On Friday, Feb. 17, the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History opened their Black History Month exhibit. The exhibit, which focuses on the achievements of African Americans in the fields of science, engineering, technology and math, will be on display through Tuesday, Feb. 28.
With the exhibit, the museum hopes to promote diversity in the sciences by highlighting some of the many contributions African American scientists have made to our world, according to curator James Stemm.
“We feel it is important for people from many diverse backgrounds to see themselves represented in the sciences and to encourage an interest in science in all our visitors,” Stemm said.
The exhibit consists of posters displayed at the front of the museum’s Periodic Hall. It includes individuals like surgeon Dr. Charles Richard Drew who founded America’s first blood bank and Dr. Mae Carol Jemison, the first Black woman to travel into space. The exhibit showcases a total of nine influential African American pioneers in science, according to the museum’s website.
“We have done similar exhibits in the past, but it has been some time since we've done one. We hope to be able to do this and similar temporary exhibits more regularly in the future,” Stemm said.
The exhibits and displays at the museum present the diverse influences and applications of nuclear science in the past, present and future through temporary and permanent exhibits. Visitors can read the stories of pioneers in nuclear science and explore how science continues to affect our world, according to their website.
“I think what the museum offers is an exploration of the complex and often controversial topics surrounding nuclear science and technology. We try to present the information in a way that encourages people to consider different viewpoints on these issues without passing judgment on them. This is a very unique place for people to get a closeup view of both the military and civil aspects of nuclear technologies and their impact on the world and culture,” Stemm said.
A significant portion of the museum visitors come from outside the region, according to Stemm. One of those visitors was Linda Smith, a retired analyst from Minnesota.
“It was really well done,” Smith said.
To New Mexico local Aimara Coronado, the exhibit strengthened her existing interest in science.
“I’m a big science nerd, so learning about nuclear science was very interesting for me,“ Coronado said.
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The National Museum of Nuclear Science & History is located at 601 Eubank Blvd Southeast and is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Miyawni Curtis is a freelance reporter at the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at email@example.com or on Twitter @MiyawniCurtis