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[redpop] Toronto Declaration

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Boletín   Junio, 2008

Toronto Declaration specifies Science Centres? Goals and Future Role as

Agents of Change

Declaration sets Inspirational Agenda for Science Centres around the world

Toronto, Ontario - (June 19, 2008) At the conclusion of the 5th Science Centre World Congress hosted by the Ontario Science Centre, the international science centre community issued the Toronto Declaration, committing to the field?s first-ever shared global statement of beliefs and goals.  Establishing a new benchmark for Congresses, the document set out six key commitments designed to guide the regional networks and their members until the 6th Science Centre World Congress to be held in South Africa in 2011.

5th Science Centre World Congress
From June 15 to 19, 2008, more than 400 delegates from 51 countries joined together in Toronto for the triennial 5th Science Centre World Congress, hosted by the Ontario Science Centre at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Over four days, the world?s top science centre leaders along with colleagues from academic institutions, corporations and government, joined to discuss the central role science centres play in increasing the public?s engagement with science. 2008 marked the first time the international congress has been held in North America. Further information and details about the 5th Science Centre World Congress can be found by visiting

Closing Ceremony / Toronto Declaration
The 5th Science Centre World Congress was a special gathering that allowed members of the science centre community to step outside their regular regional networks and engage with colleagues from around the world.  A pivotal outcome of the Congress was the Toronto Declaration, which was read and endorsed by delegates at the closing ceremony.   
This is a landmark event for our field, said Lesley Lewis, CEO of the Ontario Science Centre, Chair of the Congress and current President of ASTC.  For the first time, science centres around the world have worked together to issue a collective statement that identifies the issues facing our field globally. Today we have committed to a series of actions that will guide us for the next three years.

The ideas that emerged through consultation with science centre networks around the world will be powerful motivators for action, she added.  In 2008, science literacy is as important as other forms of literacy and numeracy.  Science centres have relevance to all sectors of the population and have become important meeting places for science and society. They operate across geographical, economic, political, religious and cultural boundaries. They impact the well-being, education, achievement and skills of current and future generations.  They are safe places for difficult conversations.

The Declaration was drafted by a six member committee of leaders from the global science centre community led by Lesley Lewis.  

Graham Durant (Australia), Emlyn Koster (USA), Pelle Persson (Finland), Julia Taguena (Mexico), Tuan Chew (Singapore) and Leslie Lewis (Canada).

The Declaration was reviewed and approved by the leaders of regional science centre networks on every continent including the ASPAC- Asia Pacific Network of Science and Technology Centres, the ASTC- Association of Science-Technology Centers, Chinese Association of Natural Science Museums, the ECSITE - European Network of Science Centers and Museums, National Council of Science Museums India, RED POP - Network for the Popularization of Science and Technology in Latin America and the Caribbean, and SAASTEC- Southern African Association of Science and Technology Centres

In addition, delegates signed a copy of the declaration as they departed the Congress.  

Members of the science centre community who were unable to attend the Congress are able to signal their support through the website.  

For more information on the Toronto Declaration, summaries of the keynotes and plenary sessions and more information on the Congress visit

A Green Congress
The Ontario Science Centre made a commitment to environmental sustainability by delivering a green congress. Registration fees included a green levy to be applied to the cost of carbon offsetting.  Congress organizers chose Offsetters Climate Neutral Society, a Canadian non-profit organization that invests in projects using the next generation energy sources. Examples of projects include the replacement of charcoal burning cook stoves with solar powered ones in West Africa; building groundsource heat pumps to produce energy at a school in the Secwepemc territory of British Columbia; and using waste wood to fuel an energy efficient boiler to heat a greenhouse?the amount of C02 emitted into the air is equal to what would be released by natural decomposition.

The government of Ontario was the lead sponsor of this congress. Other partners came from an impressive range of leaders in innovation, including Presenting Sponsors Nortel and Siemens; Plenary Sponsor Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada; and IMAX Corporation as Sponsor of the Keynote speech Creating the Future.

La RED POP, es  una red interactiva que surge de la convocatoria realizada por UNESCO en 1990  y reúne a centros, museos y programas de popularización y divulgación de a  ciencia y la tecnología en América Latina y el Caribe. Funciona  mediantes mecanismos regionales de cooperación que favorecen el intercambio, entrenamietno y aprovechamiento de recursos entre sus miembros. 

CIENTEC es miembro fundador y actualmente  ocupa la Dirección Ejecutiva de la RED.

A Red-POP é uma rede interativa que surge de uma  convocação realizada pela UNESCO em 1990 e reúne centros, museus e programas de popularização e divulgação da ciência e tecnologia na América Latina e   Caribe. Funciona  mediante mecanismos regionais de cooperação que favorecem o intercâmbio, o treinamento e o aproveitamento de  recursos entre seus membros. 

O CIENTEC é membro fundador e atualmente ocupa a Direção Executiva da RED.

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