Science Gallery at Trinity Announces New funding worth over €2 Million as it turns five years old

Posted on: 21 June 2013

Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin announced a strategic award from Wellcome Trust worth €1.8m to support a partnership with the Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute (TBSI). The funding comes as the Dublin gallery celebrates five years of revolutionary and thought-provoking exhibitions through arts, education and innovation, and announced a further gift of €250,000 over 5 years from ICON Plc.

Over the next five years, the Science Gallery aims to become the world’s leading organisation for “involving, inspiring and transforming curious minds through science”. Policy makers and educators worldwide are moving to apply the emerging ‘STEAM’ approach to creative thinking and problem-solving (the injection of arts and design – ‘A’) into science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). The Irish-born concept is making waves worldwide as a new model for public engagement and innovation where science and art collide, having confirmed that King’s College London has signed an agreement to develop a Science Gallery at a spectacular location in the London Bridge Quarter, with a projected opening date in 2015.

Speaking about the funding secured from Wellcome Trust and reflecting on the gallery’s achievements to date, Science Gallery Founding Director, Michael John Gorman said:Art and design ignite flexible thinking, risk-taking, innovation and creative problem solving needed to deal with today’s most complex and pressing societal challenges. The expansion of our model of the Science Gallery around the world is a significant achievement for us and enhances Ireland’s reputation internationally for innovation, arts and education”.

The Wellcome Trust is a global charitable foundation dedicated to achieving extraordinary improvements in human and animal health. Its pledge of continued support will also enable Science Gallery and TBSI to introduce joint artist in residency programmes and investigate the development of a ‘wet lab’ research area within TBSI which will assist in its ability to deliver specific ‘lab in the gallery’ experiences for visitors.

Speaking about the Science Gallery funding, Clare Matterson, Director of Medical Humanities and Engagement at the Wellcome Trust: “Since it opened, the Science Gallery has consistently presented challenging, creative and innovative exhibitions that bring science and technology to life. We look forward to supporting the gallery over its next five years and to enabling the development of a ‘wet lab’, bringing its visitors even closer to real, live science. We are particularly pleased to see its model spreading out of Dublin with the launch of a sister gallery in London on the horizon.”

Headquartered in Dublin, ICON is a global provider of outsourced development services to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device industry. This gift brings the total of donations made by ICON to Science Gallery to half a million euro.

Science Gallery International is already making significant progress on its plan to establish eight galleries worldwide by 2020 building on the innovative model of public engagement developed by Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin. Science Gallery at King’s College London will be developed under the leadership of Deborah Bull, Director, Cultural Partnerships, King’s College London, who was previously Creative Director of London’s Royal Opera House. Neuroscientist Dr Daniel Glaser has been appointed to direct the initiative and brings to the project an impressive range of experience across science, culture, engagement, education and the media.

Further announcements will follow over the summer.

Five Facts About Science Gallery Dublin

  • Originally planned to attract 50,000 people per year, after just five years Science Gallery has welcomed over 1.3m visitors.
  • Science Gallery exhibitions consist mostly of work submitted through an ‘open call’ that welcomes ideas from people of all backgrounds.
  • Exhibitions are staffed by undergraduate students known as ‘mediators’ whose aim is to spark conversations with visitors, rather than protect artworks.
  • While most ‘science centres’ are aimed at children and galleries are aimed at adults, recent shows at Science Gallery have attracted up to 53% of their visitors from the 15-25 year old age bracket.
  • The Science Gallery ‘Leonardo Group’, who leads the development of ideas for exhibitions and events, is made up of fifty inspirational individuals drawn from the local creative community of scientists, artists, engineers, technologists, media and entrepreneurs, ranging from Comedian Dara O’Briain to geneticist Aoife McLysaght.

Over the last five years, Science Gallery has secured sponsorship partnerships with companies including Google, Deloitte, Dell, Pfizer, NTR Foundation, Intel, and IBM. It has also secured generous investment from founding patrons such Dr Beate Schuler, Dr Martin Naughton, PACCAR foundation and Wellcome Trust, Science Foundation Ireland, as well as annual funding from Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and support from EC Framework Programme Seven.

About Science Gallery

In 2008, a car park in a forgotten corner of Dublin was transformed into a living experiment that would bridge art and science, unleashing their combined creative potential. A groundbreaking initiative pioneered by Trinity College Dublin, Science Gallery is a new kind of space where art and science collide – a porous membrane between the university and the city. Since opening in 2008, over 1 million visitors to Science Gallery have experienced 26 unique exhibitions – ranging from living art experiments to materials science and from the future of the human race to the future of play. Primarily oriented towards young adults between the ages of 15 and 25 years old, Science Gallery develops an ever-changing programme of exhibitions, events and experiences fuelled by the expertise of scientists, researchers, students, artists, designers, inventors, creative thinkers and entrepreneurs. Science Gallery focuses on providing programmes and experiences that allow visitors to participate and facilitate social connections, always providing an element of surprise. Science Gallery is kindly supported by the Wellcome Trust as a founding partner and by ‘Science Circle’ supporters Deloitte, Google, ICON, NTR Foundation, and Pfizer. Science Gallery also receives government support from the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Department of Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht and Science Foundation Ireland. Science Gallery’s media partner is The Irish Times. For more information visit

About Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute (TBSI)

A major opportunity for collaboration focused on biomedical science is presented by the establishment of the Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute (TBSI), which opened in June 2011. The TBSI represents the largest strategic undertaking made by TCD in bringing together the Schools of Medicine, Bioengineering, Chemistry, Biochemistry and Immunology, and Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Science. This brings together a total of 95 TBSI PIs, with active grants of €70m. The vision for TBSI is to be an environment where innovative and inter-disciplinary approaches lead to scientific discoveries of biomedical importance, ultimately giving rise to better patient care. TBSI will support biomedical research of the greatest importance to Ireland and internationally. Further details can be found at