The role of Canadian science museums: making sense of mission statements



A mission statement is part of a museum’s organisational culture that describes the “who” and “why” of the institution. Mission statements guide museum staff and influence their activities, and also send a message to visitors and the general public about the museum’s purpose. Accordingly, museums, including science museums, should develop mission statements that reflect their institutional roles. However, there is no one formula that must be followed when constructing a mission statement. Important roles such as museum education, which may include mediation and interpretation, may not be included in a mission statement. In this project, we analyze the publicly available mission statements of Canadian science museums – an umbrella term that includes aquaria, natural history museums, science centres, and zoos – to identify museum roles and priorities. Using thematic analysis, we determined the common characteristics of the public portrayal of science museums’ institutional identities as suggested by their mission statements.


View Counter: Abstract | 47 | times, and

Re S M ICT E | ISSN: 1792-3999 (electronic), 1791-261X (print) | Laboratory of Didactics of Sciences, Mathematics and ICT, Department of Educational Sciences and Early Childhood Education - University of Patras.

Pasithee | Library & Information Center | University of Patras