After 15 Years Board Announces International Search for Exploratorium’s New Leader
Dr. Goéry Delacôte, Executive Director of the Exploratorium for the past fifteen years, announced today that he will resign his position due to family obligations, effective in September 2005. Bill Bowes, Chairman of the Exploratorium Board of Directors, has appointed Board member George Cogan of Bain & Company, to chair a search committee for the next Executive Director. The committee will begin its work immediately in anticipation of Dr. Delacôte's departure.
“Dr. Delacôte leaves to rejoin his family in Europe, but will remain connected to the Exploratorium. He has brought an international perspective and an international profile to the Exploratorium. He leaves the Exploratorium as a world leader in the field of science centers, and we are confident that we will attract another great leader,” said Board Chairman William Bowes. “In the meantime, the Exploratorium will go forward with all its future projects and plans.”
“I have come to love San Francisco, almost as much as Paris, but it is imperative for me to relocate to Europe due to personal reasons. Although I regret leaving the Exploratorium, one of my best professional experiences, I have accepted the position of CEO of At-Bristol, a science center that is one of the two leading Millennium 2000 projects in the UK. It is, needless to say, much closer to my family.”
In Dr. Delacôte’s fifteen years heading the Exploratorium, the internationally celebrated science museum has grown from a budget of $7 million to $28 million. It now has a staff of 400, as well as 300 volunteers, and over a half million visitors annually. More than 7 million people see Exploratorium-designed exhibits displayed at science centers around the world, the result of an international network of partner museums conceived by Dr. Delacôte. And an additional 18 million visitors visit the Exploratorium via its four-time Webby Award winning website each year, also developed under Delacôte’s leadership. Dr. Delacôte expanded the Exploratorium’s Teacher Institute and Institute for Inquiry from local to local and national programs, serving 6,000 teachers from 37 states, and developing a new national model program for beginning teachers to help keep them in the field of science education. These programs reach over 300,000 students a year.
Also among his accomplishments, Dr. Delacôte oversaw the introduction of new technologies to bring innovation to informal science education. The Exploratorium has become a leader in the use of Webcasts to bring the public directly to the science experienced in every day life and to the scientists working directly in particular fields. Exploratorium Webcasts, now emulated internationally, include firsthand visits to Antarctica or to the far flung locations of total solar eclipses around the world, as examples.
Dr. Delacôte is the longest serving director of the Exploratorium, following the death of the Exploratorium’s founder and director Frank Oppenheimer. Dr. Oppenheimer founded the Exploratorium in 1969.
A noted French scientist, educator and public servant, Dr. Goéry Delacôte is a French citizen and native of Paris. In November 2001, the French government presented Dr. Delacôte with the insignia of the Chevalier de la Legion d’honneur, the French equivalent of knighthood. He has been chairman of the Board of the Palais de la Découverte, the renowned French science museum in Paris, since December 2002. From 1982-1991, Dr. Delacôte was the Director of the Science and Technology Information Division of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS). His most recent book, Savoir Apprendre, tells of his experience of his first five years in California and focuses on the basic ingredients needed for major educational reform in both France and the US.