Portal to the Public

Did you know that 73% of people can't name a living scientist?

The Science Center of Iowa hopes to help solve this problem with Portal to the Public, a national program designed to bring scientists and public audiences together in face-to-face public interactions.

Portal to the Public benefits both the public and the scientists. How?

  • By meeting real-life scientists, we hope to promote a greater appreciation and understanding of current scientific research and its application among the public.
  • Often, one of the most difficult tasks facing scientists is sharing their research with the non-scientific community. Portal to the Public provides professional development training and opportunities for scientists to share their work with the public.

Portal to the Public scientists visit SCI periodically to engage the public with hands-on demos and explain their field of work. Watch the SCI event calendar for Portal the the Public scientist appearances!

Current Portal to the Public Scientists:

  • Mohan Dasari, chemical engineer and Director of Research and Development and Lab Services at Feed Energy, FEC Solutions
  • Adam Dolezal, entomologist and ISU PhD Candidate
  • Steven Faux, Drake University associate professor of Psychology and Director of the Neuroscience major
  • Tony Flatness, research associate at Kemin Industries
  • Amy Gefree, entomologist and ISU technical staff
  • Laura Higgins, entomologist and Program Lead at DuPont Pioneer
  • Wenny Jean, family physician at Urbandale Family Physicians
  • Melissa Telemeco, entomologist and ISU masters student
  • Amy Toth, entomologist and ISU assistant professor
  • Alex Walton, entomologist and ISU postdoctoral associate
  • Gavin Warnock, Grinnell college student of physics and studio art

Past Participants:

  • Sarah Willis, astrophysicist


Want to become a Portal to the Public scientist?

We're recruiting a team of scientists, researchers and other science-based professionals from central Iowa to develop and deliver hands-on and engaging public outreach programming. Participants will join the Science Center of Iowa in inspiring lifelong interest in science, technology, engineering and math.

SCI will provide professional development training sessions focused on building skills to effectively engage public audiences. Then, each participant will develop a hands-on educational activity related to their area of work and will have the opportunity to engage with the public through SCI events, classroom events, fairs and festivals.

We're currently in the process of recruiting Portal to the Public scientists! Training sessions will begin in September 2013. For more information, contact us!