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Royal Society launches Places of Science scheme to fund museums across the UK

07 August 2018

Small museums across the UK are being called upon to apply for the Royal Society’s Places of Science scheme. The scheme will provide grants of up to £3,000 to museums to fund projects that engage communities with their local science stories.

The scheme aims to highlight the science embedded in every aspect of culture, encouraging museums to think creatively about the science in their collections and most of all, their locality. 

Professor Jonathan Ashmore FMedSci FRS, a neuroscientist at UCL and chair of the Places of Science allocation panel said: “The Royal Society Places of Science scheme is a fantastic, nation-wide exploration of the scientific stories embedded in communities right across the UK. The UK’s rich and diverse scientific landscape provides the perfect backdrop for local celebrations of the science on our doorsteps. Science drives local economies and is an important source of history, identity and cultural heritage, which is why it is so important for science to be recognised through schemes such as Places of Science. This new scheme builds on our previous commitment to funding small museums and will encourage them to run creative activities that will be valued and championed by local people.”

Sharon Heal, Director of Museums Association and member of the Places of Science allocation panel said: “I am delighted that the Royal Society is continuing to support local museums through this funding, and thrilled to be part of the panel. Museums across the UK are under increasing financial pressure. Funding streams like this, which allow them to explore new creative projects and engage with their local communities through inspiring science events are crucial to their survival. I’m looking forward to seeing the applications from the UK’s diverse museum sector, and excited to watch the chosen projects flourish within their local communities and beyond.”

Museums interested in applying are encouraged to register their interest ahead of applications opening on Monday 13 August 2018.

Places of Science replaces the Royal Society’s previous funding scheme for museums, Local Heroes, which saw museums taking part from Orkney to Plymouth. Originally launched in 2010, the scheme also ran in 2016. 

Places of Science builds on the success of the Local Heroes scheme and aims to encourage museums to produce even bolder and more creative projects to engage their communities with science. 

Places of Science will run every two years and applications for the 2018 scheme will open on Monday 13 August 2018.