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Pickering Chosen as MIT Museum Head

By Dan Riordan

Jane Pickering has taken over as the new director of the MITMuseum.

Pickering comes to MIT from her native England, where she received a master of arts in natural sciences from the University of Cambridge and a master of science in museum sciences from the University of Leicester.

Pickering worked as curator of the Oxford University Museum of Natural History and then as curator of the Museums of the Royal College of Surgeons of England in London before her appointment at the MITMuseum.

Pickering plans to develop the MITMuseum as "an interface between the university and the wider community" by concentrating more specifically on MIT culture and events.

She mentioned the most recent exhibit at museum, "Flashes of Inspiration: The Work of Harold Edgerton," as emblematic of the exhibits that the MITMuseum will display in the near future.

She expressed excitement about the prospect of working closely with the Institute's faculty, students, and alumni and alumnae to coordinate these exhibits.

The museum needs to increase its focus on the science at MIT, she said. The museum should feature "more exhibits directly related to research."

This shift in focus will distinguish the MITMuseum from the plethora of museums located in the Boston and Cambridge area, she said.

Pickering's plans include more interactive exhibits - ones that will promote visitor participation.

As director of the museum, Pickering brings her extensive experience in coordinating museum education and outreach programs, particularly within university settings.

Pickering also hopes to draw a larger audience to the MIT Museum by targeting area high schools through outreach programs and educational exhibits. In this way, she said that she expects that the MITMuseum will assume a greater role in not only the MITcommunity but in the larger community as well.