Museum of the History of Science appoints new director | University of Oxford

Museum of the History of Science appoints new director

Oxford University's Museum of the History of Science has appointed Dr Silke Ackermann as its new director.

Dr Ackermann will take up her new role on 1 March 2014, succeeding previous director Professor Jim Bennett, who retired last year.

She described herself as 'honoured' and 'delighted' to have been offered the position.

Regarded as one of the leading researchers on Western and Islamic scientific instruments, Dr Ackermann has established an international reputation for taking a cross-cultural and interdisciplinary approach to museum work.

She joined the British Museum in 1995, spending 16 years there and occupying a number of leadership and management roles. Those included leading the museum’s experimental gallery and being part of the consultancy team for the new Zayed National Museum of Abu Dhabi.

Dr Ackermann left the British Museum last year to take up a professorship at the University of Applied Sciences in Schwerin, Germany, where she became course director of 'Cultural studies in a modern world' and 'Key competencies in modern leadership'. She was subsequently appointed president of the university.

Most recently, Dr Ackermann was elected President of the Scientific Instrument Commission of the International Union of History and Philosophy of Science – a post that Professor Bennett also held previously.

Dr Ackermann said: 'I feel deeply honoured and I am delighted to have been offered the directorship of the Museum of the History of Science.

'I have known, and have been involved with, the MHS for more than 20 years and have seen it grow from a relatively specialized museum with limited opening hours to one of the main visitor attractions in Oxford that brilliantly enables people of all backgrounds to enjoy the internationally renowned collections.

'It is hugely daunting to follow Jim Bennett in this position, but I am immensely looking forward to working with my friend Stephen Johnston and the excellent team at the MHS.

'I am delighted by the prospect of close collaboration with colleagues in the other University museums, the Bodleian Library and the University as a whole in sharpening the profile of the Oxford collections even further through research, teaching and public engagement.'