23 July, 2007

The Science Museum today (23 July 2007) announced the appointment of Prof Chris Rapley CBE as its new Director.

Prof Rapley is currently Director of the British Antarctic Survey where he has gained a reputation for visionary leadership, and where he has positioned BAS firmly in the international and national limelight as the worldwide centre of excellence in its field.

He is also well known as an expert in climate change science and as the architect of the International Polar Year 2007-2008.

Prof Rapley said:

“I am thrilled at the prospect of taking on the leadership of such a cherished national institution, especially as the task I have been set is to make it the most admired museum in the world.”

He will take up the post on 1st September.

Prof Martin Earwicker, Director of the National Museum of Science and Industry – which comprises the Science Museum in London, National Railway Museum in York and National Media Museum in Bradford – said: “We are delighted to have been able to attract such a high calibre figure from the world of science after an extremely a wide ranging search to find the very best candidates for the role.

“Chris will concentrate on leading the Science Museum’s cultural agenda, building the international reputation of the museum brand with sponsors, government and the public, and becoming the public face of the museum.”

Further information

Stephen Bromberg, Science Museum, 020 7942 4352 or 0781 581 8884 or stephen.bromberg@sciencemuseum.org.uk
Linda Capper, British Antarctic Survey, 01223 221448 or 07714 233744 or L.Capper@bas.ac.uk

Notes to editors:

Science Museum

The Science Museum is home to more than 12,000 objects and provides a fascinating insight into the worlds of science, technology, medicine and industry. Hands on galleries, drama characters and science shows bring to life the past, present and future of human scientific ingenuity. Visitors can see and interact with major scientific advances from the last 300 years, from original working steam engines to the actual Apollo 10 command module, all spread over seven floors in a building ¼ mile long.

In addition, the Dana Centre, the Science Museum’s annex dedicated to discussing contemporary and controversial science, brings live debates, science art installations, experiments and stand-up comedy to everybody over 18 who wants a thought-provoking night out.

The museum was established with the profits from The Great Exhibition of 1851 and is now one of the top visitor attractions in the UK.

British Antarctic Survey

British Antarctic Survey is a world leader in research into global issues in an Antarctic context. It is the UK’s national operator and is a component of the Natural Environment Research Council. It has an annual budget of around £40 million, runs nine research programmes and operates five research stations, two Royal Research Ships and five aircraft in and around Antarctica. More information about the work of the Survey can be found at: www.antarctica.ac.uk