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Michael John Gorman named MIT Museum director

Kathryn Wysocki Gunsch, the museum’s deputy director, will serve as interim director until Gorman takes up his post this summer.
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Headshot of Michael John Gorman
Michael John Gorman
Photo: Andreas Heddergott/CROP

MIT has appointed Michael John Gorman the Mark R. Epstein (Class of 1963) Director of the recently re-imagined MIT Museum.

Gorman replaces longtime museum director John Durant, who stepped down in 2023. Originally from Ireland, Gorman is the founding director of BIOTOPIA - Naturkundemuseum Bayern in Munich, Germany, a newly established innovative center and museum space for life sciences and environment. Since 2015, he has been responsible for the development of the center’s vision, exhibition strategy, and operations and festivals combining science and the arts. He is also a tenured university professor for life sciences in society at the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich.  

Gorman was the founding director of Science Gallery at Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland, a groundbreaking public space for innovation, science, and the arts. From 2012 to 2016, Gorman served as CEO of Science Gallery International, a nonprofit he founded with university partners to support the establishment of the Global Science Gallery Network in cities including London; Melbourne, Australia; and Bengaluru, India.  

From 1999 to 2000, Gorman held dual postdoctoral fellowships at MIT’s Dibner Institute and Harvard University’s Department of History of Science, before becoming a lecturer in science, technology, and society at Stanford University. He is the author of books on topics ranging from Buckminster Fuller´s designs to 17th century art and science to the recent book “Idea Colliders: The Future of Science Museums," published by the MIT Press. He has curated numerous exhibitions and festivals bridging science, art, technology, and design around the world.

“I see the MIT Museum as a dynamic public forum, a place to encounter possible futures, and a leading center for public engagement at the nexus of science, technology, and the arts and design," says Gorman. “I’m greatly looking forward to building on the excellent work that’s been done by the museum team since its re-opening at the spectacular new site in Kendall Square, and to realizing the museum´s vast potential as MIT's window to the world.” 

Kathryn Wysocki Gunsch, deputy director of the MIT Museum, will serve as interim director until Gorman takes up his post this summer.

In October 2022, a reinvented MIT Museum opened in a new location in the heart of the Kendall Square Gateway of MIT’s campus at 314 Main Street in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The museum aims to make innovation and research available to all by presenting the best of STEAM, and to “turn MIT inside-out,” inviting visitors to take part in ongoing research while demonstrating how science and innovation will shape the future of society.

Highlights include freshly conceived exhibitions featuring objects from the museum’s prodigious collections of over 1.5 million objects, along with loans of art and artifacts; the Lee Family Exchange event space for public dialogue and conversation; a hands-on Heide Maker Hub, where audiences can experiment with putting scientific ideas into action; and an enlarged store.

Press Mentions

The Boston Globe

Boston Globe reporter Malcom Gay writes that Michael John Gorman, “a museum professional who has created and run several organizations devoted to science and the arts,” has been named the next director of the MIT Museum. At the MIT Museum, "Gorman inherits a dynamic new cultural venue replete with gallery space, forum areas, learning labs, a public maker hub, and collection of some 1.5 million objects,” Gay writes.

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