Last year, I shared that all good research yields even more questions. That continues to be true, but sometimes those questions align with larger ideas that come from others. Such as the Dalai Lama.
Meeting the Dalai Lama in Dharamshala, India last fall as a participant in the Fostering Universal Ethics and Compassion Through Museums Summit helped me crystallize research patterns I have been noticing into a coherent theory: that knowledge brings a "warmth of mind," or compassion. That is, if we as humans want to do more to solve the ills of the world, making it a more just and equal place for all humans, we need to consider what it is that makes people care about those issues in the first place.
But as much as I love what the Dalai Lama said, I felt the need to back it up a bit. That is, if knowledge yields empathy and compassion, what motivates that pursuit of knowledge in the first place? My research had already suggested an answer: curiosity.
And thus the storyline of the 2019 Annual Survey of Museum-Goers, as well as broader population comparison sample.
In particular, the surveys focused on the following themes:
As in previous years, I'll be releasing research findings to the field. Most will likely be in the form of infographic Data Stories, but some will be supported by short essays on The Data Museum. The Data Stories and essays will begin this summer (2019).
And now, two additional notes:
Want to make sure you don't miss one of the upcoming data releases via The Data Museum? To subscribe by email, scroll up until you see the box on the right-hand side that says "To subscribe..." Click on "subscribe" and follow the prompts. (This gets around the mystery of why the box for entering your email address actually doesn't appear, though you can click in the empty white space of the box and find where to enter it, if you are so inclined.)
I respectfully acknowledge that I live and work on the traditional lands of the Duwamish people. I thank them for the care of this land, and I endeavor to help museums bring forward a more complete and inclusive history and culture in their work.