Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Impact of Science Centers/Museums on their Surrouding Communities: Summary Report

This study was funded by an informal group of science center CEO's in 2001. The aim of the committee "was to collect and collate reports and studies on the role played by science centers in their communities, to summarize and present these studies in a useful, accessible way, and to identify gaps in current knowledge on the impact of science centers".

The report is worth reading although it does not delve at all in attendance figures or funding which is the major theme of resistance to the Museum Block, along with the severe recession or upcoming depression in our country, now hitting the Peoria area hard, and the world, with no foreseeable up surge in sight.

What is significant in the study can be found on p.4 of Outputs and Impacts showing the average impact economically of 4%.

Some museums claim a much higher percentage but tracking economic impact is difficult. The study showed that books, or equivalents, life experiences, TV and school was the major source of science learning. Museums ranked fourth.

We all appreciate museums and all of us visit them on occasion. We have a fine museum at Lakeview that with an agreement with the Park District who owns the property and the building could easily be expanded. Above ground parking space, a lot better than underground parking downtown with a lot less money, could be created on what is now grass.

i would be interested to know how much the Peoria Park District has pledged to the new museum since they are having considerable trouble getting the money to finish their new zoo.

1 comment:

dd said...

Merle, I think you misread the report. It does not say that there is a 4% economic impact on the communities. It merely states that 4% of the studies even attempted to measure the ecomnomic impact on the communities. Look at the discussion of economic impact, the summary only discusses three science centers: Manchester, England, which it notes that for every pound spent in the science center an additional 12 pounds are spent elsewhere in the community; Durham, NC science center where the study noted that for every dollar generated from local sources an additional two dollars were generated from sources outside the local economy; and Santa Clara Calif. where the discussion was limited to total dollars generated and jobs created.