Museum of Science lays off 100+ workers, furloughs hundreds more

The museum's president announced that 122 staffers will be laid off and 250 will be furloughed in order to ensure the "long-term viability" of the 190-year-old institution.

Cambridge, MA   9/24/13    Brian Hayden of Quincy and Kelly Lawn of San Diego visit the Museum of Science on Tuesday, September 24, 2013.  Lane Turner/Globe Staff; Reporter: uncaps; Section: METRO; Slug:
The Museum of Science, Boston. –Lane Turner/Globe Staff

The Museum of Science, Boston is the latest cultural institution to announce sweeping cost-cutting measures in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Museum president Tim Ritchie announced in a press release Tuesday that 122 staffers would be laid off and an additional 250 would be furloughed in order to ensure the “long-term viability” of the 190-year-old institution.

“Like all cultural organizations, the museum is experiencing the impact of this global pandemic in all areas of our operations,” Ritchie said in the release. “Over the past six weeks, we have taken comprehensive steps to reduce expenses, defer capital expenditures, secure additional financing, and other actions. However, the intensity of this global pandemic and the uncertainty around when and how we re-open to the public has forced us to make difficult decisions to protect and preserve the future of the museum.”

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The museum, which has remained closed since March 12, will also trim salaries of remaining staff making more than $75,000, as well as pause all matching contributions to employees’ retirement plans. Ritchie himself will take a 50 percent pay cut.

Ritchie said that the museum’s leadership team would be restructuring operations in order to ensure that the Museum of Science is useful in “our new reality,” with a focus on expanded digital programming.

“The cultural community will be forever changed by this global public health crisis,” Ritchie said in the release. “We look forward to welcoming guests back to the museum, but as of today we do not know when that will be.”


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