Night in the museum

Nick Pyenson stands by a marine-mammal fossil as he speaks to a group of Oxford alumni and others who joined him for a behind-the-scenes peek at the Smithsonian.

The group gathers in the rotunda of the Natural History Museum.

To celebrate the university’s go-ahead for construction of the new science facility at Oxford, Nick Pyenson 00OX 02C recently hosted a group that included Oxford alumni, Professor of Biology Eloise Carter, Development and Alumni Relations staff, and Dean Stephen Bowen for a special behind-the-scenes, after-hours look at the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History. Pyenson is one of the museum’s newest curators, specializing in fossil marine mammals. While waxing eloquent on prehistoric whales, Pyenson was also quick to praise the transformative science education he received at Oxford, allowing him to pursue his lifelong dream of being a curator at the Smithsonian.

“He himself,” says Adam Meyer, assistant dean of development and alumni relations, “is one of the best young examples we have of the excellence of Oxford’s science program.”

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