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Mikko Myllykoski

Mikko Markus Myllykoski
Born December 25, 1963, Vammala

Bachelor of arts 1993, Master of Arts 1998 (general history), University of Helsinki
Doctoral student of art history 2012–, University of Helsinki

Experience Director 2002–, Heureka Science Centre
Head of design 1999–2002, senior designer 1994–99 and designer 1990–94, Heureka Science Centre
University of Helsinki history project research assistant 1990

President of the Finnish Association of Science Editors and Journalists (FASEJ) 2015–
President of the Società Dante Alighieri (comitato di Helsinki) 2008–12
President of the Finnish Inter Press Service 1994–2000

Research themes:
Travel-literature themed Master’s thesis on Mrs Alec Tweedie’s 1896 Finnish travelogue
Doctoral dissertation (in progress) on the exhibition Dialogue in the Dark as a radical social innovator

State Award for Public Information for the exhibition Nordic Explorers 1997 (together with Jouko Koskinen)

Recognition for Heureka Science Centre exhibitions:
Employer of the month award from the Ministry of Labour for recruiting 45 visually-impaired guides for the exhibition Dialogue in the Dark

Association of Finnish Aviation Journalists Follow Me award for the exhibition Flight! 2003

Association of Science and Technology Centers’ Roy L.Shafer Leading Edge Award for Visitor Experience for the exhibition Heureka Goes Crazy 2014

Photo: Pinja Myllykoski
Written by
Mikko Myllykoski (Riitta-Ilona Hurmerinta ed.)
Translated by Matthew Billington


My interest in the history of Antiquity and the Latin language blossomed into a love of Mediterranean culture and especially of Italy. At the beginning of my studies, I majored in Classical Antiquity, and I took two courses at the Finnish Institute in Rome, one short and one a whole semester long.

“Far from home for Christmas.” Cover of the photo album of an Interrail trip taken in December 1984 - January 1985.

From the university notice board I also discovered the opportunity to participate in an archaeological dig in Cerveteri, Etruria, with the Gruppo Archeologico Romano. As even my Interrail holidays tended to concentrate on Italy, my facility with the language had eventually reached the stage where I was able to work as interpreter on a six-week field trip for a Forest Economics and Marketing graduate who was writing a thesis on how Italian door, window, and furniture manufacturers used Finnish wood. Even Italy’s industrial estates abounded with Italians with a love of culture and human interaction, and it finally dawned on me that the attraction of Italy wasn’t merely my interest in its art and culture.

Siena, Italy, January 1985. Photo: Mikko Myllykoski.

One of my most fascinating projects at the Heureka Science Centre has been to design and script a programme on the Italian renaissance for the largest projection screen in Finland, the 500 square metre dome of Heureka’s Verne Theatre. This was before digital technology, so the programme was composed of full-frame fish-eye lens slides combined with moving pictures in a three-screen video panorama.

The Greek theatre in Syracuse. December 1986. Photo: Vesa Vasara.

Here in Finland I have been able to deepen my interest in Italy through the Società Dante Alighieri. We have played host to Italian experts on their country’s language, culture, and society, such as film directors, historians, literature scholars, and also to the director of a museum of counterfeits, a visually impaired lawyer from Rome, a science clown, Sardinian tenors, and the first Italian woman to hold a commercial pilot licence.

In Rome, the student became “Dottore” and a library card granted you entrance through the gates of the Vatican, but to enter the library of the École Française in the Palazzo Farnese you also needed your passport. At the time it was permitted – and common – to smoke in its reading rooms. Photo: Ville Vauras.

Strong collaboration with Italy has also been a feature of my day job, especially in connection with the new building project of MuSe (Museo delle Scienze) or the Science Museum of Trento. I was then a member of their vision team, and today I sit on their Scientific Committee, with international cooperation as my brief.

Poster for a show in the Verne Theatre, 1995.


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