The Impact of Science & Discovery Centres:
A Review of Worldwide Studies

This review summarises and highlights recent research into the impact of science and technology museums, zoos, aquaria and science centres, referred to collectively in this report as Science & Discovery Centres. Comparable evidence from the informal learning sector as a whole including the arts, heritage and cultural sectors has also been included, where relevant.

Collectively, studies from around the world show that centres can:

  • increase visitors’ knowledge and understanding of science;
  • provide memorable learning experiences which can have a lasting impact on attitudes and behaviour;
  • have wide-ranging personal and social impacts and promote inter-generational learning;
  • promote trust and understanding between the public and the scientific community;
  • have an economic impact.

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