Trinity aims to reopen Science Gallery later this year

Gallery at Pearse Street had accumulated a €2 million deficit prior to its closure last year

Trinity College Dublin has taken a step towards reopening the Science Gallery later this year after selecting a new partner which it will work with to develop an exhibition plan on a “sustainable” footing.

The gallery at Pearse Street had accumulated a deficit of €2 million before its closure last year, a move which drew criticism from the scientific community.

The university has since been exploring how to reopen the gallery with a sustainable operating and funding model.

In an email to staff on Wednesday, Prof Gerard McHugh, the university’s dean of development, said Dublin-based Curiosity Studio has been selected to work in partnership with the university to design and implement a new operating model for the Science Gallery.


This will include renewing the Science Gallery Dublin concept, devising a programming and exhibition plan and developing a sustainable operating and financial plan for the medium term.

Although the Government pledged support for the gallery after the decision in 2021 to close it, the then Taoiseach Micheál Martin later said the university “needs to do work” to develop a new vision and sustainable financial model.

While the email from Trinity does not provide an anticipated reopening date, tender documents envisage a potential reopening in summer or autumn 2023.

In the meantime, the university’s flagship exhibition space in the Naughton Institute will continue to be in use.

The Science Gallery was established by Trinity College in 2008 as the first venue of its kind to provide a creative platform for talented individuals from across disciplines to develop exhibitions and events which pushed at the “boundaries of knowledge”.

The gallery, which did not charge admission, attracted more than 400,000 visitors a year.

The gallery was also instrumental in establishing Science Gallery International, a global network of science galleries embedded in academic institutions across the world.

Trinity has remained a member of the International network, which includes London, Melbourne, Rotterdam, Atlanta, Bengaluru and Berlin.

As part of a new tender, Trinity will work with Curiosity Studio for a 12-month period in the first instance to reopen the Science Gallery.

The tender documents state that Curiosity Studio will work with Trinity to design a programme of exhibitions over a five-year period, prepare a comprehensive business plan and help secure external funding.

Carl O'Brien

Carl O'Brien

Carl O'Brien is Education Editor of The Irish Times. He was previously chief reporter and social affairs correspondent