The announcement brings the number of universities in the Science Gallery Network to nine, with TU Berlin joining top universities in Atlanta, Dublin, London, Detroit, Melbourne, Venice, Bengaluru, and Rotterdam. The Science Gallery concept sees science, art, technology and design collide, creating world-class educational and cultural experiences to young people through bold and ambitious exhibitions, events and programming. More than 6 million people have visited Science Gallery worldwide since its first location opened in Dublin in 2008. Since then, its partner universities have invested €180 million total in the network of galleries.
Speaking about the announcement, Executive Director of Science Gallery International, Andrea Bandelli said:
From its goal of actively contributing to shaping the future, to its highly international flavour and its recognition of the need for interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary approaches to teaching, research and science communication, TU Berlin is a perfect fit for Science Gallery. Its outlook and ethos aligns with Science Gallery’s own ethos, couched as it is in innovative research, youth engagement, lateral thinking, and the coming together of art, design, technology and science. Moreover, as a city, Berlin is at the vanguard of unique cultural experiences and is a leading light across the worlds of technology, art and design. I am confident that Science Gallery Berlin will be very well received when its doors open in the city and will have much to contribute to conversations in Berlin, Germany and beyond.
Against the backdrop of a rapidly changed and changing world, one which will eventually emerge from the ongoing effects of the global pandemic, the need for both organisations’ imaginative, research-based and solutions-oriented approach to problem-solving, one which equips young people to respond to existing and emerging challenges, has never been more timely. Science Gallery is excited to face into this new and unknown context with TU Berlin by its side.
President of TU Berlin, Christian Thomsen added:
TU Berlin has always sought to frame our commitment to innovative teaching and research in science and technology in terms of how we can provide sustainable benefits to society and future generations. We see Science Gallery as an exciting opportunity to continue this commitment through providing a space in which the interface between the university and the city of Berlin comes alive through stimulating conversations, exhibition programs and events that capture and explore those most urgent challenges facing contemporary society.
Provost of Trinity College Dublin Dr Patrick Prendergast added:
Science Gallery Berlin brings together TU Berlin’s excellent academic research with the thriving art and design scene in Berlin. Berlin is the perfect city for Science Gallery: its rich cultural past and the present will create endless opportunities to engage the local community with leading thinkers in art and science internationally. This achievement demonstrates the international appetite for the Science Gallery concept – in which science and the humanities work together, and one which was homegrown in Ireland at Trinity College Dublin and exported across the world. We are thrilled to welcome TU Berlin to our Network and we look forward to working together and making Science Gallery a new landmark in the academic and cultural life of Berlin.
Imagining and re-imagining the future
Despite economic slowdowns due to the pandemic and the closure of most cultural venues on the grounds of public health, Science Gallery International’s sights remain trained on the future, as it aims to expand the number of signed university locations in its network to 12.
However, the organisation’s definition of growth goes beyond simply quantitative, Dr Bandelli explained:
Science Gallery has enjoyed a warm global reception and remarkable growth trajectory in a relatively short period of time, since its beginnings in Dublin in 2008. With a view to adding three further university locations to the network, filling some gaps in our worldwide presence – exploring opportunities in Japan, Mexico and the Global South – we aim to create three to four clusters of galleries around the globe. From there, we’ll be working on creating local partnerships and collaborations, deepening engagement across the network. In the last five years, we’ve worked with artists, designers and researchers from 90 countries who are thought-leaders in their practice or field, so our focus will be on translating that engagement into opportunities for the wider public to enjoy.
Across the Science Gallery Network, its locations are setting into a new decade and the second year of the pandemic, with upcoming programming reflecting timely concerns.
Melbourne: MENTAL, an exhibition and events program exploring the full spectrum of mental health, and confronting societal bias and stigma.
Dublin: IN THESE STRANGE TIMES, an evolving series that aims to discuss, showcase and explore the various ways in which humanity has responded to COVID-19.
Bengaluru: CONTAGION, exploring the phenomenon of the transmission of emotions, behaviours, and diseases.
Detroit: TRACKED AND TRACED, exploring privacy, data, surveillance, artificial intelligence – and their impact on human behaviour, mental health, justice, ethics, science, democracy and the environment.