Science Museum announces landmark climate science gallery

22/03/2010

The Science Museum, London, today announced details of a new gallery and supporting programme of events which will provide up-to-date, accurate information about the science of climate change.

Opening in November 2010, the £4m climate science gallery will transform the second floor of the Science Museum’s Wellcome Wing, its contemporary science hub.  It will sit alongside the revamped ‘Who am I?’ and ‘Antenna’ galleries which open in June 2010.

The new gallery will put people at the centre of the climate change story and an immersive, interactive experience will literally respond to the actions and decisions visitors make. 

Prof. Chris Rapley CBE, Director of the Science Museum, said:

“The Science Museum aims to provide the answers to people’s questions about the science of climate change, becoming a trusted destination for public engagement with climate science. The scientific community has, with some exceptions, concluded that climate change is real, largely driven by humans and requires a response. Our exhibition will deliver an immersive, enjoyable and memorable experience that explains their work and results and shows how science and technology can contribute to a low-carbon future. Our objective is to minimise the shrill tone and emotion that bedevils discussion of this subject, satisfying the interests and needs of those who accept that human-induced climate change is real, those who are unsure, and those who do not.”

Visitors to the gallery will be able to find out about the science of the climate system, how climate has changed in the past and the work that scientists do to improve their understanding of the climate. They will also be able to discover how scientists have predicted changes to our climate in the future as well as developments in science and technology to respond to these changes.

An accompanying website will provide further access to this detailed content for a much wider audience, as will an engaging and lively three year programme of public events, school and community outreach activity, educational resources, and new art works and interventions in existing Science Museum galleries.

The new climate science gallery and extended programme has been made possible by support from principal sponsors Shell and Siemens, major funder the Garfield Weston Foundation, and with additional support from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Patrons of the Science Museum.

Alongside details of the new gallery, the Science Museum reiterated its commitment to progressively reducing its own carbon footprint. Already a founding signatory of the 10:10 campaign (as part of NMSI, the Science Museum’s parent body), the Museum has pledged to reduce its own carbon emissions by 10 per cent in 2010. This new commitment follows a major 24% reduction in carbon emissions in 2008/9 following the introduction of a variety of energy saving schemes including UPVC double glazing, roof insulation and reducing the temperature of the Museum heating and hot water.

The Science Museum will also be participating in Earth Hour on 27 March 2010 turning off its lights at the designated hour of 8.30pm.

The carbon performance of the Science Museum’s main site in Kensington London is already better than expected for an early 20th century building*. The installation of solar panels on the roof of the Science Museum’s Energy Hall in 2004 led to the organisation being recognised in the Top Ten energy saving projects by the Board of Trade, and for 10 years the Science Museum has operated a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) system providing heat and power in an energy efficient way.

(* - The Display Energy Certificate issued in July 2009 achieved a rating of C, where A is best and D or E would be typical for the type of building.)

A range of future initiatives are being considered, from the installation of one of the world’s first Aquifer Thermal Energy Storage (ATES) systems, a cutting-edge method of heating and cooling buildings through underground storage while creating zero carbon emissions, to intelligent buildings and escalators on demand. Reporting on sustainability outcomes and practices will become incorporated into the NMSI Annual Report.

The carbon impacts of the new climate change gallery have been carefully analysed and key learnings from the project will be integrated into on-going gallery design across the Science Museum.

Visitor Information
The climate science gallery opens in November 2010
FREE
Science Museum, Exhibition Road, London, SW7 2DD
Open daily 10.00 to 18.00, except 24-26 December
www.sciencemuseum.org.uk / 0870 870 4868

For further information please contact Andrew Marcus, Science Museum Press Office, on andrew.marcus@sciencemuseum.org.uk / 020 7942 4357

Notes to Editors

Science Museum
From June 2009 the Science Museum is celebrating its hundredth birthday and a century of science with a year-long centenary programme to take the renowned institution into the future. For 100 years the Science Museum has been world-renowned for its historic collection, remarkable galleries and inspirational exhibitions. With around 15,000 objects on public display, the Science Museum’s collections form an enduring record of scientific, technological and medical change from the past few centuries. Aiming to be the best place in the world for people to enjoy science, the Science Museum makes sense of the science that shapes our lives, sparking curiosity, releasing creativity and changing the future by engaging people of all generations and backgrounds in science engineering, medicine, technology, design and enterprise. In 2008/09 the Science Museum was proud to have been awarded the Gold Award for Visitor Attraction of the Year by Visit London and a Silver Award for Large Visitor Attraction of the Year by Enjoy England.

Royal Dutch Shell plc
Royal Dutch Shell plc is incorporated in England and Wales, has its headquarters in The Hague and is listed on the London, Amsterdam and New York stock exchanges.  Shell companies have operations in more than 100 countries and territories with businesses including oil and gas exploration and production; production and marketing of Liquified Natural Gas and Gas to Liquids; manufacturing, marketing and shipping of oil products and chemicals and renewable energy projects.  For further information, visit www.shell.com.  Shell runs a series of nationwide social investment programmes and sponsorships.  For more information please see www.shell.co.uk/socialinvestment.

Siemens plc
Siemens was established in the United Kingdom 167 years ago and now employs 16,915 people in the UK. Last year’s revenues were £4.2 billion. As a leading global engineering and technology services company, Siemens provides innovative solutions to help tackle the world’s major challenges, across the key sectors of energy, industry and healthcare. Siemens has offices and factories throughout the UK, with its headquarters in Frimley, Surrey. The company’s global headquarters is in Munich, Germany. For more information, visit www.siemens.co.uk.