Science Museum announces plans for new ‘Horizons’ gallery

Image: The exterior of Science Museum, London (CC BY-SA 4.0 Shadowssettle)

The new gallery, exploring scientific solutions to pressing global problems, will take the place of the museum’s current Exploring Space gallery

The Science Museum has revealed plans for a major new gallery, funded by an undisclosed financial gift from philanthropist Peter Bennett’s Peter Bennett Foundation of at least £1m.

The Horizons gallery, part of the Science Museum’ Masterplan programme, is set to be located on the ground floor of the museum.

It will explore the themes of science, engineering and technology through the lens of environmental changes, global pandemics, and growing populations.

The gallery and programming around it are to take inspiration from the United Nation’s Strategic Development Goals, which include reducing hunger, creating clean energy, and enabling responsible consumption.

The planned gallery will combine permanent displays of objects with a programme of changing exhibits exploring how science is responding to global and climate issues, and will create “stimulating debate, challenging [visitors] to think about the future of society”, it said.

Sir Ian Blatchford, Director and Chief Executive of the Science Museum Group said the planned gallery “heralds a new era in exploring cutting-edge science at the museum.”

It will combine its historic collection with “major new acquisitions, updatable and responsive displays, artworks and some jaw-dropping digital moments,” said Blatchford.

The new Horizons gallery will be located in a space currently occupied by Exploring Space, and this development will also see the creation of a new home in the museum’s West Hall for its objects telling the story of space exploration. The museum said it has also signalled its intention to make major additions to its space collection during the rest of this decade.

While detailed plans for the Horizons gallery are still in development, the museum said the subject matter will be thematic, rather than chronological.