational change.  She claims to be “happily obsessed with all things Web 2.0 and is curious to see how this will change the world that museums operate within, and the ways people learn.”  Dr. Kelly also administers Museum 3.0 (, a social networking site for museum professionals, with an active, global membership of over 2,000.  Her latest book, Hot Topics, Public Culture, Museums, co-edited with Dr. Fiona Cameron, University of Western Sydney, will be published in 2010.

“Citizen Science”
Rick Bonney
Director of Program Development and Evaluation, Cornell Lab of Ornithology
National Museum of Natural History (Executive Conference Room)
Washington, DC
September 14, 2010

Rick Bonney is the co-founder of the Cornell Lab’s citizen science program, and his research focuses on developing projects in which the public actively participates in scientific investigation and environmental conservation, and understanding the social and educational impacts of public participation in research. He also advises numerous projects throughout North America that are developing exhibits, curricula, interactive websites, and community programs focused on science. He was principal investigator of two National Science Foundation-funded invitational workshops, “Web Designs for Interactive Learning” ( and “Citizen Science Toolkit” ( He is co-editor of the second edition of the Lab of Ornithology’s Home Study Course in Bird Biology, which includes the Cornell Handbook of Bird Biology (Princeton University Press, 2004), and has published more than two dozen technical papers, reports, book chapters, and conference proceedings about birds and science education and more than 100 newspaper and magazine articles about birds, natural history, and environmental concerns.


G. Brown Goode Smithsonian Education Lecture Series 2010

“How WEB 2.0 Is Changing the Nature of Museum Work”
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (Ring Auditorium)
Friday, May 21, 2010
Replay available here.

“Citizen Science”
National Museum of Natural History (Executive Conference Room)
September 14, 2010
Replay available here.

G. Brown Goode Smithsonian Education Lecture Series 2009

“Forces Shaping the Future of Museums” (PDF)
“Through the Looking Glass: Museums and Internet-Based Transparency”

March 11, 2009
Replay available here.

 “Forces Shaping the Future of Museums: Visitors”
April 22, 2009
Replay available here.

G. Brown Goode Smithsonian Education Lecture Series 2008

The Necessity of Making the Invisible Visible: The Challenges of Using Museums in Formal Education
S. Dillon Ripley Center
Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Replay available here.

Learning Across Time and Place: The Role of Museums in the Informal Educational Landscape

Ring Auditorium, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
Monday, March 3, 2008

Replay available here.

G. Brown Goode Smithsonian Education Lecture Series 2007 (PDF)

Fostering Critical Thinking in Schools and Museums
Ring Auditorium, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
Thursday, June 28, 2007

Replay available here.

From Research Lab to Classroom: Can Cutting Edge Science Influence the Schools?
Thursday, May 31, 2007
Replay available here.

G. Brown Goode Smithsonian Education Lecture Series 2006 (PDF)

Animals in Translation -
How Animals Think and Feel

Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Replay available here.

Learning on Location with Handhelds in Museums
Thursday, September 21, 2006
Replay available here.

George Brown Goode
George Brown Goode (1851-1896), ichthyologist and museum administrator, received his B.S. degree from Wesleyan University in 1870. After a year of postgraduate study with Louis Agassiz at Harvard University, Goode returned to Wesleyan to direct the Judd Museum of Natural History.

In 1872, Goode met Spencer F. Baird, Assistant Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution and United States Fish Commissioner. He quickly became Baird’s chief pupil and assistant. In 1873, Goode was appointed Assistant Curator in the United States National Museum (USNM), a position he retained until 1877 when his title was changed to Curator. In 1881, when the new USNM building was completed, Goode was promoted to Assistant Director. On January 12, 1887, Goode was appointed Assistant Secretary in charge of the USNM, and he remained the chief administrative officer of the museum until his death.

Goode’s primary scientific interest was ichthyology, and he published both specialized and popular works on fish and fisheries. In addition to his duties at the USNM, Goode also served in various capacities for the United States Commission of Fish and Fisheries. After Baird’s death in 1887, Goode assumed the position of Fish Commissioner until January 1888.

Goode was regarded as the premier American museum administrator of his era. In 1881, he issued Circular No. 1 of the National Museum which set forth a comprehensive scheme of organization for the museum. Goode was involved in designing and installing Smithsonian and Fish Commission exhibits at many of the international expositions held during the latter half of the nineteenth century. Goode was also a historian, bibliographer, and genealogist, and he published several papers on the history of American science.

Selected quotes on the purpose and function of museums from G. Brown Goode:

“The people’s museum should be much more than a house full of specimens in glass cases. It should be a house full of ideas. . . .”
Museum History and Museums of History, p. 306

“The museum cultivates the powers of observation, and the casual visitor even makes discoveries for himself, and, under the guidance of the labels, forms his own impression. In the library one studies the impressions of others.”
Museum History and Museums of History, p. 310

“The museum of the future must stand side by side with the library and the laboratory, as a part of the teaching equipment of the college and university, and in the great cities cooperate with the public library as one of the principal agencies for the enlightenment of the people.”
Museums of the Future, p. 332

“The museum…is the most powerful and useful auxiliary of all systems of teaching by means of object lessons.”
Museums of the Future, p. 322

“The museum likewise must, in order to perform its proper functions, contribute to the advancement of learning through the increase as well as through the diffusion of knowledge.”
Museums of the Future, p. 337

Quotes taken from:
Goode, George Brown, The Origins of Natural Science in America, edited by Sally Gregory Kohlstedt, Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1991.

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