Museum of Science, Boston Announces Cost-Cutting Measures in Response to COVID-19 Global Pandemic Uncertainty

April 21, 2020

Approved Plan Focuses on Long-term Preservation of the 190-year-old Institution

BOSTON, MA (April 21, 2020) –  In light of the continued economic impact of the COVID-19 global pandemic, the Museum of Science, Boston today announced significant cost-cutting measures to ensure the long-term viability of the institution. Tim Ritchie, President of the Museum of Science, outlined the measures in the statement that follows. 

“On March 12, the Museum of Science closed to the public to protect our staff, volunteers, and guests from the growing COVID-19 public health crisis. The science and the evidence of what we are facing have informed these difficult decisions. This was the right decision and we are thankful for our dedicated staff who have continued to care for the animal ambassadors in the Live Animal Care Center, transformed our Museum programs for an online audience via our MOS at Home platform, maintained the safety and security of our facilities and continued to serve the community under difficult circumstances.  

Like all cultural organizations, the Museum is experiencing the impact of this global pandemic in all areas of our operations. Over the past six weeks, we have taken comprehensive steps to reduce expenses, defer capital expenditures, secure additional financing and other actions. However, the intensity of this global pandemic and the uncertainty around when and how we re-open to the public has forced us to make difficult decisions to protect and preserve the future of the Museum.

The Museum’s Board has approved a series of additional cost-cutting measures that include furloughing 250 staff members and laying off 122 staff members, affecting nearly two-thirds of the Museum’s overall workforce. Remaining staff making over $75,000 will take a salary reduction. These will range from 5% - 25%, and I will be taking a 50% cut. In addition, Museum contributions to the 401(a) Retirement plan will be paused for all staff. 

The cultural community will be forever changed by this global public health crisis. We look forward to welcoming guests back to the Museum, but as of today we do not know when that will be. In the meantime, our leadership team has begun to restructure the organization’s operations to address the priorities for the near- and long-term including expanded digital programming, exhibit and curriculum development, and fundraising to ensure that people of every age and background have access to science, technology, engineering and math, the foundation of our mission. Together, with our community, we can build a Museum that is useful in new ways for our new reality.

Today is a difficult day for the Museum, for our staff who have contributed to our success over the years, and for those who rely on us for trusted information, immersive exhibits, STEM curricula and thought-provoking programming. These decisions, while difficult, were made only after considering all other viable options for sustaining the Museum well into the future.”



About the Museum of Science, Boston

Among the world's largest science centers, and New England’s most attended cultural institution, the Museum of Science engages 1.4 million visitors a year to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) through interactive exhibits and programs. Nearly an additional 2 million people experience the Museum annually through touring exhibitions, traveling programs, planetarium productions and preK-8 EiE® STEM curricula through the William and Charlotte Bloomberg Science Education Center.  Established in 1830, the Museum is home to such iconic exhibits as the Thompson Theater of Electricity, the Charles Hayden Planetarium, and the Mugar Omni Theater. The Museum influences formal and informal STEM education through research and national advocacy, as a strong community partner and loyal educator resource, and as a leader in universal design, developing exhibits and programming accessible to all. Learn more at


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