Science Centres and Science Museums

Supporting science centres and science museums in fulfilling their multi-functions in society, ranging from sharing the wonders of science to empowering people in making well-informed decisions

© Ministry of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation, Argentina
Science Cultural Centre, Argentina

Science centres and science museums are places where people can come together and explore the very mysteries that make up our world. By encouraging public understanding and engagement with science, they serve as important platforms for the empowerment of people, allowing people to make well-informed decisions. They are also exciting learning places for all ages, essential in enhancing societal capacities to adapt in the face of change. More and more the modern science centres and science museums of today have multiple functions to fulfil in society.

UNESCO supports science centres and science museums in strengthening their multi-functions – ranging from providing informal science and technology education, to facilitating social interaction between science and society, to increasing the participation of the public in decision making processes. Working in close cooperation with international and regional networks for science centres and science museums, such as the European Network of Science Centres and Museums (Ecsite), the Assocation of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC), the North Africa and Middle East Science centers network (NAMES) and the Latin American and Caribbean Network for the Popularization of Science and Technology (RedPOP), UNESCO provides capacity building activities and technical assistance on the governance of science centres and science museums. These capacity building activities include workshops, symposiums and conferences to share knowledge on the evolving role of the centres and museums with managers of science centres and science museums from all over the world.

On 10 November 2016, World Science Day for Peace and Development, an internationally celebrated day to highlight the importance of science in and for society, was dedicated to “Celebrating Science Centres and Science Museums”. On this occasion, an official agreement between UNESCO and ASTC was signed for collaboration on World Science Day for Peace and Development to actively and creatively engage the science centre and museum field in the promotion of each year’s chosen theme.

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