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Carnegie Science Center names new director for Buhl Planetarium

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Brendan Mullan has extensive background in education, planetary studies

The Carnegie Science Center has announced that Brendan Mullan will be joining the Center’s staff as Director of the Buhl Planetarium and Observatory. Under his capacity Mr. Mullan will be in charge of running the planetarium’s day-to-day operation, overseeing the planetarium and observatory and developing new and exciting educational experiences for the Center’s visitors.

Mr. Mullan is a native of Buffalo, N.Y. and holds a PhD in astronomy and astrophysics from Pennsylvania State University. While at the University, he designed and conducted a series of outreach programming in astronomy and astrobiology that was geared for all age groups. He also led science camps, directed planetarium shows and was instrumental in developing the first video game-based Web course for the university.

Among Mr. Mullan’s accomplishments was being named a National Geographic Emerging Explorer in 2013. This program had him traveling the nation speaking at schools. In his talks, he introduced inquiry based thinking to the students while advising teachers to utilize science communication. He was also named the 2012 NASA FameLab National Champion which is a speech competition based on the idea that the ability to convey science will help to reshape the face of discovery. His winning speech was titled, “Why are there no aliens on Earth?”

“I want to inspire the next generation of scientific thinkers,” Mullan said. “I hope to engage students with that spark of excitement inherent to the planetarium experience – not just encouraging those who want to be astronomers, but everyone who will use science thinking to build the foundations of the 21st Century.”

Mr. Mullan’s love of science began as a child and he strongly values the Science Center’s long history of showcasing science to the visitors. Buhl Planetarium was established in 1939, as the nation’s fifth planetarium, and evolved into Carnegie Science Center in 1991. Carnegie Science Center will celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Buhl Planetarium this fall.

“This isn’t my planetarium,” he said. “It’s the city of Pittsburgh’s planetarium.”

For more about the Science Center and its programs, or call (412) 237-3400.

About Carnegie Science Center

Carnegie Science Center is dedicated to inspiring learning and curiosity by connecting science and technology with everyday life. By making science both relevant and fun, the Science Center’s goal is to increase science literacy in the region and motivate young people to seek careers in science and technology. One of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, the Science Center is Pittsburgh’s premier science exploration destination, reaching more than 700,000 people annually through its hands-on exhibits, camps, classes, and off-site education programs.

About Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh

Founded by Andrew Carnegie in 1895, Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh is a collection of four distinctive museums dedicated to exploration through art and science: Carnegie Museum of Art, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Carnegie Science Center, and The Andy Warhol Museum. Annually, the museums reach more than 1.2 million people through exhibitions, educational programs, outreach activities, and special events.