Science galleries go global

Marielba Nuñez
Freelance journalist from Venezuela, SciDev.Net

A person in a dark room prepares himself for a journey back into time, using memories of the city he lives in. He re-creates scenes of his city using interactive slides available in a box.  The slides represent various features of  the city.

In an adjoining room, a couple of graffiti suddenly turn into three-dimensional sculptures, developing wings to fly around in the exhibition hall.

The  two are among several exhibits at a science gallery in Dublin’s Trinity College,  set up in February 2008.

The science gallery at Dublin’s Trinity College is proving popular. Photo credit: Marielba Nunez

Aimed at fostering an interest in science among the youth from 15 to 25 years old, science galleries are a three-in-one combo: of a science museum, an art gallery, and an interactive centre.

Visitors like me,  including families with children,  could feel the perfect blend of art, creativity, and science at play.  More than 50,000 people visit the gallery each year, some indicator of it having clicked with the public.

Right now, a exhibition is on — ‘Hack the city —  take control’, which invites visitors to “adopt, bend, tweak and mash up Dublin’s existing urban system – and rethink the city from ground up.”

The exhibition, say its promoters, features 70 artists, scientists, engineers, designers and start-ups “who are hacking, modding and rewiring the urban environment”.

And in, what must have been a shot in the gallery team’s arm, Google announced at ESOF a donation of one million euros to support the initiative and create a global network of science galleries.  The global initiative will be replicated in eight cities, including two Asian cities: Bangalore and Singapore.  London, Moscow and New York  are the other sites, while two more are still to be decided.

The gallery is cool and fun, as I found on a bright Saturday morning.

This blog post is part of our ESOF 2012 blog which takes place 11-15 July, 2012. To read news and analysis on themes related to the conference please visit our website.

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