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Science Gallery Atlanta names new director ahead of opening exhibition

Audrey Chang will serve as the inaugural director of Science Gallery Atlanta, an innovative and immersive venue for science and art collaboration that will open its doors to the public early next year.

Emory University has named Audrey Chang as the inaugural director of Science Gallery Atlanta, an innovative and immersive venue for science and art collaboration that will open its doors to the public early next year.

Chang started her new position Oct. 13, a few months before the opening of “Hooked,” an exhibition that will explore the twin themes of addiction and recovery — topics of relevance as mental health concerns climb during the pandemic.

Before joining the Science Gallery team, Chang served as chief operating officer for the Alliance of Crop, Soil and Environmental Science Societies, where she formulated and executed strategic plans for the group. Prior to that, Chang led teams in higher education, including a stint at Duke University, and museums such as the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and the American Museum of Natural History.

Deborah Bruner, Emory senior vice president for research, says she is excited to welcome Chang to Emory and singled out her leadership experience in museums and the cultural arts sector as important for her role at Emory.

“Dr. Chang is no stranger to the fusion of art and science. Her passion for research and her knowledge of the museum industry will be integral to the success of Science Gallery Atlanta,” says Bruner. “The Emory community and the city of Atlanta are set for a remarkable experience.” 

Michael Elliot, dean of Emory College of Arts and Sciences, shares Bruner’s sentiments. “I am excited to see the vision of Science Gallery Atlanta advancing through the appointment of Audrey Chang,” he says.

Elliott believes Science Gallery Atlanta will offer an important venue for Emory researchers and students to engage with public audiences. “This is an incredible opportunity for researchers and undergraduate students to invigorate their experience,” he notes. “I am looking forward to watching Science Gallery Atlanta become a reality."

Chang says she is honored to work with Science Gallery Atlanta’s experienced team of curators and staff for the inaugural exhibition and beyond. “I am excited to bring my experiences in building strategic partnerships with cultural and higher education organizations to co-create a venue that uniquely serves our Atlanta communities,” she says. “To me, Science Gallery Atlanta is a prototyping venue, whether we’re experimenting with and testing ideas, strategies, programs, exhibitions or measuring outcomes.”

Pointing out that Emory is a natural base for Science Gallery Atlanta, Chang says the university’s “powerful cross-disciplinary research enterprise, its location in the vibrant Metro Atlanta region and its commitment to social justice is an unparalleled opportunity to collaborate with the many communities that represent Atlanta.”

Chang says she is committed to promoting Emory’s strategic objectives through Science Gallery Atlanta. “The university’s mission is grounded in service. Two of the four pillars of its strategic plan focus on innovation and Atlanta,” she says. “We will amplify and broaden the impact of our faculty research by creating surprising and unexpected channels to showcase the outcomes of Emory’s multidisciplinary research enterprise.”

Beyond its impact on the Emory community, Chang hopes to make Science Gallery Atlanta a source of learning, dialogue and reflection. “I would like communities here to see our programs and ideas as a resource, an equitable space for interaction and an organization that can grow and change with Atlanta,” she says. “Science Gallery should reflect the beauty and diversity of this region and should be intentional in how it addresses Atlanta’s history, conflicts, and its past, current and future challenges.”

Chang holds a B.S. in evolution and ecology from the University of California, Davis, an M.S. in ecology and evolution from the University of Chicago, and a PhD in biology from Duke University. 

Emory joined the Science Gallery Network last year as its eighth member. The global university-led collaborative is dedicated to public engagement with science and art with a focus on reaching young people between 15 and 25 years of age.

About The Science Gallery Network

The Science Gallery Network consists of leading universities united around a singular mission: to ignite creativity and discovery where science and art collide. Science Gallery International is the non-profit, charitable organization catalyzing the growth of the network, providing services, tools and resources required to power and expand this unique global collaboration, which now has members across four continents: the pioneering member Trinity College Dublin (Ireland); King's College London (The United Kingdom); The University of Melbourne (Australia); the Indian Institute of Science, Srishti School of Art Design and Technology, The National Centre for Biological Sciences (India); Ca' Foscari University of Venice (Italy); Michigan State University (United States); Erasmus University Medical Center (The Netherlands); and Emory University (United States).

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