Museum of Science Lays Off 122, Furloughs 250 Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

The cuts, approved by the museum's board, impact nearly two-thirds of its overall workforce.

File photo

The Museum of Science, a beloved Boston institution, announced Tuesday it was laying off 122 staff members and furloughing 250 others amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The museum said the moves were part of “cost-cutting measures to ensure the long-term viability of the institution.”

“Like all cultural organizations, the Museum is experiencing the impact of this global pandemic in all areas of our operations," Tim Ritchie, the president of the museum said.

“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.”

The cuts, approved by the museum's board, impact nearly two-thirds of its overall workforce. Remaining staff making over $75,000 will take a salary reduction ranging from 5% to 25%. Ritchie said his salary was being cut by 50%.

Protests calling for cities and states to ease COVID-19 stay-at-home orders continued across the country. President Trump has voiced his support for the rallies, and also taken the message online, calling for several states to "liberate" even though they haven't met guidelines created by his administration to reopen. Now, many governors are pushing back.

The museum shut its closed to the public on March 12 amid the ongoing crisis.

"Today is a difficult day for the Museum, for our staff who have contributed to our success over the years, and for those who rely on us for trusted information, immersive exhibits, STEM curricula and thought-provoking programming." Ritchie said.

"These decisions, while difficult, were made only after considering all other viable options for sustaining the Museum well into the future.”

Massachusetts is seen as a coronavirus hotspot in the nation, with the Department of Public Health reporting almost 40,000 cases and just over 1,800 deaths Monday to date.

Contact Us