Written on 16 Mar 2012 in Press Release
Cambridge UK, 16 March 2012: The Cambridge Science Centre formally kicks-off a fundraising campaign today by announcing its successful registration as an educational charity and the raising of initial seed capital. The twelve-month fundraising campaign will secure funds for three years of operations leading to the set-up of the Science Centre in central Cambridge. This will coincide with the assembly of a significant Board of Trustees representing key communities within Cambridge and the UK science centre industry.
Initial seed capital to cover the first six months of operation in 2012 has been donated by three renowned Cambridge entrepreneurs including Dr. David Cleevely, founder and Chairman of the Centre for Science and Policy, Dr. Hermann Hauser, co-founder and Partner of Amadeus Capital Partners Ltd., and Dr. Jonathan Milner, founder and CEO of Abcam plc.
The first members of the Board of Trustees include Dr. Cleevely, John Short, Chairman of legal firm Taylor Vinters, and Dr. Goéry Delacôte, CEO of @Bristol 2006 – 2012 and Executive Director of the Exploratorium San Francisco 1991 – 2005. When complete with a target of seven members, the Board of Trustees will be a powerful and balanced group with a proven track record in scientific excellence, business management, regional development and science communications.
“Situated at the centre of UK technology and research, it’s time for Cambridge to seize the opportunity to develop a world-class centre for hands-on experience in the sciences,” said Dr. Cleevely. “The Cambridge Science Centre team has a great long term vision and they sold it to the seed backers with their solid short-term goals. I’m proud to back this initiative and support it as a Trustee.”
The Cambridge Science Centre will be a permanent exhibition and cultural hub in central Cambridge which showcases local scientific discovery, supplements formal education and inspires the public to get more involved in science and technology. The funds raised will allow the start-up team to develop pop-up exhibitions and educational programmes, host public events, acquire and create science outreach kit and manage a schools engagement programme leading up to the opening of the Centre by Summer 2014.
While its programmes and exhibitions will emphasize the multidisciplinary nature of scientific discovery, initially the Centre will pay particular attention to the life and biomedical sciences.
“From Darwin to the Human Genome Project, life science research in Cambridge has profoundly impacted biological and biomedical research. However, I feel the general public should be much better informed about how their day-to-day lives have benefited,” said Dr. Milner. “With a science centre in Cambridge dedicated to public scientific outreach, we can develop exhibits and educational content which will have a world impact. I am really excited to help this team start on this development.”
Immersed in a city alive with scientific research and technology development, the Cambridge Science Centre will collaborate with local top-notch researchers to develop its exhibitions and help bring the public and research closer together. The management team has spent the past twelve months building key relationships with industry partners, research and academic institutes around Cambridge.
“Cambridge is the recognised hub of science and technology innovation in the UK. However, if you are a family at a loose end on a rainy Saturday afternoon, where do you go to immerse yourself in this scientific excellence? We need to improve accessibility,” said Dr. Hauser. “Cambridge and the wider community deserves a general public science venue where school groups, families, individuals, teachers and tourists can play with science and scientific thinking on their terms and on their schedule. I am backing the Cambridge Science Centre and their team because I believe they have the vision and business skills to make this happen.”
Following up on their successful Science Xchange event held in October 2011 which attracted around 1,000 people for a single day exhibition, the public will next get to experience the Science Centre through an intriguing set of stand-alone modular hands-on science exhibits being trialled at the Cambridge Science Festival at events on the 17th, 20th and 24th of March. These exhibits are prototypes for a ‘Hands-On Science in Your Local Library’ exhibit programme for Cambridgeshire in the second half of this year.
“Having the support from such significant individuals brings us closer to making a permanent hands-on science discovery centre in Cambridge a reality”, said Dr. Chris Lennard, Founder and Managing Director of the Cambridge Science Centre.
If you are interested in learning more about the Cambridge Science Centre, contributing to the fundraising effort or helping through in-kind support, you can find out more about the campaign and its goals at:www.cambridgesciencecentre.org/get-involved/