Royal Society launches Places of Science fund for small museums

Geraldine Kendall Adams, 08.08.2018
UK-wide scheme offers £3,000 grants to celebrate local science stories
The Royal Society is launching a new funding scheme to enable small museums across the UK engage their communities in local science stories.

The Places of Science initiative will provide grants of up to £3,000 for projects that highlight the extent to which is science embedded in culture. It seeks to encourage museums to think creatively about the science in their collections and their locality.

The Museums Association's director, Sharon Heal, who sits on the Places of Science allocation panel said: "I am delighted that the Royal Society is continuing to support local museums through this funding, and thrilled to be part of the panel.

"Museums across the UK are under increasing financial pressure. Funding streams like this, which allow them to explore new creative projects and engage with their local communities through inspiring science events are crucial to their survival. I'm looking forward to seeing the applications from the UK's diverse museum sector, and excited to watch the chosen projects flourish within their local communities and beyond."

The allocation panel's chairman Jonathan Ashmore, a neuroscientist at UCL, said: "The UK's rich and diverse scientific landscape provides the perfect backdrop for local celebrations of the science on our doorsteps. Science drives local economies and is an important source of history, identity and cultural heritage, which is why it is so important for science to be recognised through schemes such as Places of Science.

"This new scheme builds on our previous commitment to funding small museums and will encourage them to run creative activities that will be valued and championed by local people."

The scheme is open to museums with full or provisional Accreditation. To be eligible, applicants must have fewer than 65,000 visitors, or turnover of less than £200,000, per year.

The scheme will run every two years and replaces the Royal Society's previous funding scheme for museums, Local Heroes, which last ran in 2016. It aims to encourage museums to produce even bolder and more creative projects to engage their communities with science.  

Applications for the 2018 scheme will open on Monday 13 August, but museums can register expressions of interest on the Royal Society website now.

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