Science Gallery going global with new €1.1m funding

1 Oct 2015

The much-loved Science Gallery in Dublin is to go international having raised €1.1m in new funding while also confirming that its CEO, Michael John Gorman, is to leave his post in a year’s time.

The non-profit company that runs the Science Gallery in Trinity College Dublin, Science Gallery International (SGI) announced the news on its website with a message from its CEO, Michael John Gorman.

The €1.1m has come from a number of different backers, most noticeably from the Cordover Family Foundation based in the US, which is believed to have donated €450,000 of the amount, while the rest was from a donor who wishes to remain anonymous.

SGI’s last major funding injection came in 2012 when Google donated €1m to the group, which runs galleries to promote interesting science and technology concepts and designs.

Speaking on behalf of the Cordover Family Foundation, American philanthropist Ron Cordover said: “It is our pleasure to provide this support to SGI, as we share in Science Gallery’s mission of igniting creativity and discovery where art and science intersect. We have full confidence that SGI will succeed in making an important difference to millions of young adults in their search to understand the world around them, and look forward to following the expansion of the Global Science Gallery Network as we approach 2020.”

This new funding, SGI said, will help roll out seven galleries worldwide by 2020, with one of the first to open in 2017 in King’s College London, closely followed by the Indian Institute of Science in Bengaluru.

Meanwhile, SGI are also in advanced discussions to open a Science Gallery in Australia with suggestions being that it will open in 2018.

Other SGI events due to take place over the coming weeks include the ongoing Secret exhibition in Science Gallery Dublin, followed by Illusion at the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Biorhythm in Taiwan and Human+ in Barcelona.

Michael John Gorman to step down

Meanwhile, in his letter announcing the funding, Michael John Gorman has confirmed that he will be moving on from his role as CEO of SGI, which he has held since its inception in 2007.

To step down in mid-2016, Gorman said that he will be taking up a professorship at Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich as well as becoming a founding director of the Bavarian Museum of Life Sciences and Natural History.

“I am grateful to have worked alongside so many incredible people in the past eight years at Science Gallery, and I am thrilled to be able to continue my involvement with Science Gallery International as Chair of the Executive Council,” Gorman said.

“More than ever, I look forward to seeing the Global Network ignite the creativity of 15-25-year-olds through the collision of art and science, inspiring the innovators of the future.”

Science Gallery cup image via Binary Koala/Flickr

Updated 12.34pm, 01 October 2015: This article was updated as Michael John Gorman was inadvertently referred to as Michael John Gordon in an earlier version. apologises for this error.

Updated 12:07pm 03 October 2015: This article was amended to say Australia instead of Melbourne as official confirmation of the city has yet to be given.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic