Memories of Bob Miller

by ryan

We at the ExploratOrium were saddened to hear of the death of Bob Miller this weekend. He was an artist, scientist, educator and one of the founders of the museum. Although I didn’t know him as well as some others, I feel fortunate to have experienced one of his famous light walks this past September as part of our explainer training for the upcoming school year. It was a very special moment to have the new class of field trip explainers gathered in a circle watching this man share his amazing gifts with us.

If you did not have the chance to go on one of Bob’s walks, follow the link below for an online version.

Bob Miller’s Light Walk

For me, the experience was one of those moments where I couldn’t wait to get home to tell other people about my day at work. I wanted to show them how when you cross your fingers and let the light shine through, you can see little circles, or how the sunlight travels through the branches of the trees, or how white light contains all the colors and information…it’s just waiting to be separated out.

But more than anything it was one of those times where I felt genuinely lucky to be a part of such an amazing group of educators and scientists who can explain the secrets of the universe but would rather let you figure them out for yourselves. I remember talking on the phone to my Dad that night, trying to explain how it felt to have a job where you really love to show up to work and can count on being around great people and end up looking at the world in ways that you never thought of before.

I feel very privileged to have had that experience and to be able to continue learning and discovering every day at the museum. I will remember Bob when I see the lights floating down in circles through the leaves of the trees as we wait for school groups. And when I tell kids in the cow eyeball dissection how amazing it is that everything that we can see in the world comes into our eyes through a hole smaller than a pea. And I will remember him when I come into the Exploratorium in the morning and see the light of the sun, broken into many rainbows, scattered across the walls and floors and ceiling of the museum, all emanating from his sun painting exhibit.

Feel free to write any memories, thoughts, or stories that you have about Bob in the comments to this post.