An exclusive collection of problem-solving inventions from around the world debuted today at The Tech Museum, exposing visitors to innovations meant to confront humanity's greatest challenges with practical, life-changing solutions.
"Technology benefiting humanity," the West Coast's only permanent exhibition linking social responsibility with technology, strikes a provocative posture within its 3,000-square-foot setting, intending to encourage a deeper understanding of the technologies that are improving the human condition - and inspiring visitors to make their own positive, social contribution.
Supported by a $1.1 million grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the exhibition is constructed around a completely new museum format that uses a multi-purpose display module that aligns content, interactive involvement, and educational messaging.
"Technology benefiting humanity underscores the museum's aim to be a conduit for discussion on significant global issues and the potentially vast solutions to be discovered through advancements in science and technology," Peter Friess, president of The Tech Museum, said. "We expect that the gallery will inspire visitors to act to improve basic - though vital - necessities of life for people locally and globally."
The exhibition marks the first time the museum's international signature program, The Tech Awards, has been fully integrated into a standing exhibition. The Tech Awards, presented by Applied Materials, annually celebrates pioneering creators whose inventions address the world's most critical issues in health, education, equality, economic development and the environment. Eleven inventions from past The Tech Awards Laureates are featured in the exhibition, which will be routinely updated.
Exhibits unveiled today include Adaptive Eyecare: low-cost glasses that can be tuned by the wearer; Solar Sailor: fusing wind, solar, and hybrid technologies into a cleaner, healthier way to power boats, and Innocence Project: pioneering the use of DNA technology to free innocent people of crimes for which they've been wrongly jailed.
As part of today's exhibition unveiling, The Tech Museum today announced The Tech Awards Laureates 2009, 15 nominees selected from a worldwide pool of candidates. They were selected by Santa Clara University's Center for Science, Technology and Society, which acts as an impartial third party, organizing five prestigious panels of judges from around the world - one for each award category. The Laureates, along with 2009 James C. Morgan Global Humanitarian award recipient and former Vice President Al Gore, will be recognized at The Tech Awards Gala at the San Jose Convention Center on November 19th.
The Tech Awards Laureates 2009 represent regions as diverse as Nigeria, Brazil, Great Britain, the United States and Bangladesh. And their work impacts people in many more countries worldwide. This year's Laureates were selected from 650 nominations representing 66 countries.
"Based in such diverse regions as Botswana, Bangladesh, the Bay Area, and Brazil, this year's Laureates are tackling complex problems to improve the quality of life for countless people worldwide. Savvy, committed, creative, and often working under extremely challenging conditions, The Tech Awards Laureates are visionaries with practical innovations that benefit humanity," said David Whitman, program director for The Tech Awards.
For more information about "Technology benefiting humanity" or The Tech Awards Laureates nominees, please visit: thetech.org
About The Tech Museum
The Tech Museum is a hands-on technology and science museum for people of all ages and backgrounds. The museum - located in the Capital of Silicon Valley - is a non-profit educational resource established to engage people in exploring and experiencing technologies affecting their lives. Through educational programs such as The Tech Challenge, our annual team design competition for youth, and internationally renowned programs such as The Tech Awards presented by Applied Materials, Inc., The Tech Museum celebrates the present and encourages the development of innovative ideas for a more promising future.