The mission of the Smithsonian Institution is to “increase and diffuse knowledge.” This succinct statement captures the core purpose and guiding principle of the institution. Since its founding in 1846, the Smithsonian has been dedicated to the advancement of knowledge and the dissemination of information in various fields of study. The institution seeks to achieve its mission through a range of activities and programs, including research, education, exhibitions, and public outreach.
Here are the key elements of the Smithsonian Institution’s mission:
- Increase Knowledge: The Smithsonian is committed to advancing knowledge in various academic disciplines, including science, history, art, culture, and technology. It conducts original research, supports scholarly activities, and collaborates with experts and institutions worldwide to generate new insights and discoveries.
- Diffuse Knowledge: The Smithsonian believes in sharing knowledge with the widest possible audience. It aims to make its research findings, collections, and resources accessible to the public, students, researchers, and educators. The institution seeks to foster a greater understanding and appreciation of the world’s natural, historical, and cultural heritage.
- Inspire Learning: Through its museums, exhibits, educational programs, and digital initiatives, the Smithsonian strives to inspire lifelong learning. It provides engaging and informative experiences that ignite curiosity and encourage a thirst for knowledge among people of all ages.
- Preserve and Conserve: The Smithsonian is dedicated to the preservation and conservation of the nation’s treasures, artifacts, and cultural heritage. It serves as a guardian of irreplaceable objects and collections, ensuring their longevity and accessibility for future generations.
- Support Public Service: The institution is committed to serving the public and fulfilling its role as a national resource. It contributes to the public good by sharing its expertise, research findings, and educational resources with communities across the United States and around the world.
- Encourage Creativity and Innovation: The Smithsonian celebrates creativity and innovation in all its forms. It provides a platform for artists, scientists, scholars, and thinkers to showcase their work and contribute to the advancement of knowledge and culture.
The Smithsonian Institution’s mission reflects its dedication to being a leader in the pursuit of knowledge, preservation of heritage, and promotion of education and understanding. Its museums, research centers, exhibitions, and public programs collectively contribute to the enrichment of society and the appreciation of the world’s diverse history, art, science, and culture.