Dr. Michelle B. Larson
Dr. Michelle B. Larson, Adler Planetarium – Dr. Larson is President and CEO of Adler Planetarium, America’s first planetarium. Dr. Larson leads a talented team that helps people of all ages explore and discover our universe in their own community and at the Adler’s twenty-first century space science center that includes the institution’s landmark museum complex, exhibition galleries, and three theaters; a robust research enterprise; one of the world’s leading collections documenting the history of science; and an award-winning education and outreach program.
Before joining the Adler, Larson served as Vice Provost at Utah State University. She has worked as a science education specialist and administrator at the University of California-Berkeley, the California Institute of Technology, the Montana Space Grant Consortium, and the Pennsylvania State University. At each of these institutions, she served as a bridge between scientists and broader audiences. Dr. Larson is proud to be a scientist who engages the world with science. In addition to her professional passion, she enjoys sharing the more spectacular objects of the night sky with the public through her telescope. A favorite highlight was when a young child exclaimed, “Wow! Saturn looks just like a Chevy symbol.”
Dr. Larson is a member of the American Astronomical Society, the American Physical Society and serves on several national and Chicago-area advisory boards. Michelle grew up in Anchorage, Alaska, and earned her Ph.D. in Physics and undergraduate degree in Physics from Montana State University. Her doctoral work focused on neutron star astrophysics. She lives just outside Chicago with her husband, their daughter, and three cats.