Theme: “Engaging the visitors to the Science Museums / Centres: Exhibits of the Future”
The 19th Annual Conference of the Association of the Science Museums/Centres, India (ASCMI) was held at the Pushpa Gujral Science City, Kapurthala (Punjab) from 13th to 15th December 2019. The conference was inaugurated by the Shri Sunder Sham Arora, Minister of Industry & Commerce, Govt. of Punjab in presence of Shri Rahul Chaba, ADC, Kapurthala, and other dignitaries. The participants were pleased to note that the Government of Punjab is very supportive of the science city and its activities specially to promote science awareness in the society. The Chief Guest also ensured that funding to the PGSC will be provided as and when required for its activities.
The participants from various science museums/centres actively took part in the deliberations/ discussions and interactions during the conference and resolved that
1. The conference has been very useful in sharing and exchanging professional knowledge and experiences on the theme “Engaging the visitors to the Science Museums / Centres: Exhibits of the Future”.
2. The delegates strongly felt that Science Museums/Centres need to adapt the new digital communication technologies in the science centres/museums to attract the audience as the need of the audience is also changing. However, being cost intensive it may be taken up in a phased manner. At the same time, it was also strongly felt that the science content of the exhibits should never be overlooked while adapting the technologies, being the fundamental objectives of the centres and to ensure that the benefits of S&T are inclusive and reach out to various societal groups through various science communication activities. It was also felt that exhibitions on social and contemporary S & T issues should be taken up in the science centres which are relevant to the local communities for greater participation and reaching out to more audiences other than school children.
3. All the participants once again expressed the importance of direct professional benefits resulting from participation and deliberations in such conferences. It was agreed upon that such interactions lead to networking, exchange of ideas, data, views and information. It was felt that such conferences should therefore be continued.
4. The participating delegates from different science museums and centres, across the country, unanimously agreed to strengthen the network for enhancing their professional knowledge and for sharing best practices, to proliferate the science museum/centre movement in the country with the express objectives of taking the message of societal benefits of science to different cross sections of society/communities.
5. The delegates strongly felt that the activities of Science Centres & Science Museums (SCSMs) need more funding and policy support from the Government/agencies to expand the activities, modernize and upgrade the facilities with futuristic exhibits, recruitment and training of manpower and to meet the aspirations of the audiences especially the youth. It was suggested that CSR funding from industry may be another avenue for getting funding support for museums/centres activities.
6. It was decided that the soft copies of the presentations made in the 19th Annual Conference of the Association of the Science Museums/Centres, India (ACSMI) held at Pushpa Gujral Science City, Kapurthala will be compiled in the form of proceedings by PGSC, Kapurthala.
7. The participants decided that the 20th Annual Conference of the Association of Science Museums/Centres, India (ASCMI) may be held either at Regional Science Centre, Pilikula or Regional Science Centre, Ranchi or Science Centre & Planetarium, Kavaratti on the broad theme “Strategic Initiatives and partnerships by science centres/museums toward a more equitable future”.
8. The 20th Annual Conference of the Association of the Science Museums/Centres, India (ACSMI) was proposed to be organised from 10th to 13th December 2020. The programme and other relevant details for the next conference will be intimated to the participants in due course by the host institution.
9. The Conference ended with a vote of thanks to the PGSC, Kapurthala for making extraordinary arrangements for the delegates. The delegates complemented the entire team of PGSC, Kapurthala led by Dr. Neelima Jerath, Director General and Dr. Rajesh Grover, Director for making the conference memorable for all. The participants also thanked the Hon’ble Minister of Industry & Commerce, Govt. of Punjab for inaugurating the conference.