It might seem somewhat amazing, being as it is at the bottom-end of the world in a town of a mere 100,000 souls, but the Otago Museum is one of the world's best museums.
Sitting cheek-by-jowl with the University of Otago campus, it has outstanding collections and displays covering culture, nature and science. How outstanding you ask? Well, outstanding enough to win three prestigious New Zealand Tourism Awards, including "New Zealand's Best Visitor Attraction."
The Otago Museum has a focus on great science communication - through their galleries, special exhibitions and programmes - and all enhanced by trained communicators and curators. Could there be a better place for a course on science communication to be associated?
But it gets better than that: Discovery World is the Otago Museum's hands-on interactive science centre. Established in 1991, it has been awakening minds, young and old, to the important roles science plays in our everyday lives. Through interactive exhibits, engaging exhibitions, inspiring shows and activities led by - you guessed it - their science communicators, Discovery World has become a landmark on New Zealand's science communication landscape.
The Otago Museum, through Discovery World, has been leading a number of exciting new initiatives for communicating science. This includes SciCards, a project that resulted in over 180,000 cards on science being collected and traded nationally by New Zealand children. h 120,000 copies of Cosmix, a series of comic books aimed at communicating science to New Zealand's young teens, have been distributed nationwide. And their most recent initiative involves SciCity: a science education focused online game that is sort of like Second Life for those of us interested in science.
So, whether you are on your first, second or whatever life, you'll really appreciate what the Otago Museum has to offer when it comes to learning about Science Communication. It seems only a matter of time before they win another award, "New Zealand's Best Teaching Attraction!"