Hope for Science Gallery’s future as government steps in


Talks are expected to take place next week between Trinity College Dublin and two ministries over possible funding that could prevent the closure of the popular Science Gallery on Pearse Street.

In a Friday tweet, Trinity Provost Marshal Linda Doyle said she had just “just had a really productive call with @SimonHarrisTD and we both agreed to sit down together next week, along with others. departments and stakeholders, to discuss the future “of the gallery, which the university has decided to close.

A spokesperson for the Minister of Higher Education said she was “eager to find a solution and avoid the closure of the Science Gallery”.

It is understood that the Department of the Arts, headed by Catherine Martin, who funds the gallery, as well as other stakeholders will also be involved in the meeting.

News of the gallery’s closure emerged on Thursday, with a staff meeting called to relay the news. Trinity declined to comment on the reasons for the decision, which are said to relate to its financial viability.

Terrible loss

Dr Patrick Prendergast, president of Science Gallery International (SGI), an offshoot of the Trinity Gallery involving seven other universities – in Atlanta, Bengaluru, Berlin, Detroit, London, Melbourne and Rotterdam – said the closure would be a “loss. terrible “in Dublin.

Dr Prendergast, a former Trinity provost, said SGI would continue to operate even if the Science Gallery in Dublin closed.

“I understand that Trinity College will continue as a member of Science Gallery International,” he said. “We will have to have a discussion with the other members on what exactly this means, but I can confirm that it does.”

He said SGI would be “delighted if Science Gallery Dublin were successful and able to continue”, adding that “it presents a challenge for SGI to figure out how to move things forward with the closure of Science Gallery Dublin”.

Dr Doyle is also a member of SGI’s board of directors, which is due to meet in December. SGI is funded by membership fees from all of its members and has staff based in Dublin.

Last year, Trinity paid € 254,825 to SGI and received € 183,350 for services provided to SGI.

Trinity’s financial statements for the year at the end of September 2020 show that the gallery earned income of € 552,000, up from € 592,000 a year earlier.

Exposure

The Trinity Gallery has effectively reopened lockdown restrictions with an exhibit called Bias, which opened on October 22. It is described as an “interactive and stimulating exploration of preferences, biases and digital equity” and is scheduled to run until February 28.

First opened in 2008, the gallery is described on its website as a ‘living experience’ that ‘ignites creativity and discovery where science and art meet’ and encourages young people to learn through their experiences. interests. A team of 16 employees is listed on the website, led by Acting Director Gerard McHugh.

Reacting to news of the gallery’s closure, its first chairman Chris Horn, an Irish Times columnist, expressed “extreme disappointment” at the move. In a Twitter post, another early bird contributor Professor Aoife McLysaght said closing the gallery was a “terrible mistake”.


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