Patrick Moore to lead Bradbury Science Museum

The Los Alamos native begins March 11

February 27, 2024


The Bradbury Science Museum is pleased to announce that Patrick Moore — a native of Los Alamos with several decades of public history experience, who has led at historic sites throughout New Mexico — will join the Bradbury in March as director. 

“In many ways, the privilege of directing the Bradbury is like coming full circle with not simply my professional career, but my life to this point,” Moore says. “My earliest museum memories stem from the Bradbury. It shaped my childhood comprehension of scientific concepts like fission through its (former) ping-pong ball interactive. Supporting the Bradbury’s legacy and connecting with guests of all ages who will hopefully be as inspired as I once was — it’s truly an exciting and special opportunity.” 

Operated by Los Alamos National Laboratory, the museum is named for its second director, Norris E. Bradbury, and its exhibits document the science of the Lab’s 80-year history from the Manhattan Project to advances in supercomputing, nuclear nonproliferation, biotechnology and climate science.

A historian and cultural leader 

Moore has spent over 30 years in history and culture sectors. He received his undergraduate and master’s degrees from New Mexico State University, where he studied political science and history, and holds a doctorate in history from Arizona State University. His career includes work in research, historic interpretation and preservation at organizations including NASA, the National Park Service, the U.S. Navy and the Smithsonian Institution. Moore was also a professor of public history at the University of West Florida. Most recently, he served as the executive director of New Mexico Historic Sites and the chair of history and heritage for the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs.

Local ties

“Patrick brings years of experience managing museums and a passion for Los Alamos to the position,” says Kathy Keith, director of the Laboratory’s Community Partnerships Office. “We welcome Patrick, a Los Alamos High School graduate, back home to tell the story of Los Alamos National Laboratory and its science to the public.” 

Moore agrees that working at the Laboratory’s public museum is akin to a homecoming. 

“Los Alamos is at the heart of who I am. My father started at the Lab in the late ’60s with Nuclear and Particle Physics and Applications and led the development of the Weapons Neutron Research Facility. As the youngest of four, I was the renegade who studied history and government rather than science. However, my academic path consistently revolved around science and Cold War history. Even my dissertation focused on the contrasting community evolutions of Los Alamos, Oak Ridge and Livermore,” explains Moore, referring to fellow national laboratory sites. “Los Alamos is my home, and I’ve been proud to be involved with various community groups.” Among these is a zany local street band, the Hill Stompers. Soon he’ll officially be one of the band’s many Labbies.

Inspiring the future

Moore will take over the director position from Linda Deck, who has led the museum since 2007. “Her leadership of the Bradbury can never be matched but will unquestionably be built upon,” Moore says. 

With Moore at the helm, he sees the Bradbury as being a purpose-driven institution. 

“The museum is charged with explaining the central role that the Lab plays in safeguarding the security of the nation,” he says. “The Bradbury has a responsibility in simultaneously imparting critical information while inspiring future generations who may become part of the Lab story.”