P.O. Box 1041

                                                                        Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15230-1041 U.S.A.

                                                                        Telephone: 412-561-7876

                                                                        Electronic Mail: < gaw@planetarium.cc >

                                                                        Internet Web Site: < http://www.planetarium.cc >

                                                                        2008 March 1



Pittsburgh City Paper

Centre City Tower

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15222


Dear Editor:


There is another aspect to The Carnegie Science Center “Bodies” controversy, which few people know about.


In 1983, I created a life sciences exhibit for the original Buhl Planetarium in Allegheny Center, called the “BioCorner” Embryology Exhibit, where the public could watch chicks, and occasionally ducklings, hatch every weekend. I also assisted in Buhl’s human anatomy presentation called “Transpara,” a clear, plastic, life-sized model of a human woman, showing the organs of the human body; each organ would light-up as it was being explained.


In the very early stages of planning for The Carnegie Science Center, they considered moving “Transpara” to the new Science Center, to be an automated exhibit. That did not happen. In the 1990s, they sold “Transpara” to the Cleveland Health Museum, to be used as spare parts for their transparent woman exhibit.


Certainly, “blockbuster” exhibits are necessary for museums to be able to afford to continue to carry-out their mission. However, if The Carnegie Science Center had decided that human anatomy education was to be an important part of their mission, then “Transpara” should have been kept and used over the last 17 years, before any type of “Bodies” traveling exhibit became available.


Glenn A. Walsh

Mount Lebanon