State-of-the-art convening space will connect Boston’s scientific community and play a leading role in transforming the nation’s relationship with science and technology


BOSTON, MA — The Museum of Science, Boston today announced a major renovation and reinvention of 10,000 square feet at the Museum to establish the Public Science Common, a state-of-the-art convening space that will connect the public to Boston’s unparalleled scientific community. The space is a critical part of meeting the Museum’s mission to inspire a lifelong love of science in everyone and to play a leading role in transforming the nation’s relationship with science and technology at a time of rapid innovation. Lead support has been generously provided by Bloomberg Philanthropies.

The new convening space will serve as the central hub of the Museum’s three new Centers for Public Science Learning—the Center for Life Sciences, the Center for the Environment, and the Center for Space Sciences—allowing each Center to create programming that engages the public on the latest in science and technology, gives them hope for the future, and enables them to imagine a place for themselves in our science-driven world. Led respectively by directors Insoo Hyun, PhD, David Sittenfeld, PhD, and Danielle LeBlanc—whose vast networks include the best scientific minds in academia, industry, and government in Boston and beyond—the Centers will use the new convening space as a platform for public conversations, lectures, ideas festivals, student competitions, digitally enabled events, and more.

“The Public Science Common will allow us to lead the world in an exciting new direction for engaging the public with science,” said Tim Ritchie, president of the Museum of Science. “The Public Science Common will be common ground for everyone interested in science and technology. It will be a place for people to bring their ideas and hopes, questions, and doubts. It will be a place where industry, academia, government, and the public can think out loud and solve problems together.”

The new Public Science Common, built within the current footprint of the Museum, will replace the existing Cahners Theater with a 10,000-square-foot, flexible, multimedia venue accommodating up to 700 people and opening to 270-degree views of the Charles River through three walls of glass. Flexible systems and technology allow for multiple programming in a single space, giving the Museum a new capacity to serve different audiences quickly and creatively and explore multiple topics. Accompanying renovations to the Museum will include upgrades to improve accessibility and the Museum’s ability to meet its ambitious goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2035. The Museum anticipates construction on the Public Science Common convening space will commence in 2024, with a planned completion date in 2026.

The principal architect behind the Public Science Common is William Rawn Associates, a national award-winning performing arts architecture firm responsible for some of New England’s most iconic buildings, including the central libraries for Boston Public Library and Cambridge Public Library, Seiji Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood, Tata and Klarman Hall at Harvard Business School, Brookline High School, and Berklee Tower. The lead construction company on the project is Consigli Construction Co., Inc. Consigli has extensive experience in the museums/cultural space, including the National Air and Space Museum, the Lincoln Memorial, the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library & Museum, and the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Consigli has partnered with William Rawn Associates on multiple projects, including: the central libraries for Boston Public Library and Cambridge Public Library, the Gordon Center for Creative and Performance Arts at Colby College, and Tanglewood’s Linde Center for Music and Learning.

Press Kit

View and download artist's renderings of the Public Science Common available for press use.