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;