The Science Museum Group’s mission is to inspire futures . And central to inspiring the next generation of scientists, inventors and engineers is our work towards a society where many more people feel that science is for them, and everyone has opportunities to access the social and economic benefits science brings.
Open for All is our commitment to make the Science Museum Group—and science itself—more accessible and attractive to everyone throughout their lives.
It is almost two years since we began this blog series to showcase some of the work we are undertaking to demonstrate our Open for All commitment. In this time, we have discussed a wide range of issues and developments related to access, diversity and inclusion from the launch of our Equity Framework to the opening of Changing Places facilities at three of our museums and our commitment to inclusive storytelling.
Underpinning all this work has been our Open for All plan. First created in 2019, it was developed further in 2020 following the murder of George Floyd and the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement. Since then, we have been working hard across our museums to ensure that we have set clear goals and continue to work towards them together.
Today we are publishing our new Open for All Strategy 2022-2025. Under four pillars of activity, this will guide us as we continue to make changes across our organisation. The strategy is driven by colleagues at all levels of our organisation, alongside action plans of specific activity.
- Creating places that are open for everyone
- We know that that not all audiences feel ‘at home’ in our museums, particularly those from communities that have been historically excluded.
- We commit to monitoring and improving the accessibility of our spaces, both onsite and online. This not only means removing physical, intellectual and sensory barriers but creating spaces which reflect and culturally connect with diverse audiences.
- We strive to create inclusive spaces which value people’s differences and recognise the rich experiences they bring.
- Engaging everyone with science
- We seek to remove barriers to engagement with our collection and programme, ensuring the content we share and narratives we present are relevant to diverse audiences. This work is informed by our science capital research, which enables us to better understand the reasons some people feel excluded from STEM subjects and feel that science is not for them.
- Growing a diverse workforce
- We aim to grow a diverse workforce that reflects our communities. We will provide a range of opportunities for people to work in our museums and ensure recruitment and selection is as inclusive as possible. We will also identify areas of underrepresentation and target our action to address these areas.
- Building an inclusive culture
- We aim to build an inclusive culture that values different perspectives and experiences and embeds this into decision making and culture, building a sense of belonging.
In creating this strategy, we acknowledge that these ambitious commitments will take time, effort and resources to deliver and that this is an area of work where there will always be more to do.
We will continue to use this blog and our public events series, Open Talk, to discuss issues of equity, inclusion and diversity in museums and STEM and to share our progress.