Questacon founder Professor Mike Gore dies aged 87

Max O'Driscoll 9 January 2022 8

Professor Mike Gore AO died aged 87 on 8 January. Photo: Questacon Facebook.

Questacon founder Professor Mike Gore AO died yesterday, 8 January, aged 87.

Announcing his death, Questacon paid a touching tribute to Professor Gore.

“Through Questacon, Mike has changed many lives in Canberra, across Australia and internationally supporting science centre development in many countries,” a spokesperson wrote.

“As well as founding Questacon, Mike shaped the lives and experiences of many people, with his innate curiosity to try new things; his passion to communicate science with simple, accessible items; and his ability to encourage others to think outside the box.

“He will be greatly missed by many.”


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Professor Gore was born in Bolton, Lancashire, in 1934, the only child of electrical engineer Ernest Gore and May Robinson. He studied electrical engineering and physics at Leeds University.

In 1962 he joined the Australian National University after post-doctoral studies in the United States, where her met Joyce Klaber, whom he later married in Canberra.

He became a Physics lecturer at the Australian National University and later became a Professor.

Professor Gore established Questacon, the national science centre in 1980 after being inspired by a 1976 visit to the heart of interactive science centres, the Exploratorium in San Francisco.

To recreate what he had discovered, he set up a hands-on science exhibit in an unused building in the old Ainslie Public School in 1980.


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He left the ANU in 1987 to become the founding director of Questacon, the National Science and Technology Centre, and in 1988 Questacon found its permanent home at Lake Burley Griffin.

Professor Gore resigned from Questacon in 1999 and returned full-time to the ANU, where he was adjunct professor of the university’s Centre for the Public Awareness of Science, which he founded in 1995.

Professor Gore won a number of different awards including Canberran of the Year in 1982 and in 2015 was made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for his service to science on a national and international level and for his work as a mentor for young scientists.

Vale Professor Mike Gore (1934-2022).


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8 Responses to Questacon founder Professor Mike Gore dies aged 87
Brett Wallace Brett Wallace 5:01 pm 11 Jan 22

My condolences to his family😢

John Moulis John Moulis 1:51 pm 10 Jan 22

It’s not Mike Gore from the white shoe brigade which financed the Joh for Canberra campaign in 1987

Peter Young Peter Young 1:39 pm 10 Jan 22

Inspirational Physics lecturer!

Naris Suwanmuk Naris Suwanmuk 12:04 pm 10 Jan 22

I see Questacon as less of a science hub and more of a massive playground 😂.

    James Forge James Forge 2:04 pm 10 Jan 22

    I believe that's the point. To make science fun.

Lisa-marie Russell Lisa-marie Russell 8:41 pm 09 Jan 22

An amazingly gentle and generous man.

Merriel Hossack Merriel Hossack 7:19 pm 09 Jan 22

I don’t think there would be many Canberrans who have not visited Questacon. What a great role model for school children. What an amazing legacy he has left us 🙏🏽💜

Paul Irving Paul Irving 3:18 pm 09 Jan 22

Huge contribution to science (and STEM) communication. Such a great legacy, and fun and educational for kids and adults.

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