Keynote Speaker

Derrick H. Pitts

Senior Scientist, Chief Astronomer, Planetarium Director
Exhibit Developer Franklin Institute Science Museum

Derrick H. Pitts

Dr. Derrick Pitts has been associated with the Franklin Institute Science Museum since 1978, designing and presenting many of the museum's public programs and exhibits. Pitts was the original director of the Tuttleman OMNIMAX Theater, museum vice-president and many other valued positions. He has been Chief Astronomer and Director of the Fels Planetarium since 1990. As planetarium director, Pitts has written and produced more than two-dozen planetarium programs. In 2009, he served as the US National Spokesperson for the International Astronomical Union's 'International Year of Astronomy and this year has been selected as a NASA Solar System Ambassador.

He has written numerous astronomy columns for newspapers and national magazines. He appears regularly on all the major television networks as a science content expert and for nearly two decades has hosted award-winning astronomy radio programs on Philadelphia's WHYY 91 FM and on WXPN's 'Kids' Corner' radio program. Pitts is also a regular guest commentator on Countdown with Keith Olberman, the highest rated news program on MSNBC and on CNN International. He recently had stunning appearances on the Comedy Channel's "Colbert Report" and "The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson" on CBS. Pitts recently met President Barack Obama and his family when he was invited to the White House to participate in the first-ever White House Star Party.

Dr. Pitts currently serves on the Board of Trustees for both his alma mater St. Lawrence University and Widener University and is president of Tuskegee Airmen Inc., Greater Philadelphia Chapter.