Science and Discovery Centres are a vital part of the education system, help tackle inequalities through encouraging engagement from disadvantaged communities, and broaden access to careers in STEM to underrepresented groups such as women. They are key to our future innovation and research and development plans and, given the future of work and automation, they support jobs that are secure and ‘future fit’. Science and innovation has never been more important than now as we see the benefits of science and importance of public science literacy in our response to the pandemic and as we look to the future challenges of climate change and how to rebuild a greener economy.
For more information about Science and Discovery Centres, and to find your nearest one, please visit: https://www.sciencecentres.org.uk/
I was delighted to secure a parliamentary debate on the role of Science and Discovery Centres in supporting education, which took place on Wednesday 24th March. As a huge science enthusiast myself I thoroughly enjoy the hands-on science these centres deliver. Given their multi-faceted role, not just enriching education but also culture, business and tourism, these Centres have not always met the criteria for support, and as with many charities and businesses have faced real challenges over the past year. I am therefore very grateful to the Education Minister, Michelle Donelan, for offering to work with me and representatives from DCMS and BEIS to further support these Centres so future generations can continue to experience the benefits they offer.
I offer my sincere thanks to the Association for Science and Discovery Centres and my Parliamentary colleagues for their support and contributions to the debate, a recording of which is available here.