Vox pop | What can science centres and museums learn from each other? - Museums Association

Vox pop | What can science centres and museums learn from each other?

Three experts respond to our question
Shaaron Leverment
Chief executive, Association for Science and Discovery Centres

"We share so many values and common goals towards inclusive, participatory and sustainable practice, so we could learn a lot about proving and improving practice together. Museums have a depth and wealth of qualitative stories of impact that talk to relationships and experiences. Science and discovery centres are most often asked to speak quantitatively, often to the agenda of building science capital or opening up choices and pathways towards Stem careers. I’d love to see science engagement as an intrinsically valued aspect of culture and society alongside the arts and heritage, and tell these meaningful stories of building confidence, agency, diversity, belonging and trust in our spaces together."

Craig Smith
Mindsets + Missions project officer, Museums Association

“Museums and science centres are well placed to engage audiences with big-issue topics. However, they have perhaps traditionally tended to come at them from only one point of view in which they are the relative experts. They can learn a great deal from one another as they now understand that we really need to view issues, such as our environmental crises and societal inequalities, through an interdisciplinary and intersectional lens to tell more complex and representative real-world stories. Mindsets + Missions – a new funding programme by the Museums Association  and the Association for Science and Discovery Centres – will bring together changemakers from across both sectors  to support this.”

Steve Scott
Public engagement lead, UK Research and Innovation

“Museums and science centres enable us to explore our past, present and future through different forms of storytelling. Museums use the objects in their collections to engage audiences whereas science centres focus on experimentation and play to illustrate scientific ideas and theories. Each can learn from their different approaches but also develop together in their shared endeavour to enable everyone in society to feel that their spaces, collections and exhibits are relevant to them. We need to work together to remove barriers and better engage with people, particularly communities that have been excluded, so they can fully participate with museums and science centres.”

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