On 19 March, 2014, ICOM signed the Mechelen Declaration at the Science Centre World Summit, Mechelen, Belgium.
His Majesty King of Belgium signing a book for 2014 SCWS 2014 - Signing Ceremony of the Mechelen Declaration - Participants waving farewell - Written wishes of participants to the future of museums - © SCWS 2014
The Science Centre World Summit 2014 gathered 443 attendees, including leaders of science centres and museums from 58 countries around the world, in Mechelen, Belgium from 17-19 March, 2014. At this meeting, the science centre community put forward the Mechelen Declaration, a commitment to take concrete action to enhance public engagement for a better world.
As part of the action plan, science centres and their partners around the world pledge to strive for a series of goals for the future, including better community engagement, public education and awareness raising on science and technology’s positive impact in the sustainable development, which are similar challenges facing and commitments made by the international museum community.
ICOM signed the Mechelen Declaration, together with partner organisations present at the summit, showing its support for these important objectives. In signing the declaration, ICOM “welcome[d] the science centre field’s effort to start a dialogue with likeminded organisations in various ways to achieve [these] goals, [agreeing] to promote the Declaration to [its] organisation.”
On behalf of ICOM, Dr Anne-Catherine Robert-Hauglustaine attended the summit and welcomed the action plan, saying “ICOM can collaborate with science centres as part of the world of museums. We share the same challenges, the same public, the same experiences.” She is confident that “the summit could bring tremendous expertise, network and energy to the common aim of creating new places for the public to invent, create, learn, understand about its environment, its community, its history: the world we are living in.”