Alexander E. MacDonald developed "Science on a Sphere," a visualization system comprised of computers, projectors, and a sphere onto which rich visual data are projected with minimal distortion and almost complete surface coverage. Custom-designed software allows projection of static and dynamic data, which allows new opportunities for scientific analysis, teaching, and learning.
The effects of human activities are causing the physical environment of our entire planet to change. Yet our ability to understand and conceptualize changes in our planet can be limited. The problem Alexander MacDonald addresses is the health of our planet. Without a greater understanding of how human action is affecting the planet, the less likely it becomes for people to embrace healthy solutions.
The potential for worldwide use of Science on a Sphere is great. The system could be used in museums and schools and show a continuous stream of new shows, including history, the science of global change, or the latest exploration of other planets. Audiences would come away with a greater understanding of our earth and how we are affecting environmental conditions on the planet.