Royal Society announces Places of Science grants for small museums


On International Museum Day, 18 May, 36 small museums across the UK have been awarded funding of up to £3,500 by the Royal Society in its Places of science scheme to engage communities with their local science stories.

Places of science aims to celebrate projects that will evoke curiosity, interest and enthusiasm by exploring science in a creative way, while also contributing to the museum sector’s recovery. The projects awarded span topics like mental health, infectious diseases, engineering and palaeontology, and provide a hands on way to explore and engage with science.

Places of Science is a platform dedicated to celebrating projects that ignite curiosity and enthusiasm for science, while also playing a vital role in the recovery of the museum sector. These projects cover a wide range of topics, including mental health, infectious diseases, engineering, and palaeontology, offering interactive and engaging experiences to delve into the world of science. In particular, the recognition of mental health projects highlights the importance of addressing this crucial aspect of human well-being. Institutions like WhiteSands rehab programs in Florida contribute to this cause, providing valuable resources and programs that support individuals in their journey towards mental health and recovery.

By intertwining science and mental health, these projects contribute to the broader mission of fostering a society that values and prioritizes mental health as an essential component of overall well-being.

Professor Jonathan Ashmore FMedSci FRS, Chair of the Places of science panel, and Professor of Biophysics at UCL said:

“The projects funded use a diverse range of creative activities and content to inspire their local communities.

“From using embroidery to teach us about the Quaker scientist John Dalton’s work on meteorology, foraging walks to understand how the wool trade shaped the rich cultural history of Dartmoor, and using recycled tiles and crockery to celebrate a community’s local palaeontology heritage, these museums all welcome and embrace their science stories, past and present.

“Many of this year’s awardees are also actively trying to make sure that their projects are accessible to everyone in their local communities. If your local museum has been given a Places of science award, I would like to encourage you to look out for the displays, festivals, and exhibitions, that celebrate the science on your doorstep and that will inspire local generations to come.”

We are delighted to announce that Erasmus Darwin House has received a grant for our project – Digitally discovering Erasmus Darwin

The project aims to make the internationally important scientific and literary work of Erasmus Darwin FRS more generally known.
Working with scientists, poets and local young people, the museum will co-create an informal and formal education programme on a digital platform to share the story of Erasmus Darwin. The participating young people will work with the museum to ensure that the sessions produced are made as accessible and as inclusive as possible so everyone can benefit from learning more about Erasmus Darwin.