Odile Madden heads the Museum Conservation Institute’s (MCI) growing modern materials research program. She is the principal investigator of the Age of Plastic program, a collaborative, cross-disciplinary exploration of the material, environmental, and cultural phenomenon of the material we call plastic. Her primary responsibility at MCI is to study the deterioration mechanisms of historic plastics in Smithsonian collections. More recently, she has applied the same methods to the interaction of plastics and ecosystems. Madden received her Ph.D. in materials science and engineering from the University of Arizona, and she has a master’s degree in the history of art and archaeology from New York University.
Odile Madden was a featured speaker at Smithsonian magazine’s The Future is Here conference on June 1.