As the 5th Science Centre World Congress (5SCWC) came to an end, delegates looked to the future with the unveiling of the Toronto Declaration. It is the international science center field’s first unified statement of its goals and beliefs. The document was read and endorsed at the 5SCWC closing ceremony in Toronto on June 19.
“This is a landmark event for our field,” said Lesley Lewis, chair of 5SCWC, president of ASTC, and CEO of the Ontario Science Centre, Toronto. “For the first time, science centers around the world have worked together to issue a collective statement that identifies the issues facing our field globally. Today we have committed to a series of actions that will guide us for the next three years.”
The declaration acknowledges that science centers can be “a powerful force for good.” It sets forth the following goals: increasing access to science centers, connecting people through science, facilitating dialogue about and engagement with scientific issues, and working toward achieving the United Nations Millennium Goals.
In her address, Lewis thanked five leaders who worked with her on early drafts of the declaration: Graham Durant (Australia), Emlyn Koster (United States), Pelle Persson (Finland), Julia Tagüeña (Mexico), and Tuan Chew (Singapore).
A new declaration will be released at each future World Congress. The 6th Science Centre World Congress, to be held in 2011 in Cape Town, South Africa, will address the theme “Science Across Cultures.”
About the image: Alejandra León Castellá (REDPOP), Alfred Tsipa (SAASTEC), Lesley Lewis (ASTC), Per-Edvin Persson (ECSITE), and Tengku Nasariah Ibrahim (ASPAC) endorse the Toronto Declaration at the 5th Science Centre World Congress. Photo courtesy the 5th Science Centre World Congress