Best Science Exhibition

Cheech Marin's Chicano Now: American Expressions

At first we were skeptical. What did an exhibition of contemporary Chicano art have to do with science? With Richard "Cheech" Marin attached, it certainly seemed more Nash Bridges than John Forbes Nash—but if science taught us anything, it's that all hypotheses must be tested before a conclusion can be reached. And so we went—and we were pleasantly surprised. Much of the art was truly great (Cheech has taste!). And when's the last time you went to the Science Center and salsa danced? When's the last time you sat in a simulated low-rider as the car went through its hydraulic paces? Have you ever enjoyed punching up "La Bamba" on a jukebox more? While the hard-science displays may have been lacking, the simulated immersion in another culture was educational on a social-science level. Combine that with visits from Hispanic scientists and engineers during the course of Chicano Now's run, and you actually have a multidisciplinary approach to science that skewed equally toward the edu- and -tainment ends of the spectrum. OK, maybe a little more toward
-tainment. But in any language, fun is fun.
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