Global science gallery network comes to Melbourne

Director Science Gallery Melbourne Rose Hiscock, Ruth and Peter McMullin and Vice-Chancellor Duncan Maskell. Picture: Nicole Clearly/University of Melbourne

A new facility to encourage engagement in STEM will be built at Melbourne University by late 2020.

Named Science Gallery Melbourne, the site will be the first and only Australian branch of the international Science Gallery network. The gallery’s programs will include events and installations that connect, engage, and showcase the work of artists, scientists, researchers, industry, and global collaborators through its network partners.

The gallery is the result of a $4 million gift to the university by philanthropists Peter and Ruth McMullin. Designed by Smart Design Studios, the gallery will comprise modular spaces that can be activated as exhibition spaces, theatres, workshops, and social spaces, and a permanent immersive digital experience will encourage interaction and connectivity for young people.

The gallery hopes to inspire the next generation of scientists, engineers, mathematicians, and technologists.

“We’ve experienced Science Gallery in its original home in Dublin as well as the pop-up programs in Melbourne and have witnessed young people’s minds being opened to new possibilities. By placing young people at the centre of programs the gallery genuinely reflects their voices and concerns,” said the McMullins.

“The Gallery provides experiences that are transformative at a crucial time in a young person’s life. We believe Science Gallery will have a lasting impact on the future and consider this gift an investment in Australia’s next generation of scientific and creative trailblazers.”

The gift is dependant upon other donations being garnered by the university and gallery administrators to match the initial funding.

“Peter and Ruth’s extraordinary generosity to the University of Melbourne demonstrates exceptional vision and leadership to inspire tomorrow’s students. They share our passion to stimulate bright minds and I am delighted that they will help bring Science Gallery Melbourne to life and create a wonderful legacy for the nation,” said University of Melbourne vice-chancellor, Professor Duncan Maskell.