Presented March 10, 2001
The St Louis Science Center was created by the merger of the Museum of Science and Natural History with the McDonnell Planetarium in 1983. The roots of the St Louis Science Center can be traced back to 1856, when the Academy of Science of St Louis was founded by a group of physicians, a lawyer, an engineer and a businessman. Its purpose was to maintain a museum collection and library, publish a journal, and interact with other scientists.
The museum moved from Lindell Blvd to Oak Knoll Park in 1958 and became known as the Museum of Science and Natural History. In 1971, voters in St Louis City and County approved the formation of the St Louis Metropolitan Zoo–Museum District. The ownership of the museum was then transferred from the Academy of Science to the new subdistrict.
The St Louis Science Center serves as a bridge between scientist and layperson, encouraging an understanding of ecology and the environment, humanity, technology, and the space sciences, and how they interrelate. By fostering an active interest in science and mathematics, the Science Center prepares people to make decisions that may shape the future and meet society’s need for scientific literacy. By enhancing the scientific literacy of those who visit, the Science Center has given non-scientists a better appreciation of chemistry, the chemistry around us and that everything is made of chemicals.