26 Feb 2013

British astronomer to head Otago museum

5:40 am on 26 February 2013

Otago Museum has appointed a British discoverer of more than two dozen asteroids as its next director.

Former chief executive Shimrath Paul resigned last September, after running the popular institution for 22 years.

The museum was criticised for paying Mr Paul a salary package worth $310,000, which at the time was higher than that paid to the head of Te Papa.

The museum board said new director Ian Griffin is an astronomer who has discovered 27 asteroids from observatories in Florida, Chile and New Zealand.

Dr Griffin's total package is worth $250,000 per year. He will take up the position in late May.

Dr Griffin previously had stints running an English science museum, NASA's public outreach division and the Auckland Observatory.