Derrick Pitts (Council Chair)
Senior Scientist, Chief Astronomer, and Planetarium Director at Philadelphia’s Franklin Institute Science Museum
Derrick has developed and implemented a wide variety of internal astronomy and space science programming as well as numerous outreach programs for schools and urban community centers; several programs engaged enormous audiences nationwide through different mainstream media outlets long before the emergence of Twitter and Facebook. His current NASA-funded outreach program, City Skies; Linking Neighborhoods to NASA through Urban Observing, has turned community centers, churches and libraries into neighborhood astronomy resource centers distributing over 900 Galileoscopes, 100 Sunspotters and scores of observing resources to inner-city communities and underserved audiences. Pitts’ most recent planetarium co-production, To Space and Back (2013), is in worldwide distribution and is the recipient of numerous ‘Best of Show’ awards. He served as the US National Spokesperson for the IAU International Year of Astronomy 2009 and currently is a NASA Solar System Ambassador.