In recent decades the Istituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza has greatly expanded. The visibility of the museum has soared thanks to its numerous activities and to the temporary exhibitions it has organized, many of them highly successful on an international level. The museum has thus come to the forefront in the public eye, overshadowing the activities of research and documentation; and this despite the impressive growth of the library, the intense promotion of research, the publication of numerous journals and volumes, and, last but not least, the massive investment over the last twenty years in information and communication technology, thanks to which digital archives of vital importance for research in the history of science have been created.
A few years ago, an ambitious project was launched for rebalancing the institution’s many different fields of operation – research, documentation, publishing, advanced training, preservation of scientific heritage, showcasing the museum’s large collections, disseminating scientific culture, organizing events, conferences and exhibitions, and so on. This project has reached its conclusion on June 2010 with the inauguration of a museum the premises and contents of which have been radically renovated. It is fitting to begin this new stage by adopting a new name: Museo Galileo. The subtitle, Istituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza, provides a link to its earlier history and shows that the activities of documentation and research have always been, are now and will continue to be, the focus of highest attention.