One of the recurring themes in the screeds that followed the Kansas State Board of Education decision last year was that this decision revealed a much more pervasive problem: a widespread "anti-science" attitude among the American people. Oh, really? A visiting Martian would get a very different impression from the huge media coverage (magazines, newspapers, television, National Public Radio: you name it) given to the $210 million Rose Center for Earth and Space at the American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan, including the completely revamped Hayden Planetarium.

"Fueled by a national obsession with all things scientific," Natasha Singer wrote in the February 21 issue of New York magazine, "the Museum of Natural History is about to launch the world's most advanced planetarium and the stunning new Rose Center for Earth and Space." On February 19, the day the center opened to the public, the New York Times reported that the attraction was expected to draw 4.5 million visitors a year. (That anti-science attitude is everywhere, isn't it?)

And what will those 4.5 million visitors—our Martian incognito among them—find when they enter this temple of science? To get an idea, check out the February issue of Natural History, the superbly produced magazine of the American Museum of Natural History. This is a special issue titled "To Know the Universe." It features an introduction by Ellen Futter, president of the museum and the driving force behind this project, who says that "together with our beloved exhibition halls, the Rose Center will enable the Museum to take visitors on a grand and all-encompassing journey that tells a coherent, comprehensive story of life, from the outer reaches of the universe to the planet's inner core ...

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