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Palais de la Découverte Museum In Paris France

The Palais de la Decouverte, which is translated to the Palace of Discovery, is also known as The Paris Science Museum and is situated in an exhibition hall installed in the west wing of the Grand Palais, which is situated very close to the Champs-Elysées in Paris, France.

Jean Perrin was born in 1870 and became a Nobel Prize Winner in 1926 for physics and his work on the atom, and it was Jean who first took the initiative to create a place of scientific culture within the capital of France and in 1937 the Palais de la Découverte Science Museum was created for the International Arts and Technology in Modern Life Exhibition.

Palais de Decouverte

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Palais de la Découverte Museum In Paris France

Although it was only meant to be a temporary exhibition, due to the vast number of people who attended, which was well over two million, it became a permanent museum and still occupies the same part of the Grand Palais today.  And Jean Perrin wanted this educational museum to be able to demonstrate to the general public and scientists alike that science has played a major role in our lives and it is only through research and discovery that civilisation can change.

But it was not until 1990 that the Palais de la Decouverte came under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of National Education and Research and Technology, which means that it is now directed by scientists with the aim of educating its visitors through the use of exhibitions, lectures, interactive experiments, demonstrations and workshops both for adults and children.  In fact a recent survey showed that around 50% of the major scientists in France had been inspired through their visits to the science museum during their younger years!

This museum has all you could ever want to know about science and has most of the old and elaborate physical demonstrations left in place that still actually work, but there are also a lot of new and very interesting interactive experiments for everyone to enjoy.

There are 30 individual amphitheatres within the museum, and each one is different, with the focus being on real science and contact with real scientists who conduct the demonstrations, talks, etc and after the demonstrations they will explain what you have just seen and answer any questions, which makes the science understandable for anyone but you find that people often linger afterwards to find out even more in-depth.

Visitors can watch the sky and astronomic phenomena in the museum planetarium as the Palais de la Decouverte also has a planetarium made of a 15m-diameter cupola on which the night-sky and all celestial phenomena are presented.  Although there is an additional fee for the planetarium it is well worth it and there are several different programs that last around 45 minutes each.  The Space Odyssey of Ariane V is a digitally projected simulation of two space missions presented in 3D.

There is also an electrostatic demonstration presented by a Professor at the Palais de la Découverte, that demonstrates the more violent behaviours of nature and which brings to life the 2nd most powerful force in our universe, after nuclear power, and is a very popular 'electric' show.

There are lots of permanent exhibitions, such as Voyage Into The Cell, which is a 3D film that takes you into the middle of a cell to discover its complexity and the Questions of Atmosphere, which deals with the concerns of meteorology, climate and problems relating to the o-zone.

As you may have realised this is a great museum with a hands-on approach to science for children and adults alike and with experiments, working models and videos along with scientific and technological exhibits on topics like optics, biology and nuclear physics, you will not fail to enjoy the whole experience.

There are also workshops available for a charge in Chemistry, Astronomy, Astrophysics, Mathematics, Geo-Sciences, Life Sciences and Physics, but it is advisable to check on these prior to your visit, plus please note that the demonstrations are always held at specific times during the day and there are around 60 talks and demonstrations conducted every day!

Group tours, guided tours and conferences can be arranged if booked in advance.  There is a bookshop, gift shop and restaurant and as with quite a few museums in Paris, photography is allowed.

The Palais de la Découverte is open every day of the week except for a Monday and on national holidays from 9.30am through to 6pm.  However on a Sunday it does not close until 6.30pm.

Address & Contact Details:

Palais de la Découverte
Avenue Franklin-Roosevelt

Telephone: 1 56 43 20 20 or 1 56 43 20 21

Palais de la Découverte Museum

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