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Dr. Meena Selvakumar

Assistant Teaching Professor


What inspires meMeena Selvakumar

People inspire me. I am constantly moved and humbled by the stories of people across the world, their resilience, compassion, and grace. I am inspired by the audacious ideas and actions of people who are willing to challenge the status quo and for the common good of humanity. I am also inspired by the sheer magnitude of natural beauty of our planet. I see museums as memory-keepers, reminders, and connectors to these ideas and stories.


Growing up in India, I was highly influenced by Richard Feynman’s and Oliver Sacks’ books, by Carl Sagan’ television series Cosmos, and by the genius of Marie Curie. Naturally, I wanted to be a scientist and I eventually moved to the US in 1991 to pursue a PhD in molecular biology. Towards the end of graduate school, I realized that my passion really lay in science communication and soon after, I joined the Museum of Science, Boston as they pioneered rapid response programs that connected the worlds of contemporary research, the mainstream media and public audiences. I had found my niche in the field and continued this work at the Museum of Life and Science, Durham. I was hired by Pacific Science Center in 2008 to conceive and implement the Portal to the Public effort, which brought local research into the museum through exhibits, programs, and forums funded by grants from NSF, NIH, NASA, IMLS amongst others. One of the award winning frameworks has currently been adopted by more than 60 institutions.


My areas of specialization include informal science education, community engagement, and program development.