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By Sally MacDonald on

Funding our Electricity exhibition

At our museum we tell some really big stories about science and industry, from the early days of the cotton and rail industries, when the speed of change was terrifying, to the science of the future, from robots to graphene and beyond.

We aim to ignite curiosity among young people from all backgrounds, supporting our mission to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers to tackle some of the big challenges we face and improve the world where we live.

To do this, we invest in our buildings and permanent galleries, offer a diverse mix of temporary exhibitions and – importantly – keep entry free wherever possible. Across the Science Museum Group, at a time when Government funding is declining in real terms, we are only in a position to be able to do this because of the strong support of a range of individual philanthropists, corporate partners and charitable trusts.

I know that some people disagree with our position that we should be open to seeking sponsorship from a wide range of corporate partners working in the fields of science, technology and engineering.  However, it is a stance that both I and the Board of the Science Museum Group strongly support. These funding partners support our mission to inspire futures by igniting a curiosity in science. This is a goal that the museum and the Science Museum Group’s funders – as major employers of scientists and engineers – consider to be key. We apply the same thought and consideration to all prospective funders, whether corporate, charitable trusts or individual philanthropists, and any partner that wishes to work with us must accept that editorial control sits firmly with the museum.

This autumn, with the support of a range of funding partners, we have a fantastic programme on offer for Manchester residents and visitors to this great city. Electricity: The spark of life is supported by Shell UK, Electricity North West and the EPSRC. The exhibition explores the extraordinary story of an invisible force that has captivated inventors, scientists and artists alike and, in the modern era, has transformed our world. The exhibition and accompanying learning programme includes content around low carbon electricity smart technology, and the latest contemporary research in renewable energies.

We’re delighted to open this remarkable exhibition, thanks to the support of our funders, as a headline exhibition for the magnificent, eclectic Manchester Science Festival. The festival programmes a huge range of events, tackling issues from across the spectrum of science including climate change and environmental issues, and benefits from significant investment by the Science Museum Group as well as financial support from corporate partners such as Waters and Electricity North West. For me, the festival is the highlight of every year. Its strength comes from the breadth of expertise and perspectives brought by over 100 content partners and from the collaborative approach that is the festival’s hallmark.

Our mission is to tell the stories of the ideas that changed the world and to inspire the scientists and engineers of the future. With the help of partners from across the broad spectrum of science and industry, this is what we will be doing for many years to come.


The Science Museum Group Ethics Policy can be read online, here. Comments have been disabled on this post, but can be sent via email by clicking here.