Prof. Dr. Wolfgang M. Heckl - Deutsches Museum & TUM
1. Briefly describe the following: your current position, affiliation, your role within MCQST.
I am the General Director of the Deutsches Museum and I hold the Oskar von Miller chair of science communication at TUM. In addition, as a physicist, I am a member of the MCQST and PI (principal investigator) in the excellence initiative. In our responsibility for public outreach, the Deutsches Museums is currently working on the world's first permanent gallery on quantum optics and quantum technology.
2. How does a typical workday looks like for the director of the world's largest museum of science and technology?
In my responsibility for more than 700 people working for the Deutsches museum and around 1.5 million visitors per year, I am concerned with daily operation as well as future planning to keep our house with more than 100.000 physical objects a library and an archive up to date in an ever faster changing world. That means many meetings with staff members, politicians, visitors, and donors etc, many video conferences, tons of paperwork, a lecture here and there – and my duties to run a physics lab and hold lectures for students in my academic framework. Sometimes I stroll around through our wonderful exhibitions, our workshops and laboratories or take a look at the children’s science center areas. I enjoy the concept of “management by wandering around and talking to people” in our universal cosmos a lot.
I am motivated by the love for science and technology, the most rewarding endeavor to gain knowledge, and the joy to share it with people of all ages and backgrounds.
3. What was the biggest challenge you overcame or faced so far in this position?
As General Director, I started our “Future Initiative”, the modernization of the entire Deutsches Museum, launched in 2006. Since then, we have collected 745 million Euro for the project, including around 60 million which I have received from private donors. We are finishing the first half of this construction project with the opening of 19 new galleries by the end of next year, and in 2027 we’ll have here in Munich one of the most modern science and technology museums on earth. This is what I’m living and working for.
4. What motivates you?
The love for science and technology, the most rewarding endeavor to gain knowledge, and the joy to share it with people of all ages and backgrounds. And the hope that science and technology in society will help to tackle the challenges our society and our planet is facing in the future.