Toronto and Cape Town Declarations – How your organisation can get involved
As a national network of science centres, the CASC and its members are part of a world-wide community of science centres. Every three years since 1996, science centre leaders from around the globe have met to discuss shared challenges and the role of science centres in increasing public engagement with science. These “Science Centre World Congresses” have moved from Finland, to India, to Australia, to Brazil, to Canada and, in September of this year, to South Africa.
Many CASC members attended the 5th Science Centre World Congress in June 2008 hosted by the Ontario Science Centre. On the final day of the conference, the Toronto Declaration was announced as the first collective statement of beliefs and commitment by our global science centre community. It concluded with a series of commitments designed as a framework for inspiration and action.
All regional networks endorsed these statements as have many individual science centres and science centre professionals around the world. Since then many centres and the regional science centre networks have taken action related to the Declaration.
In 2010, during the UN’s Millennium Development Goals Summit in New York, science centre leaders called on Summit delegates to recognise the valuable role played by science centres in engaging children, youth and adults with global challenges.
At the 6th Science Centre World Congress in Cape Town, South Africa in September 2011, regional network representatives responded to the final commitment of the Toronto Declaration and assess the extent to which we have, as individual institutions and collectively, moved forward on the goals established in the Declaration (and the related Millennium Development Goals).
At this Congress, the Cape Town Declaration was issued. Building on the Toronto Declaration it identifies an inspirational agenda to guide our field over the three years before the next World Congress in Belgium in 2014. Through such actions, science centres around the world are leveraging their demonstrated capacity to engage people of all ages in science and to foster science literacy in their communities and around the world.
In the coming months, you will hear more from the Association how the CASC will play an ongoing role in supporting its members’ activities related to the Toronto and Cape Town Declarations.
Toronto Declaration: LINK
Cape Town Declaration (PDF): LINK