#ESOF2012 – Science Gallery Dublin to spawn new science gallery in London

13 Jul 2012

Michael John Gorman, founding director of Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin, at ESOF in Dublin today

Science Gallery, which is based at Trinity College Dublin, has just announced at the Euroscience Open Forum (ESOF) that it is in advanced discussions with Kings College London regarding the setting up of the first Science Gallery outside of Ireland, as part of its Global Science Gallery Network plans.

Science Gallery Dublin’s director Michael John Gorman told journalists during a media briefing at ESOF that the gallery is in “advanced discussions” with Kings College London about setting up the first science gallery outside of Ireland, and that the college’s London Bridge campus is being considered.

He said the ambition is for the Science Gallery in London to be open by the end of 2014. Gorman also said the London gallery might have a biomedical slant.

Science Gallery Dublin is on a mission to spawn eight global science galleries by 2020. Gorman indicated today that, as well as London, Science Gallery Dublin is in discussions with New York, Singapore, Bangalore and  Moscow, with the last cities yet to be decided upon.

To give a bit more background about the Global Science Gallery Network (GCCN), it was in December 2011 that Science Gallery was awarded €1m from Google to develop the network.

“We were thrilled to have that gift from Google,” said Gorman. The head of Google in Europe John Herlihy was also present at today’s briefing.

Gorman said today that the aim of the Science Gallery is to engage 15-25-year-olds and to make them enthusiastic about science.

“It’s a new approach to public engagement with science. It’s where art and science collide.”

Pointing to the director-general of CERN, Rolf Dieter-Heuer, who had just given a briefing in a same room a few minutes earlier about the boson announcement from the Large Hadron Collider experiments at CERN last week, Gorman said his talk was a hard act to follow!

However, he said Science Gallery in Dublin likes to think of itself as a particle accelerator for people, to let people collide and engage with science, making science fun.

He said that when Science Gallery started out it aimed to attract 50,000 visitors per year. Now, four and a half years on, and 22 exhibitions later, Gorman said Science Gallery is close to welcoming its 1 millionth visitor, having vastly surpassed its expectations.

He spoke about how the gallery has two touring exhibitions at the moment, including an exhibition about water that’s currently running in New York, as well as another one in Singapore.

Down the line, Gorman spoke of the possibility of cities hosting co-productions, where the science galleries are based.

TCD’s provost Dr Patrick Prendergast also talked about the university’s vision to host Science Gallery.

“We really expect and hope and want it to succeed and for science galleries to spread across the world,” he said.

The vision, apparently, is for TCD to be a creative space for the whole city.

And Gorman said today that in each city where the science galleries are set up, starting with London, the aim will be to tap into the local creative community of researchers, designers, artists, entrepreneurs, and scientists, to pool their resources, and harness each city’s unique scientific strengths.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic