College has said that the Science Gallery can only be saved “through securing sufficient funding from government”.
At a Board meeting today, the Board noted that “the Gallery incurred substantial deficits in each of the last four financial years”.
This is said to be due to “a sharp decline in grants and philanthropic income since 2017.” As of September 30, “the accumulated deficit stands at €1.65 million and is predicted to exceed €2 million in 2022”.
In an email from College this evening, they noted that “during the Board discussion, there was strong support from the Board for finding a way forward”.
However, they concluded that they “cannot continue to sustain these losses” and that “any vision for the future of Science Gallery Dublin must lead to a sustainable way of running and operating the Gallery”.
“The Board also recognised that this can only happen through securing sufficient funding from government.”
Discussions in the Department of Further and Higher Education, Innovation and Research and the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media about the future of the Science Gallery are said to be “ongoing”.
At the meeting, the Board also recognised that “since its establishment in 2008” the Science Gallery “has been a successful public engagement platform for interdisciplinary learning and science communication, and has been a huge part of the cultural life of Trinity”.
“The dedication and commitment of the Science Gallery Dublin team has been outstanding and we have much to thank them for.”
Finally they noted that “all of this will have an impact on staff in the gallery and [they] are working with those affected to find the best way through this”.
On October 29, Trinity News reported that a petition had been launched to save the Science Gallery.
The Science Gallery was reported to close by next February as a result of its financial unviability.
The gallery reopened to the public on October 22, with its most recent exhibition “BIAS: Built This Way.” 43 exhibitions have been displayed to over 3 million visitors since its opening in 2008.
Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) expressed anger at the closure of the gallery on Twitter. They wrote: “Shocking news from [College] today. [The gallery] is an essential cultural space for our campus and our city.’’
TCDSU’s senior sophister class representative for Irish, Cúnla Morris, started an online petition demanding College to keep the gallery open. The petition stated: “Closing the Science Gallery affects all of us, in Dublin and beyond, and strips away another aspect of accessible education and recreation.’’
“Trinity College Dublin, we demand a solution. Don’t let down your students, your visitors, your staff, and your city,” it continues.
The petition currently has over 3,800 signatures.
Science Gallery Dublin belongs to the Global Science Gallery Network developed by College in 2012, with the support of Google.org. The initiative oversees the development of further galleries in locations all around the world. The first new gallery opened in London in 2018.