ASTC – International Council of Museums (ICOM) Partnership

icomASTC has a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the International Council of Museums (ICOM). Anne-Catherine R. Hauglustaine-Robert, the new director general of ICOM, has made it a priority to reach out to the science center community. She has set a goal for her tenure at ICOM to formalize a new definition of museums in the international context that will give greater emphasis not just to collections but also to the experiential dimensions that science centers represent. This would be a big step, particularly for museums outside of North America, whose governments may employ ICOM definitions in their relationships with their museum communities. Working with ASTC, Hauglustaine-Robert hopes to formulate this new definition for the wider museum community.

Clearly, the borders are blurring between science centers and more traditional collection-based museums. Similarly, there is today little distinction between research museums and museums with a strong emphasis on public engagement in science.

According to the MOU signed between the parties, ASTC will support ICOM by joining discussions on the role of experiential learning and public engagement with science using science and technology collections. Both parties will also look into the possibility of collaborating on international capacity building, including training programs.