Assistant Professor, Science
MPhil, PhD University of Cambridge, UK
Physics, University of Cologne, Germany
Erik Stengler teaches the courses in the Science Museum Studies Track at CGP, situating science museums, science centers and planetariums in the wider context of science communication. Stengler is committed to the idea that science museums need to incorporate a new generation of museum professionals with a solid grounding in museum studies to ensure that these institutions remain relevant to society in the 21st century by appealing to audiences that are not normally interested in science.
Stengler has extensive experience in science museum education, programming, exhibition design and outreach, having led several large publicly funded projects to take museum activities to underserved communities, including remote islands, prisons, senior citizens and hospitals; or unexpected places, like beaches, music festivals, fun fairs and village squares.
Stengler belongs to the generation of astrophysicists whose career was inspired by Carl Sagan and he is thrilled to be teaching so near the place where he lived and worked. As an astronomer, Stengler worked in the field of Observational Cosmology, with Prof Alexander Boksenberg, one of the leading scientists in the study of QSO absorption lines, using data from space-based observatories: the International Ultraviolet Explorer and the Hubble Space Telescope.
Once in the field of Science Communication, Stengler developed a practice-based research interest in Science Museums and also in science in popular culture, most specifically in TV and film. In both areas Stengler has published various articles, book chapters and edited conference proceeding volumes, often in close collaboration with students whom he likes to encourage to present at conferences and meetings.