For many Philadelphians, Derrick Pitts is The Franklin Institute. Since 1978, Derrick has been teaching us to look up—and to wonder about what we see up there.
We all know that Derrick is an excellent “teacher.” What’s made him famous in Philadelphia is his ability to help everyone appreciate the universe as he sees it—not a watered-down sketch of the universe, but a rich, deep, complex version with human connections that everyone can understand at some level.
Derrick is currently the Chief Astronomer and Director of the Fels Planetarium at The Franklin Institute. He’s also been a NASA Solar System Ambassador since 2009 and serves as the “Astrobiology Ambassador” for the NASA/MIRS/UNCF Special Program Corporation’s Astrobiology Partnership Program. One of his newest honors is an appointment to the outreach advisory board for the world’s largest telescope, the new Thirty-Meter-Telescope at Mauna Kea in Hawaii.