As a major scientific institution, the Cnam has a mission to raise awareness of scientific and technological culture and to give everyone an access to knowledge through its rich and varied resources.
The Musée des arts et métiers
One distinctive characteristics of the Cnam is Musée des arts et métiers. As a significant focus on scientific and technical heritage, it plays an important role in the dissemination of scientific and technical culture in France. With 6,000 m2 of permanent public exhibition space, the museum makes the genius of innovation and the historical development of science and technology available to all, covering 7 themes: scientific instruments, materials, construction, communication, transport, energy, and mechanics. The museum also regularly organises temporary exhibitions related to major scientific issues, characters, or to specific object or invention. This unique collection spans 250 years of technical innovation and also includes 15,000 technical drawings and more than 80,000 exhibits - one of the most famous being Foucault's pendulum (see picture). The museum also has reserved collections that are available to specialists and researchers. The Musée des arts et métiers welcomes around 200,000 people each year, including 40,000 school children.
A documentary network widely available on the internet
The Cnam documentary network consists of a reference collection devoted to science and technology.
37,000 dissertations and doctoral theses,
more than 4,500 periodicals,
900 videos, 180 CDRoms and 30 encyclopedias.
In the last few years, the documentary network has increased its presence with the creation of its On-line library, which now includes more than 300,000 digitised pages. Each year the online Library receives 26,000 visits with 10.5 millions pages downloaded.
The Cnam organises, each year, approximately 350 public events throughout its network: conferences, exhibitions, congresses, seminars, etc. Depending on the subject, they are designed either for the general public or for professionals and experts. They are always chaired by renowned speakers, experts or specialists.