What a huge and devastating loss for the city of Pittsburgh, the Tri-State area and the scientific community. First, the Discovery Room — a fixture of the Carnegie Museum for more than two decades with a dedicated and experienced part-time staff as well as a cadre of short- and long-term volunteers — is closed after welcoming tens of thousands of visitors to the room.
It was a place where both the young and young at heart were welcomed and offered unlimited opportunities to learn more about our natural world through hands-on activities and experiences. The space is now offices. Programs and classes have been eliminated. Positions have been terminated as well.
And now professional curators on the staff have been offered buyouts (“Carnegie History Museum Offers Buyouts to Curators,” Nov. 28). This is a tremendous blow to the museum, to the city and to the community at large. These are world-renowned scientists with expertise in their respective fields. They are award-winning professionals with a deep and extensive understanding of research and scholarly writing.
If each of these individuals accepts this offer, what kind of professional staff will be left to lead the research teams, to oversee affected departments, to carry on the scientific mission of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History? Sandra Olsen, Cynthia Morton, Chen Young, Timothy Pearce, John Wible, Dave Berman, Chris Beard, John Rawlins and Marc Wilson are respected scientists. What will the museum do without a curatorial staff? What a loss for this city and for the scientific and research communities around the globe.