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Science Museum Group facts for kids

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The Science Museum Group (SMG) is a collection of British museums, comprising:

The chairman of the group is Dame Mary Archer who was appointed by Prime Minister David Cameron for the four-year term from 2015 from 2018. Dame Mary Archer was reappointed as Chairman 2019–2022 in January 2018.


The term "National Museum of Science and Industry" had been in use as the Science Museum's subtitle since the early 1920s. The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum is the corporate body of SMG and was established under the National Heritage Act (1983) for the purpose of general management of the group. Prior to 1 April 2012 the group was known as the National Museum of Science and Industry (NMSI).

The National Railway Museum was established as a result of the transfer of the British Transport Commission's railway collection to the Board of Trustees of the Science Museum. The National Science and Media Museum, formerly the National Media Museum, was established by the Science Museum in 1983. The Science Museum was run directly by HM Government until 1984, when the Board of Trustees was established and NMSI was then adopted as a corporate title for the entire organisation. At this point NMSI no longer operated as part of a central government department; instead, it now had the status of a non-departmental public body, operating within the public sector but separately from its associated sponsoring government department, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. The Science Museum Group operates as a charity; it also has a wholly owned subsidiary trading company, NMSI Trading Limited, which was established in 1988.

From January 2012 the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester became part of the Science Museum Group.

From 2017 Locomotion, The National Railway Museum at Shildon, became part of the Science Museum Group.

There were concerns that some of the Science Museum Group's museums would close under the 2013 Spending Review.


The Science Museum Group cares for 7.3 million objects from areas of science, technology, engineering, medicine, transport and media. The collection includes:

Directors of NMSI

The following have been Directors of the National Museum of Science and Industry, the Science Museum and the Science Museum Group:

  • Dame Margaret Weston DBE FMA (1973–1986)
  • Sir Neil Cossons OBE FSA FMA (1986–2000)
  • Dr Lindsay Sharp (2000–2005)
  • Prof. Martin Earwicker FREng (2006–2007)

The following have separately been Directors of the NMSI:

  • Prof. Martin Earwicker FREng (2007–2009)
  • Molly Jackson (2009)
  • Andrew Scott CBE (2009–2010)
  • Ian Blatchford (2010–)
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