Nov 5 2013 3:30pm

Help Build The Museum of Science Fiction in Washington, D.C.!

Greg Viggiano, a life-long fan of science fiction, is working to open The Musuem of Science Fiction, the first permanent museum dedicated to the genre in Washington, D.C. This is not a five year mission, however—he and his board of advisors are planning a 3,000 square foot “preview museum” to open within the next 36 months! That is where he hopes more fans will come in—in addition to pursuing corporate partnerships, he’s launching an indiegogo campaign to help fund what will be “the world’s first comprehensive science fiction museum, covering the history of the genre across the arts and providing a narrative on its relationship to the real world.” The preview museum, an unusual first step, is an attempt by the Board to “give visitors a place to preview our programming and exhibits and a way to give [us] feedback.”

So far, in just 6 months, Dr. Viggiano has gathered 38 volunteers, who have helped him design a plan for the space, and an Advisory Board that includes author Greg Bear and Adam Schneider, a collector of sci-fi memorabilia. The VP, Mandy Sweeney, works at NASA, and updates the museum blog to talk about her love of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Quantum Leap. The group chose Washington, D.C. for the site both for its constant influx of visitors, and to highlight the Museum’s cultural importance.

Long-term ideas include a scale model of the USS Enterprise from Star Trek, a TARDIS, and, according to one source, “a device for surreptitiously implanting alien spawn in the chest cavities of unsuspecting visitors.” The Board is open to suggestions from all fans of science fiction, and encourages people to contact them with ideas.

The Museum’s overall mission is nothing less than “To create a center of gravity where art and science are powered by imagination” (which needs to be on a mug) with a strong emphasis on the educational opportunities possible. They’re working to ensure that their exhibits will meet Common Core and Next Generation Science standards. “Education is central to our mission. We believe that the science fiction presents an ideal device for sparking interest and spurring proficiency in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). But we’d like to go beyond STEM and broaden our focus to include the arts. We call it STEAM. We want to give teachers new tools. Cool tools that kids will love to use. Combined with inspiration and imagination, and creativity fueled by science fiction, our prospects look bright.”

There are 37 days left in the campaign—check out their crowdfunding video below, and donate to the indigogo campaign here!

1. winterking
I wonder about this:
1. Why DC, a city with limited connection to the genre, and with limited (expensive!) good real estate for a museum? Lots of cities have culture + many visitors, so that's a fake answer.

2. Why is the executive director of the program an "entrepreneur" and business manager with no museum experience? Why is their chief curator likewise just a corporate analyst without professional museum curation experience? (Sorry, being a volunteer part-time docent does not prepare you for running a museum) Why is their VP of Operations someone who works "at NASA in the department of bean counters" and not a person with any experience or knowledge about museum operations?

3. Why are their future plans, beyond this bargain-level demo, not explained in any detail?

4. How do they actually expect to fund a reasonable trial museum in Washington, D.C. for less than $200,000?

5. Why didn't Tor look a bit closer at this sketchy project before urging us all to donate our non-refundable cash? (Money goes to the project even if it's not fully funded.)
2. winterking
Also: this would NOT be the "first permanent museum dedicated to the genre". I don't think these entrepreneurs have done their business research. If they had, they would know about the Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame in Seattle. Which is essentially the sort of thing they're proposing.
james Pope
3. jim162065
very cool, will they have video library to see and read scfi?
Darth Touma
4. Darth Touma
The article said "first permanent museum dedicated to the genre IN WASHINGTON, DC."

if they didn't do their research, YOU didn't even bother to read the article..
Darth Touma
5. Darth Touma
My bad.. I didn't bother to read the poster names to notice the first two posts were the same person .. so I am just as guilty.. HA...
Darth Touma
6. AleksMicha
they are building a business entrepenourship type museum that focuses on the importance of science fiction to inspire the real world aka the importance of education and dreams for the future of hte businesss world, hence its in washington dc the financial capital of the country and some would argue the world since the us is still for now essentially a corporate country that produces the best machinations to build the future with. washington dc is often the host of competitions for high schools and grade schools, so having a museum that is targeted at educating children and hleping inspire them makes alot of sense to be their, so yea... the world doesnt revolve around the west coast for everything sci fi.... why does it matter if the person from nasa is from the budget commity? isnt that a good thin? doesnt that mean they will actually be able to keep the budget controllable to what htey provide i sort of like the sound of another sci fi museum that said i will probly not go... but i will send them a few suggestions perhaps for some exhibits... because i like giving terrible ideas that might actually work out etc..
Darth Touma
7. bagnese
Hi, Winterking. Thanks for critical questions. You should join tonight's Reddit AMA with Executive Director Greg Viggiano, scheduled for 8 pm EST/5 pm PST. The URL for the Reddit will be posted on Twitter and Facebook at 7:45.

In the meantime, check out today's press release from the MSF, demonstrating the seriousness with which we (and others, from businesspeople to science fiction die-hards) are approaching this project.



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