Science museum, Japan. © Cowardlion/

Celebrating Science Centres and Science Museums        

The 2016 World Science Day for Peace and Development is dedicated to the theme “Celebrating Science Centres and Science Museums”.

Our starting point is clear. Science stands at the heart of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, the Sendai Framework for Action, and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. These agreements embody a new vision for prosperity, peace and the planet, to allow every society to create and share knowledge, to nurture every source of innovation and creativity, to craft a more inclusive, sustainable and just path to the future. Taking this forward calls for an ever greater expansion of science and for tighter linkages between science and society.

This is why science centres and museums are so important -- for capacity building, for advocacy, to send strong messages about the importance of science for sustainable development.

Science centres and museums plays key roles in nurturing the curiosity of women and men, as living laboratories of creativity, catalysing research and solutions to help societies meet challenges. In the digital era, when we need innovative initiatives to promote the learning of science outside the classrooms, museums and science centres are privileged places of education. They provide excellent ways to encourage children, especially girls, to pursue careers in science – to multiply our collective scientific capabilities. 

© UNESCO/P. Chiang-Joo. Celebration of World Science Day for Peace and Development at UNESCO.

In November 2015, UNESCO adopted a global Recommendation on the Protection and Promotion of Museums and their Collections, their Diversity and their Role in Society, strengthening our commitment to mobilize museums as key actors of peace and sustainable development. 

This year, in the celebration of World Science Day for Peace and Development, we take this forward with the Association of Science-Technology Centres and the International Council of Museums, to nurture and share science knowledge.

Science museums and centres are platforms for dialogue, understanding and resilience. They produce sparks of delight and wonder that inspire all visitors, regardless of age and background, in an experience that brings all women and men together around common values. 

In this spirit, I invite all of partners and governments to do everything to support, nurture and harness the full power of science museums and centres to shape a more inclusive and sustainable future for all.

     Message from Ms Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO
     on the occasion of World Science Day for Peace and Development 2016


Activities at UNESCO headquarters

Conference “Discover Your World”
10 November 2016, 09:00-18:00, Local time, France

This conference aims to illustrate the role that science centres and science museums can play in expanding public engagement in support of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to develop new concepts on communicating the SDGs to diverse audiences including scientists, policy makers, entrepreneurs, youth, women and the public at large. More information ǀ Live webcast

PERFORM meeting
9-10 November 2016, 10:00-17:00, Local time, France

The EU-funded PERFORM project aims to investigate the potential of using performing arts to raise interest in science among high school students. The project will be presented, and shows will be performed for school children  More information

UNESCO Campus - Scientific research today (pdf, in French)
10 November 2016, 9:30-11:30, Local time, France

Celebrate the Day

2016 Poster

Download the official poster (pdf)
English | Français | Español | Blank version

2015 UNESCO Kalinga Prize-winner advocates for "sciencetainment"

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

"Science centers and museums should be places of continuous non-formal education, where people of all ages are drawn in to learn," highlights Argentinian researcher Diego Andrés Golombek.

Previous Celebrations

Established by UNESCO in 2001, World Science Day for Peace and Development is celebrated worldwide on 10 November each year.

© Mariakraynova/
Planetarium, Russian Federation