Dr. Science Frederic Bertley, Ph.D.
As president and CEO of the Center of Science and Industry (COSI), Frederic Bertley, Ph.D. leads one of the nation’s most fascinating and unique science institutions. Described as a “super playground” for curious minds of all ages, COSI, Central Ohio’s leading science center, is home to more than 300 exhibits and interactive and education programs.
Under Bertley’s executive leadership, COSI recently opened the new, one-of-a-kind American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) Dinosaur Gallery, representing a history-making collaboration between COSI and AMNH.
“This is a very exciting time in COSI’s history,” said Bertley. “New York’s AMNH is the best natural history museum in the world. With the addition of AMNH’s Dinosaur Gallery, it reinforces COSI’s position as a top science center. We are thrilled to be playing a role in Columbus’ downtown growth, revitalization and cultural transformation.”
The partnership with AMNH will bring other exhibits to COSI every six months. In March, 2018, COSI welcomes “Traveling The Silk Road.” This gallery traces the history of the world’s greatest trading route, as well as its cultures, traded goods and technologies, all of which were the nucleus to the ancient cities of Asia and the Middle East between 600 and 1200 AD. Other exhibits will follow.
Bertley believes the AMNH and COSI partnership will boost attendance. Factor in multiple community outreach and inclusion programs and the number of people impacted by COSI annually is close to one million.
“I like to say that COSI has programs for everybody, from the womb to the tomb,” Bertley said. “Our interactive experiences and specialized education programs serve a continuum from infants through teens and adults.”
A native of Montreal, Canada, Bertley’s love for science and education began at an early age, even though he was an outstanding basketball and hockey player.
“I was a curious kid and science came relatively easy for me,” Bertley recalled. “I also loved education. So marrying science and education was the smart thing for me to do when I began thinking about a career.”
While Bertley didn’t see African Canadian scientists in Montreal, he still pursued his dreams in his hometown at McGill University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in physiology, mathematics and the history of science, as well as a Ph.D. in immunology. He completed his post-doctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Armed with his Ph.D., Bertley worked internationally in preventive medicine and basic vaccines in Haiti, the Sudan, and the Canadian Arctic. Returning to Harvard Medical School, Bertley, as a scientist and educator, focused on developing DNA vaccines for HIV/AIDS.
As a noted scientist/educator, Bertley has received many awards and honors, including Inspire 100 World Changers, Harvard Medical School Dean’s Service Award, and two Mid-Atlantic National Academy of Television and Science Emmys, to name a few.
Bertley, a relative newcomer to Columbus, sits on several local boards, including Experience Columbus and Columbus Regional Airport Authority. He is focused on elevating COSI to new heights while empowering the communities it serves.
“My mission in life is to serve and empower the community,” said the married father of one. “We all need to be a part of that intellectual capital, or we will all be left behind.”