Mind opener
- Maria Isabel Garcia, curator, The Mind Museum () - March 15, 2012 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Everyone holds a museum in his or her mind — their ideal museum with every piece waiting to be explored, embraced in understanding or awe, and then remembered. For our citizens alone, that would make for at least 100 million ideal museums. These constitute the weight of expectations that we were conscious of when we started to plan for a science museum five years ago.

But we could neither build a hundred million museums nor could we distill their essences into one. So we decided to make one museum that would create its own special space in everyone’s imagination. It will be a museum that will put back the “muse” in our collective wonderment and understanding. We will build one that will focus first on the fundamental sciences evident in the smallest of things to the biggest of things.  We will build one that will capture nature in interconnected spaces, the universe inside us — our brains — and the universe outside us — made up of galaxies and stars. We could build one that others could build upon as years go by. And that we did.

We could have relied on the usual modes of exhibit-making, mostly from foreign sources. We got some of those but for the most part, we figured that we need to find the local “usual suspects” who can think and showcase creativity and sparkling intellect. We knew that we could only thrive in the long run if we can get local support from Filipino scientists and the artists. And that we did.

Throughout the five years, we forged passions and resources to show science through artistic shapes and forms in one museum. This is The Mind Museum which will open its doors to the public tomorrow. For the first time in the history of our country, we now have a center for the public understanding of science. Think of it as version 1 which will evolve as will learn from experience.

Each of you will come through the doors of The Mind Museum with your own story of curiosity and understanding. Other exhibits will enthrall you more than others and some would leave you puzzled even after you exit. The Mind Museum provides a space for a fellowship of curious minds and explorers. We will inspire you to the cusp of understanding so that you will get into the habit of finding things out for yourself in whatever you do, even after you exit our doors. Like the dynamic sciences, that is how the journey of understanding happens — you begin with your own curiosity and the journey is never complete. In fact, it always leaves you with more questions to think about.  

We have Mind Movers (MMs) that will help you get started in the museum for a few minutes. After that, we trust that your own “mission” will prompt you to explore and joyfully pursue your own understanding across the galleries. The MMs will be around for any questions you may have but more importantly, they will be there to make you ask more questions to expand your “curious” territory. 

We do not aim to be the ideal museum in each of your minds. We just want to be that museum that can move, even a little bit, your mind into another territory — a territory you understand for yourself. 

Welcome to The Mind Museum where every corner affirms that understanding is indeed joyful.

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