The Value of Research at the Adler

Research Value Statement

The Adler Planetarium’s in-house researchers, engineers, data visualization experts, and data scientists are a key ingredient to Adler’s unique approach to carrying out our mission: “To connect people to the universe and each other under the sky we all share.” We invite the public to participate in the joy, creativity, and awe-inspiring nature of discovery alongside our researchers.

Our researchers provide depth, credibility, and authenticity to our programming and science engagement efforts, from seeding our youth programs with real research drivers to infusing our shows and exhibits with rich stories of discovery to enabling research that otherwise would not be possible through our Adler Zooniverse platform. Our historians and curators help cast science as the story of humanity, bringing the human stories behind discovery and the exploration of our universe to life for our guests. 

Providing our museum guests and program participants direct access to professional researchers is a powerful tool in conveying the excitement about, and building trust in, science and scientific results. By continuing to engage in research, Adler researchers serve as a bridge between the public and cutting-edge research. They communicate the process of science not as a dry series of steps, but as a lived experience and a welcoming community. At the Adler, these invitations come in a range of formats, from in-person conversations in our exhibit spaces to online discussions with researchers leading Zooniverse projects. Adler researchers are true public scholars, engaging the public directly in their research and communicating the results to both the public and professionals in their field. 

Adler embraces a holistic approach to mentorship, embedded with best practices in diversity, equity, and inclusion and grounded in social-emotional learning. We deeply value a place for everyone in science, technology, and the humanities, knowing that it takes every kind of mind to tackle tough problems and explore new opportunities. Our mentees gain the confidence and skills to explore the Universe and return to their communities ready to think critically and creatively about any challenge that comes their way. Through these efforts, Adler is seeding the next generation of public scholars and scientifically-literate community leaders. 

Adler cultivates close relationships with researchers in Chicago and globally. Leveraging our rich network of subject matter experts, we infuse our exhibit and show development with ideas and inspiration garnered from around the world. We integrate diverse voices and an array of topics into our programming and digital content that resonates with our online audiences and in-person guests.

Finally, Adler researchers are critical to our fundraising efforts and financial sustainability. Our researchers’ ability to articulate the ‘problem, solution, and impact’ of Adler’s programming make them invaluable assets to Adler’s success in grant writing and building relationships with philanthropic donors. In addition, their data analysis skills bolster Adler’s ability to measure both quantitative and qualitative impact and outcomes, critical to sustainable fundraising. 

The Adler Planetarium is home to a vibrant research community authentically engaged with the public. We welcome new collaborations and partnerships. For inquiries, please email Dr. Laura Trouille, VP of Science Engagement,


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