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Karnataka: Government commits to setting up Science Gallery Bengaluru

November 17, 2014

On November 13, an agreement was signed between Science Gallery International (SGI) and the Government of Karnataka to establish a science gallery in Bengaluru based on the model pioneered at Ireland’s leading research university, Trinity College Dublin. The first of its kind in Asia, Science Gallery Bengaluru will deliver an innovative, ever-changing programme of exhibitions and events to engage 15-­25 year olds at the dynamic interface between art and science. The agreement was signed during the Education in Ireland mission to India, organised by Enterprise Ireland and led by Irish minister for skills, research and innovation, Damien English TD.
The Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) was signed by Srivatsa Krishna, IAS (secretary to government, Dept of IT, BT and S&T, Govt. of Karnataka), and Dr Chris Horn (chairman of Science Gallery International and founder of Iona Technologies). The signing event was also attended by S R Patil (minister of IT, BT and S&T, Govt. of Karnataka), Damien English TD and Dr Michael John Gorman, CEO of Science Gallery International.

The MoA will give an impetus to the development of Science Gallery Bengaluru, which is now expected to open by 2018 and welcome 400,000 visitors every year. The gallery will be a major flagship project for public engagement with STEAM subjects (adding the Arts to STEM subjects to make ‘STEAM’), and is expected to be housed in a permanent facility located in downtown Bengaluru yet to be confirmed.

At the signing event, Krishna in his opening remarks said, “Science Gallery, which is being established in association with Science Gallery International (SGI), Dublin, Ireland is expected to provide a new model and opportunities for engaging the youth with the world of science and innovation and to keep abreast of today’s scientific issues and in unravelling the new discoveries in the realm of science. The proposed gallery will be a true reflection of what Louis Pasteur said: “Science knows no boundaries, because knowledge belongs to humanity, and is the torch which illuminates the world. Science is the highest personification of a nation because that nation will remain the first which carries farthest the works of thought and intelligence”. By establishing Science Gallery we are adding another jewel to the city of Bengaluru, which is already dotted with premier science and technology organisations and R&D institutions, besides top notch corporate establishments.”

On the occasion, Patil said, “The Science Gallery in Bangalore will be a fitting tribute to Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first Prime Minister, whose 125th birth anniversary will be celebrated in the country tomorrow. Pandit Nehru firmly believed that Science alone can solve the problems of hunger and poverty, of insanitation, illiteracy and superstition and who was convinced that the future belongs to those who make friends with science. It is essential that our younger generation keep abreast of developments in science and develop inquisitiveness and interest in science. Towards this objective, setting up of the proposed science gallery is a step in the right direction, which will add a new dimension and landscape in science learning and an insight to greater understanding of the concepts of science for the Indian youth.”

The Indian Institute of Science ((IISc) will be the lead academic partner of Science Gallery Bengaluru, while  the National Centre for Biological Sciences and the Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology will be the collaborating partners.

Science Gallery Bengaluru will be the third member of the growing Global Science Gallery Network, a project launched by Science Gallery International in 2012 with a USD 1.3 million donation from Google.org. Membership of the network is set to further deepen strong academic and industry links between Ireland and India, offering ongoing opportunities for highlighting Irish and Indian research in Bengaluru. It will also secure relationships with other distinguished international network members including institutions such as King’s College London, where Science Gallery London is due to open in 2016 at a prestigious site adjacent to Europe’s tallest building, the Shard. Science Gallery Bengaluru will lead to development of collaborative projects in public engagement and exhibition sharing between Trinity College Dublin, King’s College London and the leading Indian research institutions.

Speaking at the signing, Dr Horn said, “Bengaluru is a science and technology hub both for India and the world. By taking the first steps towards making Science Gallery Bengaluru a reality, the Karnataka State Government is highlighting the value that a creative approach to public engagement and innovation with science, technology, engineering, art and maths can offer”, adding “To bring this project to completion, this founding commitment for the project will now require the support of further visionary partners who are also interested in catalysing innovation and deepening public engagement with STEAM subjects.”

The science gallery approach was brought to life in Bengaluru earlier this month, when astrophysicist and potential marstronaut Dr Joseph Roche from Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin delivered a three day innovation workshop exploring mobility and climate change with young people at Mallya Aditi International School.

Commenting on the expansion of the Global Science Gallery Network, Gorman said, “Science Gallery Bengaluru will be a dynamic public platform for innovation, engagement and debate at the interface between science and the arts. We look forward to sharing ideas, projects and approaches between the gallery in Bengaluru and those at Trinity College Dublin, King’s College London and future members of the emerging Global Science Gallery Network as we work together to inspire and enable 15-­25 year olds to become the innovators of the future”.

The signing event at the Hotel Vivanta by Taj in Bengaluru was attended by more than 100 representatives from academic partners, multinational companies in STEM-related fields and Irish government officials, and featured addresses by representatives from the Government of Karnataka, Government of Ireland, Government of India and Science Gallery International amongst others.

The Global Science Gallery Network is an award-­winning international initiative pioneered by Trinity College, Dublin with founding support from Wellcome Trust. It ignites the creativity and discovery of 15-­25 year olds through cutting edge experiences and exhibitions set at the dynamic interface of science and art.

Science Gallery International (SGI) is the Irish non-­profit organisation set up in 2012 to developing the Global Science Gallery Network. For more information visit international.sciencegallery.com. 

Established in 1592, Trinity College Dublin (www.tcd.ie) holds a global position as one of the best universities in the world, ranked in the top 100 of world universities by the QS World University Rankings 2014.

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