Derrick Pitts has been associated with the Franklin Institute Science Museum since 1978, designing and presenting many of the museum's public programs and exhibits. Pitts served as museum vice-president and many other valued positions. He has been Chief Astronomer and Director of the Fels Planetarium since 1990. As Fels Planetarium director, Pitts has written and produced more than two-dozen planetarium programs. He currently serves as the US National Spokesperson for the International Astronomical Union's International Year of Astronomy 2009.
He has written numerous astronomy columns for newspapers and national magazines. He appears regularly on all the major television networks as a science content expert and for nearly two decades has hosted award-winning astronomy radio programs. Pitts is also a regular guest commentator on national television shows and serves as a scientific consultant to many organizations.
Among his many awards are the Mayor's Liberty Bell, the St. Lawrence University Distinguished Alumni Award, the G. W. Carver Medal, the Please Touch Museum's "Great Friend To Kidsï¿½" Award; induction into the Germantown Historical Society Hall of Fame, selection as one of the "50 Most Important Blacks in Research Science" in 2004 and the 2005 "Men Making a Difference in the Communityï¿½" Award for Excellence in Science and Technology.
Pitts currently serves as the University Honors committee chair on the Board of Trustees for his alma mater St. Lawrence University, is a member of the Board of Trustees at Widener University.