This is fantastic, because there has been something I've been dreaming about for the last few years: an institute for science education & outreach research in Canada. Here is my wish list:
- The institute must be housed in a giant old mansion (in London, of course)!
- It will be a relatively small institute, with 1-2 researchers from each major area of science (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Astronomy, Earth Science, Health Science, Math, and Computer Science)
- These researchers won't necessarily have specific training in education research, but a definite passion and enthusiasm is a must!
- Each researcher will work on projects that they feel are important to their corner of the science world, but all researchers will collaborate on large projects as well
- We will collaborate with anyone interested in science education research at the university level
- We will partner with other science outreach programs
- We will have post-doc and graduate student fellowships, and partner with traditional science departments so students can do both
- We will host teaching conferences and workshops for our more science-based colleagues that are interested in honing their education skill set
- We will host day- and summer- camps for school aged children, so they can learn about science in a fun, interactive way
- We will host tutoring and counseling (career or otherwise) sessions for high school and university students
- No assholes, know-it-alls, or egotistical maniacs allowed
- There will be free on-site day-care, where everyone is free to visit their child(ren) at any time, and the staff are trained to deal with any request
- There will a "pumping" suite - complete with relaxing music, comfy chairs, and interesting books/magazines to read
- There will be a full kitchen, with plenty of seating!
- There would be a gym and a pool!
- There will be two coffee breaks and lunch every day
- There will be no set hours, and all staff are able to work from home
- All meetings will be scheduled at reasonable times (i.e., after 9am and before 4pm), and staff can telecon in to meetings anytime
- There will be amazing health care benefits, and one-year paid parental leave
- There will be many social events, to which all staff will attend not because they have too but because they are truly friends with their co-workers, and significant others and children are always more than welcome to come!
- Events and milestones will be celebrated! No glossing over a paper being accepted or a new bundle of joy joining a family.