Press Releases

Does Wales need a National Science Museum?

National Museum Cardiff hosts a one day conference to explore Wales’ scientific heritage

Many scientists feel there should be an institution dedicated to telling the history of science in Wales. Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales will open up the debate on whether Wales requires a National Science Museum at The Scientific Heritage of Wales: The Way Forward – a one day conference to be held at National Museum Cardiff on Thursday, 18 March 2010.

Speakers from across the UK will encourage delegates to consider what needs to be done to preserve and celebrate the country’s scientific, technological, engineering and mathematical legacy at the event (9am – 4pm) which is open to all.

The day will cover the contribution of Wales, its people and Amgueddfa Cymru to the development of science and technology; how Wales compares with other countries such as Scotland and the challenges of making the subject accessible for young people.

“Science plays an important part in helping us understand our country’s heritage,” said John Williams-Davies, Director of Collections and Research, Amgueddfa Cymru.

“By hosting the conference the Museum is giving those with an interest in the topic and the history of our country, an opportunity to discuss how Wales’ contribution to the development of science can be presented.

“Stories such as that of Robert Recorde from Tenby - the inventor of the equals sign and the ‘father of British mathematics’, the development of the world research centre for NanoHealth at Swansea University, and the building of the first ever major iron suspension bridge which carries the A5 across the Menai Straits deserve to be shared with the people of Wales and beyond. The question we’ll be asking is - how should this be done?”

Chaired by Professor Robin Williams FRS, The Scientific Heritage of Wales: The Way Forward will open with Professor John Tucker from the School of Physical Sciences at Swansea University who will give an overview on the scientific heritage of Wales followed by a look at science at Amgueddfa Cymru with Dr Eurwyn Wiliam, Keeper Emeritus, Amgueddfa Cymru.

Dr Jeff Hughes, Senior Lecturer at the Centre for the History of Science, Technology & Medicine, University of Manchester will provide an overview of contemporary trends in the subject and Dr Adam Mosley, Senior Lecturer: Department of History & Classics, Swansea University’s talk will examine the history of collecting scientific material.

Dr Alison Morrison-Low, Principal Curator of Science, National Museums Scotland will share the Scottish experience in this field before the conference concludes with a facilitated discussion on the way forward in Wales

Those interested in contributing to the debate on what should be collected or would like to be involved in developing ideas for a National Science Museum in Wales, should visit our website to download a booking form or phone the events office on 029 2057 3148/029 2057 3325 to reserve a place. The conference fee is £10 and deadline for bookings is Friday, 19 February 2010.

Admission to National Museum Cardiff is free thanks to the support of the Welsh Assembly Government.

Amgueddfa Cymru operates seven national museums across Wales. These are National Museum Cardiff, St Fagans: National History Museum, National Roman Legion Museum, Caerleon, Big Pit: National Coal Museum, Blaenafon, National Wool Museum, Dre-fach Felindre, National Slate Museum, Llanberis and the National Waterfront Museum, Swansea.


For further information, images or interview opportunities, please contact Catrin Mears, Communications Officer on (029) 2057 3185 / 07920 027067 or email