Harvard Museums of Science & Culture fetes 300,000th visitor

Dayu Huang was feted as the 300,000th visitor at the Harvard Museums of Science & Culture. Courtesy of the HMSC

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For the first time, Harvard Museums of Science & Culture (HMSC) topped 300,000 visitors in a single year since its formation in 2012.

Dayu Huang of Boston, a Research Fellow at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, was greeted by HMSC Executive Director Jane Pickering on June 25.  Surrounded by family, museum staff, and balloons, Huang was given a household membership and a special gift from the Harvard Museum of Natural History shop as reward for being the 300,000th visitor since July 1, 2017. Vanilla and raspberry-lemon cakes were served to mark the milestone.

The Harvard Museums of Science & Culture is a partnership of four Harvard museums — representing six institutions — designed to coordinate captivating programming for all ages, permanent galleries, and dynamic rotating exhibits. Together, these institutions (Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments, Mineralogical & Geological Museum, Harvard Semitic Museum, Harvard University Herbaria, Museum of Comparative Zoology, and Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology) look after more than 28,500,000 objects that represent Earth’s history, life, and cultures.

“HMSC invites visitors to connect with Harvard University’s distinctive collections and vital research on human civilizations, biodiversity, and the history of Earth and science,” said Pickering. “We look forward to welcoming the next 300,000 visitors to the galleries.”

Since HMSC’s inception in 2012, there have been more than 1.5 million visitors to the four public museums, resulting in a 38.5 percent increase in attendance. More than 2,000 attended the free annual Summer Solstice event, with live music, activities, and free admission to all four museums. And HMSC has served over 250,000 K–12 students in the past six years.