“Science Comedian” Brian Malow joins NC Museum of Natural Sciences

Brian Malow, new Curator of the SECU Daily Planet. What's the Daily Planet? Click on the image.

RALEIGH, NC – Although it’s personal day job news, I’m certain this announcement will be of interest to all of our PLoS readers and others in the science communications community.

Brian Malow, Earth’s Premier Science Comedian, has been named Curator of the SECU Daily Planet at the new Nature Research Center (NRC) of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.

Currently residing in San Francisco, Malow produces science videos for TIME magazine’s website and is a contributor to Neil deGrasse Tyson’s StarTalk radio show.

The SECU Daily Planet is the iconic centerpiece of the new 80,000 square foot wing of North Carolina’s flagship natural science museum.

The NRC addition will open to the public with a 24-hour program of Grand Opening events beginning at 5 pm on Friday, April 20.

The Grand Opening will be preceded by a formal Gala and After Party on the evening of Friday, April 13. Tickets for the Gala and After Party are on sale here but admission to the April 20th public grand opening – and every day afterward – is free.

Building upon a 132-year history of showing visitors what we know about the natural world, the Museum’s NRC will engage visitors in-person and online to experience the scientific process in action: how we know what we know.

And what exactly is the Daily Planet?

Brian Malow and yours truly outside the SECU Daily Planet as its satellite imagery skin is applied. 27 March 2012. Credit: Tara Lee.

This three-story, 42-foot-high immersive high-definition multimedia theatre will host rich science visuals, on-site discussions, and global town hall presentations from scientists in the field and at sea. This and other programming will bring the process of scientific discovery and its societal impacts to Museum visitors, K-12 classrooms, universities and research institutes locally, nationally, and internationally. In addition to seating on the first floor of the theatre, visitors can also view programming from sweeping balconies on the NRC’s 2nd and 3rd floor.

Malow will lead these and other presentations, such as K-12 teacher workshops, science book author events, and science cafes. He is already booked to host a two-hour cafe in the NRC’s new “science sports bar” from midnight to 2 am at the April 20-21 grand opening.

Malow also has visions for a science talk show and other interactive audio and video features. Together with Museum scientists and education experts, Malow will work on providing broader impact activities for National Science Foundation grantees at our local partner universities and elsewhere. Malow will also conduct science communication workshops for students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty as he has done for the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), NSF, and National Research Council Canada.

“The Museum has always been a very fun place to go to, but now it is going to be SuperFun – absolutely perfect match between the job and the person,” says Bora Zivkovic, Blog Editor for the Scientific American blog network and Chapel Hill, NC, resident. “I can’t wait to see Brian in action at the Daily Planet!”

NRC Director and tree canopy conservation biologist Dr. Meg “Canopy Meg” Lowman says, “We’ve already hired some rockstars as scientists at the NRC. Brian Malow is totally over the top to complete our team. His sense of humor, science expertise and passion for science communication will inspire millions of visitors, both virtual and real.”

Enthusiasm for this match is certainly mutual.

Malow reflects, “This really feels like the culmination of so many separate threads in my career – live performance, video and audio production, and helping scientists communicate their message to the public . . . but on a much grander scale and with these amazing resources – not just the technology but an incredible team of scientists and educators.”

“I’m a little bit excited,” Malow laughs.

To arrange an interview with Brian Malow, please contact me (David Kroll), NRC Director of Science Communications, at (919) 564-9564 or david.kroll [at] ncdenr [dot] gov.

More information:
Brian Malow: sciencecomedian.com
North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences: naturalsciences.org
NCMNS Nature Research Center: naturesearch.org

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8 Responses to “Science Comedian” Brian Malow joins NC Museum of Natural Sciences

  1. Kevin Z says:

    Holy Mola! That’s awesome! What a terrific match. The NC Museum is on the fast-track to epicness! What a bunch of fun, smart hires! Congrats to Brian, David and the Museum!

  2. Michael P. Bass, M.D. says:

    Oh no! Brian Malow is leaving San Francisco! But good for him and the science museum! Now that he is leaving, I can admit that Brian is a science-humor genius and a science enthusiast whose intellectual exuberance is infectious. I’m a neurologist who also writes comedy for major comedians,
    so I know a wonderful brain when I see one, and I hope someday to come to North Carolina to see Brian’s.

  3. RogerTheGeek says:

    What a great collaboration this is going to be! I hope he survives San Francisco to Raleigh culture shock. It shouldn’t last long though. Remember to just apply barbeque. Welcome to North Carolina Brian!

  4. Jim Hardy says:

    Great news from another North Carolina newbie. Can’t wait to see the Daily Planet in action!

  5. Jamie Vernon says:

    This is great news! North Carolina (my home state) is blessed to have Brian and David. I may have to move back home.

  6. David Kroll says:

    Thanks so much, folks! I really think that the Museum’s leadership is responsible for this visionary hire of Brian. Museum Director Betsy Bennett and NRC Director Meg Lowman both appreciate the urgency for traditional museums to retool and re-engage with millennials and bring formal and informal science education into the 21st century. I can’t tell you how excited I am to work with Brian to build on this historic strengths of the Museum for North Carolina and the world.

    Brian can speak more about the move from San Francisco to the Triangle but I think this speaks to just how much our arts and culture have matured even since I was accepted to grad school at UNC in 1985. I know that the North Carolina science communication community will be giving Brian and his fiancée the warmest of welcomes.

  7. Pingback: Science Storyteller Perrin Ireland at the Nature Research Center Grand Opening | Take As Directed

  8. Mazel Tov, Brian. You’re formal education finally landed you a day job, more than most can say these days, and what a job. You’re going to be terrific. I’ve seen your work. Just wonderful. What can I say.
    Yore pal in geekdom,