Chippenham Museum awarded Royal Society Places of Science grant

Chippenham Museum has been chosen as one of thirty-six small museums across the UK to be awarded funding of up to £3,500 by the Royal Society in the latest round of its Places of Science scheme to engage communities with their local science stories.

Places of Science aims to celebrate projects that will evoke curiosity, interest and enthusiasm by exploring science in a creative way, while also contributing to the museum sector’s recovery. From family days at the museum, through community-led creation and curation, to workshops for schools and documentary filmmaking, projects offer an exciting way for people to engage with science in the local area and beyond.

Communicating Conservation Science at Chippenham Museum

Chippenham Museum will shine a light on how science is used in the care and conservation of collections. This area of work is rarely seen as it happens behind the scenes in the Museum.

Working with conservators from Wiltshire Council’s Conservation and Museums Advisory Service (CMAS), they’ll explore the chemical complexities and physical phenomenon that play a role in the preservation of museum objects.

A small team of volunteers from the Museum will work with CMAS to get an understanding of the science of decay, the impact of environmental factors and be trained in practical treatments and methods to look after the collections.

This learning will be shared in a series of public sessions giving visitors an up-close look at collection care in action, where the project team will undertake their work in the Museum galleries and discuss the scientific rationale behind what they’re doing.

Professor Russell Foster CBE FMedSci FRS and Chair of the Places of Science allocation panel, said: “We have such an exciting array of themes being explored by the Places of Science awardees this year, from the history of space exploration to maths in the Islamic world and the impact of climate change at a local level.

“It has been wonderful to see so many creative ways of sharing scientific stories that are both engaging and accessible. I hope these projects allow people of all ages to connect with science in new ways and feel a shared sense of ownership of their local scientific history.”

Professor Carlos Frenk CBE FRS, cosmologist and Chair of the Royal Society Public Engagement Committee, said: “The Royal Society Places of Science scheme is now in its fifth round, and once again, the sheer diversity of projects and the creativity of this year’s awardees is astounding.

“Science plays a daily part in all our lives, and I’m delighted to think that new audiences from across the UK will be able to learn about the fascinating ways in which science has shaped their local communities throughout history and the vital role that it continues to play today.”