Bold Futures - Museums Association

Bold Futures

How can we work together to build a shared, strategic vision for museums, galleries and science centres?

The Association for Science and Discovery Centres, the Museums Association and The Liminal Space have collaborated on a new national STEM engagement programme: Bold Futures. This project builds on the Inspiring Science Fund and the Science and Discovery Centre Futures report by The Liminal Space, commissioned by Wellcome as ISF legacy.

Bold Futures brings together a science centre cohort of active champions for community representation and public engagement. The programme aims to undertake values-led work that involves underrepresented audiences and explores how this can affect future purpose and financial sustainability.

As part of Bold Futures, ASDC is facilitating capacity building grants of £10,000-£25,000 across the science and discovery centre network. We are delighted to announce that seven organisations from across the UK have been awarded grants to deliver their Bold Futures programme starting in January 2023.

At an ongoing time of uncertainty and challenge for science centres and museums, our purpose-driven members are steadfast in their vision for a more equitable and sustainable future for science and science engagement in the UK. Through this programme, we are both humbled and delighted to be able to support these seven members along their journey.”

Shaaron Leverment, chief executive, ASDC

The organisations
  1. Armagh Observatory and Planetarium, Northern Ireland
  2. Cambridge Science Centre
  3. Centre for Alternative Technology, Wales
  4. Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh
  5. Kielder Observatory
  6. Science Oxford
  7. Wonderseekers, Winchester Science Centre

The successful projects represent a diverse mix of public engagement programmes, involving and collaborating with specific chosen community partners to increase their opportunities to engage with STEM. These include collaborating with local underrepresented audiences such as SEND groups, excluded children, and children and families from socio-economically deprived areas.

Each programme contains a strong element of co-creation with the chosen community group with the aim to develop programmes that meet the needs and interests of these groups, leading to broader audiences overall and longer-term sustainability and resilience for the organisations.

“We at Wellcome are thrilled that the Inspiring Science Fund was able to offer these legacy grants through the Bold Futures scheme, to enable more of the UK’s amazing science and discovery centres to develop their engagement offers and relationships with local communities and underserved audiences.

“There was a fantastic range of applications for these grants which made the decisions on which programmes to fund very difficult, but we believe that these seven centres will make lasting impact by enabling positive changes for the future for their organisations and audiences alike. Congratulations to all the awardees; I look forward to seeing how your ideas progress.”

Sarah Dellar, culture and society manager, Wellcome

Find out more about the individual Bold Futures’ projects on the ASDC website.

Explore your own Bold Futures

All the materials used in the Bold Futures workshops are available to download below, with a guide to how you can use them with your team to develop ideas that might innovate within your organisation.