Michael Bloomberg Gives $50 Million to the Museum of Science

The billionaire from Medford credits the museum with stoking his curiosity.

michael bloomberg

Photo by Ralph Alswang for the Center for American Progress on Flickr/Creative Commons

Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire, media titan, and former mayor of New York City, is in town today to deliver an enormous gift to Boston’s Museum of Science: A check for $50 million.

The donation, the biggest in the museum’s nearly 200-year history, will go toward the education division at the institution, and rename it the William and Charlotte Bloomberg Science Education Center, after his late parents.

The center will be “the heart of our whole education enterprise,” Ioannis N. Miaoulis, MOS president and director, says in a video about the donation posted online yesterday.

Bloomberg, who is from Medford, says he grew up spending time at the museum on weekends, and says the experience set him up for success in college and later in life in ways traditional schools didn’t. “They made everything come alive,” he says in the video.

“A gift today lets the museum invest in the future and I’ve always thought for my children, I can give them more money to spend or I can build a better world for them,” he says. “When you give to the museum of science you really do build a better world and maybe some kid will walk in the door, get an appreciation for science, go on and win a Nobel prize, cure cancer, who knows? Anything is possible.”

He is also taking the opportunity to advocate for more funding for STEM programs and scientific research. “It is a tragedy in the making. Other countries are expanding their investments, and America is pulling away,” he said in an interview with Globe columnist Shirley Leung. “Investments in the past created most jobs that we have today. And if we stop this, we are going to have a very big problem down the road.”

Gov. Charlie Baker and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh were on hand to accept the donation Tuesday morning, as was a marching band from Medford.