Photo: Keith Merrill/Ogden Entertainment

LIFE IN THE BALANCE: In the emerald realm of the Amazon rain forest, a baby lies on a giant lily pad. This scene is from the film Amazon, which is being shown at science centers and museums as an added attraction for other exhibits on rain forests.
Museums featuring life science exhibits--from hands-on displays showing how the human body works at the California Science Center in Los Angeles to a comprehensive look at the subject of biodiversity at the American Museum of Natural History in New York--have found that basic science can entertain an information-hungry public and boost attendance at the institutions. And standing behind the basic science of these exhibits at many science centers and museums are scientists who work under various arrangements, from full-time staff member to part-time volunteer.

For instance, the St. Louis Science Center employs Beryl Rosenthal, an anthropologist, as...

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