doi:10.1038/nindia.2017.149 Published online 1 December 2017
Bengaluru, considered the science capital of India, will have a world class hub for hosting science exhibitions and events in 2021, when Dublin-based Science Gallery International (SGI) opens a new science gallery in the city. The gallery, which set the ball rolling with the appointment of a Director this week, hopes to nurture the "creative and critical appreciation of science and its relationship to nature and culture in Indian public life”.
The Science Gallery Network is the world’s first university-linked network dedicated to public engagement with science and art. It has chosen Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru as one of the five places for establishing its branches. Science galleries are currently being built at King’s College, London; University of Melbourne; Ca' Foscari University of Venice; and Michigan State University, USA.
Through its galleries, pop-up programmes and touring exhibitions, the Global Science Gallery Network has reached millions of 15-25 year olds with participative transdisciplinary programmes featuring emerging research and ideas from the worlds of art, science, design and technology, SGI said in an announcement.
It named Jahnavi Phalkey, a historian of science and technology and a filmmaker formerly based at King’s College London, as the Founding Director of the Science Gallery Bengaluru (SGB). "I am particularly keen on students learning alongside scholars through tinkering and experiments," Phalkey, who has previously worked at Imperial College London, Georgia Tech, Science Museum London and Deutsches Museum, told Nature India. Bengaluru-based architect firm Chandavarkar and Thacker is helping design the building on land provided by the state government of Karnataka, which will also bear the capital funds and the gallery's operating costs, she said.
SGI's executive director Andrea Bandelli said Phalkey will head the establishment of SGB with IISc as lead partner, alongside the National Centre for Biological Sciences and Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology – both in Bengaluru – as collaborative partners.
"It is a very exciting development," Sharada Srinivasan from the National Institute of Advanced Studies in Bangalore told Nature India. "It will give a huge boost to the city's status as a technology and innovation hub catering to a dynamic student population from around India," Srinivasan, a specialist in archaeometallurgy and an accomplished Indian classical dancer said.