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New Director for UK’s leading informal learning team at the Science Museum

New Director for UK’s leading informal learning team

  • Susan Raikes appointed as Science Museum Group’s Director of Learning 
  • Joins team that welcomes most school groups of all UK museums 

The Science Museum Group has announced the appointment of Susan Raikes as Director of Learning to lead its unparalleled programme to ignite curiosity in science and inspire the next generation of scientists and innovators. 

Currently Head of Learning and National Partnerships at the British Museum, Susan will lead a team that delivers ground-breaking informal learning and research at the Science Museum Group’s museums in London, Manchester, Bradford, York and Shildon.

Susan said: “The museums in the Group provide opportunities for millions of people every year to explore science, technology, engineering and maths in ways that excite and inspire them and I am very much looking forward to working with my new colleagues to help make science accessible and engaging for all.”

Visits to Science Museum Group sites by young people on educational trips reached over 600,000 last year and the Science Museum is the most visited UK museum by school groups. Across the country, a further 88,700 children attended shows or workshops delivered by the Group’s outreach team at schools and science fairs.

Jonathan Newby, Deputy Director of the Science Museum Group, said: “Susan combines a deep understanding of museums with a great passion for inspiring others. I know she will provide both strong leadership internally and act as a powerful advocate for the unique role of museums in offering creative learning environments.”

Susan was the 2012/2013 Arts Council England Museums Fellow on the Clore Cultural Leadership Programme. She is the co-curator of two British Museum touring exhibitions, Roman Empire: Power and People and Rome: City and Empire and co-author of the accompanying publications. Prior to a decade at the British Museum Susan was Principal Learning Officer at Tyne and Wear Museums. Susan is a Trustee for the Collections Trust and for the newly opened Postal Museum.
She succeeds Tom O’Leary as Director of Learning and will begin her new role in January.

The five museums in the Science Museum Group are places where people of all ages and backgrounds have the opportunity to explore the wonder of science and where attitudes towards science, technology, engineering and maths can be positively influenced. Our learning approach and activities and is shaped by research-based insight, notably the concept of science capital a measure of a person’s relationship with science, which recognises the significance of what you know, how you think, what you do and who you know in shaping that relationship.


Note to editors

About the Science Museum Group 
We are the world’s leading group of science museums, welcoming over five million visitors each year to five sites: the Science Museum in London; the National Railway Museum in York; the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester; the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford; and Locomotion in Shildon. We share the stories of innovations and people that shaped our world and are transforming the future, constantly reinterpreting our astonishingly diverse collection spanning science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine. Standout objects include the record-breaking locomotive Flying Scotsman, Richard Arkwright’s textile machinery, Alan Turing’s Pilot ACE computer and the earliest surviving recording of British television. Our mission is to inspire futures - igniting curiosity among people of all ages and backgrounds. Each year, our museums attract more than 600,000 visits by education groups, while our touring exhibition programme brings our creativity and scholarship to audiences across the globe. More information can be found at