As director of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Samuel McElroy Taylor significantly restructured the Oakland institution to remove the fusty barriers between visitors and the museum's collections of mammals, insects, geological specimens and dinosaur skeletons.
On Tuesday, museum officials announced that McElroy will leave his post at the end of the month.
Taylor became director of the museum in 2008. One of his chief accomplishments was to divide and refocus the museum into four centers: evolutionary biology, ecology and biodiversity, world cultures and science learning.
"The purpose of the centers was to make the museum's scientific works much more apparent and much more front and center in our visitor experience," said Taylor, 61. "They combine education and science in each of the centers and relate them to contemporary and relevant topics."
Plans for an interim transition will be announced in October, said John Wetenhall, president and CEO of Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh.
"I really admire and applaud (Taylor's) work in the reorganization of the museum," Wetenhall said. "It has helped us to elevate our scientific staff into a vital voice of leadership. It's brought curators to the management table and allows their vision to help contribute to our vision."
Before joining the Carnegie, Taylor was a self-employed museum consultant. He had served as chairman and curator of the education department at the California Academy of Sciences, director of exhibitions for the American Museum of Natural History and biology director for the New York Hall of Science. …