Valencia, Spain. After working for 33 years (happily), on interactive exhibits at the Exploratorium, I have intentionally avoided science museums on this sabbatical. I wanted to push myself beyond the familiar. But this museum was a must visit, in Valencia. It was hard for me to be objective here, I admit. This type of science museum is basically the antithesis of the Exploratorium, philosophically.
The building, by architect Santiago Calatrava, is vast and futuristic like a science fiction movie set. It is infamous with Valencia locals, who are still paying for the original expense, and the repair that it constantly requires.
The banners at the entry have a "forced" feeling of enthusiasm. This is a predictable formula (Science is FUN!) which just makes me feel sad.
It's a long way to the ticket counter. This is a grandiose science "monument", where the experience is not only expensive (like many science museums), but hyped up as well.
The mix of exhibitions feels random, perhaps based on funding (?) There are a few dinosaurs, for example, next to a high tech exhibition on self driving cars, and famous Spanish physicists... the exhibition about DNA with chromasonal smoke stacks, looked pretty interesting...
Visitors seemed to be spending most of their time in an exhibition connected (somehow) to Spanish tourism. Perhaps the components were engaging because they were small and familiar. And the space was more intimate.
It feels like a science airport where nothing ever takes off or lands. There's just no sign of a beating heart to the museum, a motive or desire to take the journey.
Leaving the museum requires a long walk, no matter which way you go.