Evalyn Gates has a history with the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. Back in 1990, when she was a newly minted Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University, it was the location of her oldest son’s seventh birthday party. Now, after two decades in Chicago, Gates is back. This time she’s running the museum as its new executive director and CEO.
Q| Tell us about your research and how it ties into your new position.
My research has been in cosmology, trying to understand the universe and what it’s made of and the structure. So it’s not as distant from some of the geology and paleontology work that’s being done by the experts at the museum as people might think.
Q| What is one thing about the museum that you’re excited about?
The Perkins Wildlife Center. They have local animals. ... You can go out and actually stand face to face with a bald eagle. That’s one of the highlights, for a natural history museum to actually show you the current natural world around us.
Q| What is an exhibit that readers can look forward to this summer?
Wild Music: Sounds and Songs of Life opens May 29 and will have several interactive stations where you can learn about music in nature: the different sounds that animals and birds make and how that relates to the sounds humans make.