On September 21, at the occasion of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Summit, ASTC, in cooperation with the World Ocean Network (WON), UNESCO, the Millennium Campaign, and major science center networks worldwide, will host a reception and discussion at the Flanders House in the New York Times Building in New York City. ASTC CEO Bud Rock will host the discussion, which will feature speakers from UNESCO and leaders of the informal science education field, including Lesley Lewis, CEO of the Ontario Science Centre, Toronto, and initiator of the Toronto Declaration, and Margaret Honey, CEO of the New York Hall of Science, Queens. The event will include discussion with delegates from several countries represented at the Summit to define additional concrete steps of action to implement in support of the MDGs.
The Millennium Declaration, adopted in 2000, and the actions set forth in the Millennium Development Goals correspond closely with the priorities of science centers and museums worldwide, and support for the MDGs is a principle set forth in the Toronto Declaration, the unified statement of the international science center field’s goals and beliefs endorsed at the 5th Science Centre World Congress in June 2008. Science centers and museums now are taking the opportunity of the MDG Summit to highlight the important role that these institutions play in advancing education and public engagement concerning the MDGs and have circulated a formal Declaration (PDF) to the UN High-Level Plenary Meeting. The Declaration urges strong endorsement and action at national, regional, and global levels to enable science centers and museums worldwide to inform, educate, and engage the public more deeply in these critical issues.