InfoAge chief Fred M. Carl to work on observatory project

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Fred M. Carl of InfoAge. PHOTO BY DANIELLA HEMINGHAUS

WALL TOWNSHIP — Fred M. Carl, chief operating officer of the InfoAge Science History Learning Center and Museum, will be taking a one-year sabbatical to work with Princeton University physicists on the new $40 million Simons Observatory to be constructed in Chile.

“I’m just so thrilled and privileged. This is a chance to continue working in emerging science,” Mr. Carl said.

During Mr. Carl’s absence, Michael Ruane will continue his responsibilities as the InfoAge chief executive officer, and some part-time employees will take on some added duties, said Thomas Crowley, chairman of the InfoAge board of trustees. Mr. Carl will be a project specialist on the Simons Observatory project, working with the project manager at Princeton. “The observatory is really amazing,” Mr. Carl said, and will give scientists the opportunity “to learn about the beginnings of the universe.”

The observatory will be built at the Chajnantor Science Preserve, located at an altitude of 17,000 feet in the Atacama Desert of Chile. Mr. Carl said scientists hope the observatory will begin receiving data in 2020 or 2021.

Besides Princeton, scientists from more than 40 institutions are collaborating on the project, Mr. Carl said. Among them, according to the observatory’s website, are Rutgers and other universities across the nation and in Canada, Great Britain, Chile, Japan and South Africa. The goal is “to study how the universe began, what it is made of and how it evolved to its current state,” according to the website. The observatory will be funded by the Simons Foundation, Mr. Carl said.

High praise InfoAge officials have high praise for Mr. Carl, the founder of InfoAge. “We wish Mr. Carl well. Fred has always been focused on the history and educational side and is happy to continue in that role,” Mr. Crowley said.

“Fred is the founder, and what exists today is a first-class local museum that would not exist without Fred’s vision and the efforts of many volunteers,” he said.

Mr. Ruane said: “Fred’s passion for history at Camp Evans is unequaled by anyone who has worked there.”

He noted that InfoAge was incorporated in 1999 and the Camp Evans site was acquired by the township in 2006. “Since that time, it’s been ‘Full-time Fred’,” Mr. Ruane said.

He noted that during Mr. Carl’s tenure, the Clinton Administration designated the InfoAge Camp Evans site as a national “Save America’s Treasure” site, and the George H.W. Bush administration declared it a “Preserve America” steward site.

More information about InfoAge is available at infoage.org.