Rochester Museum & Science Center
Who We Are
The RMSC (Rochester Museum & Science Center) ignites a passion for lifelong learning and equips our community with the foundational skills, knowledge, and understanding of the technologies needed to help solve society’s most pressing challenges.
The mission of the RMSC (Rochester Museum & Science Center) is to create a better world through inspiring curiosity, exploration and engagement across history, science, culture and the natural world. (Adopted by the Board of Trustees in December 2023)
The RMSC is a recognized leader in immersive experiences that ignite and sustain a passion for lifelong learning.
- Community: Providing an inclusive, fun space that fosters learning and collaboration to benefit our diverse region and increase the impact of our efforts.
- Innovation: Creating improved and more innovative ways of executing our mission by not resting on our accomplishments, but rather by building upon them to exceed expectations in everything we do.
- Excellence: Offering engaging, enjoyable experiences that spark curiosity, promote exploration, and inspire creativity to address the changing needs of our world.
- Lifelong Learning: Fostering an environment that encourages a purposeful ongoing pursuit of new concepts, knowledge, and ideas for learners of all ages through educational programs, interactive exhibits, and scientific and civic engagement across the community.
- Integrity: Embodying respect, responsibility, and accuracy in our educational programs, collections management, exhibits, and events, demonstrated through thoughtful interactions with members, staff, donors, and the communities we serve.
We are the translators and interpreters of scholarly scientific knowledge and the conveners and facilitators of community dialogue. We work with communities of origin and interest to illuminate the lived experiences and cultural perspectives of the people we represent in a way that is authentic, respectful, and useful. We make content accessible and relevant through the inclusion of many voices. We utilize data-driven decision-making to guide our work, presenting information and experiences that are contextualized within history and culture to respect multiple worldviews and are supported by facts and true information.
The RMSC is a place that provides the inspiration and tools for guests to follow their own curiosity, where they can experience new delight and wonder upon each visit or dive into specific subjects to participate in solving the deepest challenges of our times. It is a place where each learner is encouraged to follow their own unique journey.
The RMSC sits on the unceded land of the Onöndowa’ga:’ (Seneca) people of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Confederacy. Gasgo’sagö:h, In the Waterfall, is the Seneca placename for Rochester, NY. The RMSC acknowledges that it was founded on the displacement, exclusion, and erasure of Indigenous peoples, including those on whose land this institution is located. This acknowledgement is one small step in the process of dismantling the unjust legacies of colonialism and honoring Seneca and Haudenosaunee communities, their elders both past and present, as well as future generations.
Nya:weh (thank you) to Jamie Jacobs (Tonawanda Seneca Nation, Turtle Clan), Laticia McNaughton (Mohawk Nation, Wolf Clan), and Felicia Garcia (Chumash) for their contributions in creating this land acknowledgement.
why do we spell Haudenosaunee as Hodinöšyö:nih?
Why is it spelled Hodinöšyö:nih? The RMSC has updated our current spelling of Haudenosaunee with Hodinöšyö:nih. The word translates to English as “People of the
Longhouse.” The spelling of “Haudenosaunee” is a version of the spelling that derives from its first use in English by Lewis Henry Morgan as “Ho-dé-no-
sau-nee.” There are a multitude of different spellings, pronunciations, and translations within regional communities. The spelling that we have decided to use for the
time being is a result of our consultation and ongoing work with Seneca communities. Hodinöšyö:nih contains diacritical marks (e.g. ö) that help the reader pace the spoken word as “ho-dee-noh[long]-sh-oh[long]-nee,” which is closest to the current spoken language version of the groups we work with.
A COMMITMENT TO EQUITY
The RMSC is committed to taking a stance against racism by teaching about and addressing racism through exhibits and community-based work and programs. In addition to engaging in anti-racist education, the RMSC is also committed to confronting the historic and contemporary impacts and prevalence of structural, institutional, and individual racism in our society by collaborating with organizations and individuals of diverse backgrounds, ages, communities of origin, and abilities on program and exhibit development. The RMSC is dedicated to becoming a diverse and inclusive community resource where authentic voices are valued and represented.
As part of this work, we have worked with Black, Latinx, Asian, Haudenosaunee, and other Indigenous communities to create several exhibitions and programs which highlight diverse stories and social issues. These include: Take it Down! Organizing Against Racism, Objectively Racist: How Objects and Images Perpetuate Racism… And What We Can Do To Change It, The Changemakers: Rochester Women Who Changed the World, Haudenosaunee Days, A Journey Through Time in African American History, and others.
The RMSC also continues to create and cultivate relationships with Native American communities through NAGPRA consultation and the repatriation of ancestors and cultural heritage objects back to those communities with which they belong. It is a priority for the RMSC to develop meaningful relationships with Native American communities based on respect and trust with the understanding and acknowledgment that as an institution we are founded upon the exclusions and erasures of many indigenous peoples, including the Seneca people on whose land the institution is located.
Internally, the staff and Trustees of the RMSC have created a Board and Staff Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee to ensure that our job posting, hiring, interviewing, and selection process is free of any bias. The RMSC is committed to taking an active role in seeking more Black, Indigenous, and other People of color to fill open job positions and serve as Trustees for our Board of Directors to ensure inclusion at all levels of operations.