The mission of the Harvard Museums of Science & Culture (HMSC) is to foster curiosity and a spirit of discovery in visitors of all ages, enhancing public understanding of and appreciation for the natural world, science, and human cultures. HMSC works in concert with Harvard faculty, museum curators, and students, as well as with members of the extended Harvard community, to provide interdisciplinary exhibitions, events and lectures, and educational programs for students, teachers, and the general public. HMSC draws primarily upon the extensive collections of the member museums and the research of their faculty and curators.
The Harvard Museums of Science & Culture (HMSC) partnership was established on July 1, 2012 by the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Michael D. Smith, to develop a strong, coordinated public face for the six museums that are within the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard:
- Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments
- Harvard Museum of Natural History
- Harvard Museum of the Ancient Near East
- Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology
- Create and communicate a welcoming and inclusive environment for multi-generational and diverse audiences.
- Strengthen our commitment to a broad public through an emphasis on relevant experiences that are valued by both existing and new audiences.
- Design an exceptional experience for onsite visitors that supports successful lifelong learning.
- Foster cross-disciplinary and cross-museum collaborative projects and strengthen connections across campus.
- Enhance financial and organizational capacity to achieve our mission and support Harvard’s sustainability goals.
See our 2019–2023 Strategic Plan for more information.
HMSC values a way of working that encourages broad participation, respect for people and their ideas, and the alignment of efforts around a defined goal. Effective collaboration requires trust in partnerships, consistent communication, transparency, and clear expectations for process and outcomes.
HMSC strives to make all people feel welcome and supported in our museums. We embrace Harvard’s recent report “Pursuing Excellence on a Foundation of Inclusion” and, through deliberate intention and effort in all areas, will make diversity, equity, and accessibility integral to our work. For more information about inclusion efforts at HMSC please read the HMSC Inclusion Statement.
HMSC offers evidence-based learning experiences to support a deeper understanding of science, culture and the natural world, and to enable our audiences to reflect and make decisions on the most important challenges that face society in the twenty-first century.
HMSC champions Harvard’s commitments to addressing environmental sustainability through its support of campus-wide operational initiatives and by advancing understanding of this issue by wide-ranging audiences both on and off campus.