Theme & Topics

New Horizons Revealed After a Crisis: Where Do We Go From Here?

Twenty-twenty was a forced reboot for everyone. We who work in science centres/museums suddenly had to face empty galleries. We all had to reimagine how to be relevant to the public or even thrive in a pandemic age or perhaps in a robust digital dimension, even after the pandemic. We had to rethink our purpose and relevance, retool our teams and craft new partnerships around our new playbooks. While doing this, new horizons emerged on how we could exist, collaborate within and out and flourish. Where are we headed as we approach these new horizons? ASPAC Virtual Conference 2021 will help us crystallise the lessons we learned when the crisis started in 2020 and share with each other, where this has led us. What were our failures, our successes, our edits to our future plans?

Plenary Sessions Subthemes

Session 1: Museum Challenges Under Pandemic
Session 2: Ways to Reach New Audiences
Session 3: Responses to Global Issues
Session 4: New Partnerships and New Opportunities
Session 5: How Do Technologies Reshape Science Centres/Museums

Welcome Message from ASPAC President

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

A warm greeting to all ASPAC family members and our friends far and near! I hope this message finds everyone safe and healthy, with vitality, resilience, and perseverance in our purposeful works, despite the odds and challenges imposed upon us by the global pandemic.

When we decided on Hong Kong hosting this year’s ASPAC conference towards the end of the year, we were hopeful for a physical meeting. However, the virus has proven to be more cunning with its mutations than how the world has frantically tried to battle against it. The ongoing travel restriction and other control measures have left us with no other option but to organise the event virtually for participants from outside of Hong Kong.

"New Horizons Revealed After a Crisis: Where Do We Go From Here?" is the theme of this year’s conference. It is meant for us to reflect on how our science centre and museum field has to work with new paradigms to expand our services and reach beyond the physical premise of our establishment that we are so used to providing for our stakeholders and target audiences.

The COVID-19 pandemic has inevitably shone a spotlight on the importance of science communication and the significance of science literacy in the world we live in. While it has brutally and abruptly caused disruption to our normal mode of operation, it has also made us rethink, reimagine, reset, and reboot our operation. How might we learn from one another the transformation strategy suited to our respective local conditions which might also be relevant to all science centres and museums is a good agenda for the conference.

The COVID-19 outbreak crisis has opened new opportunities and horizons for us to make the best of all digital and transmedia platforms to fulfil our mission in science communication and education! May we all emerge from the pandemic stronger and more robust than before and bravely march into the new future. May we also continue to strengthen our fellowship in ASPAC and alliance for collaborations and co-creations to serve locally in our respective home community and across the Asia Pacific region as a cross-border big family!

Yours sincerely,
TM Lim