Michelle Larson to Lead the Adler Planetarium

The Board of Trustees of the Adler Planetarium has elected accomplished astrophysicist and experienced academic leader Michelle B. Larson, PhD, as president.

Dr. Larson will become the Adler’s ninth leader and the first female president of America’s First Planetarium. Her appointment begins January 1, 2013.

As president, Dr. Larson will oversee a 21st century space science center that includes the institution’s landmark museum complex, exhibition galleries and three theaters; a robust research enterprise; one of the world’s leading collections documenting the history of science; and an education and outreach program.

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Annually, more than 470,000 people visit the Adler, making it one of Chicago’s leading tourist attractions.

Dr. Larson succeeds Paul H. Knappenberger, Jr., PhD, who will retire on December 31 after 21 years of service.

“I am honored to have been selected to lead the Adler Planetarium,” said Dr. Larson.

The Adler Planetarium – America’s First Planetarium – was founded in 1930 by Chicago business leader Max Adler.

A recognized leader in public learning, the Adler inspires young people – particularly women and minorities – to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and math.

Scientists, historians, and educators at the museum inspire the next generation of explorers.

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