An Evening With...*
An Evening With… is a signature series featuring thought leaders in conversation with paleontologist and Sant Director of the National Museum of Natural History, Kirk Johnson.
This series invites audiences into the mindset of a museum director grappling with leading a 19th century science museum into the 21st century. Dig into the thorny issues, uncover the mysteries, and ask bold questions!
November 16, 2018 An Ocean Explorer’s Odyssey: From Pessimism to Hope
Join us as renowned coral reef scientist Nancy Knowlton, shares her odyssey of moving from a state of pessimism to optimism about the ocean’s future. Knowlton is the Sant Chair for Marine Science at the National Museum of Natural History and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. This program is offered in commemoration of the 10th Anniversary of the Sant Ocean Hall.
September 7, 2016 An Evening With Sean B. Carroll
Award-winning scientist, writer, educator, and executive producer, Sean B. Carroll, will explore the stories of pioneering ecologists who discovered the rules of regulation for animals and plants as he discusses his new book, The Serengeti Rules. Later, in a conversation with Kirk Johnson, Sant Director of the National Museum of Natural History, Carroll will share his bold, thought-provoking view on how these discoveries matter for our health, and how they are being applied to restore some of the greatest wildernesses on the planet.
October 3, 2016 An Evening With Ed Yong
Award-winning science author, Ed Yong, will take you on a grand tour through the animal kingdom, from squids to aphids to deep-sea worms, as he speaks about his new book, I Contain Multitudes. Later, in a conversation with Kirk Johnson, Sant Director of the National Museum of Natural History, Yong will reveal how microbes build animal bodies, affect their evolutionary opportunities, and might be manipulated. He will make you question everything you think you know about natural history!
November 9, 2016 An Evening With Ann Merchant
Deputy Executive Director for Communications at the National Academy of Sciences, Ann Merchant, is responsible for a program called the Science & Entertainment Exchange, which connects the entertainment and science communities. If you’ve seen major films such as Captain America, Divergent, Frozen, and Battleship – to name a few, you’ve seen the results of Merchant’s work. Later, in a conversation with Kirk Johnson, Sant Director of the National Museum of Natural History, Merchant will give a first-hand look at how The Exchange is working to bring more – and better – science to film and television. And, if these major films are any proof, audiences are hungry for a good dose of (entertaining) science!
December 6, 2016 Exclusive Preview: National Fossil Hall
with Kirk Johnson, moderated by David M. Rubenstein
Paleontologist, Museum Director, and the moderator of the An Evening With... series, Kirk Johnson, will take us behind the scenes and explore the massive undertaking of redoing the National Fossil Hall. Later, in a conversation with philanthropoist David M. Rubenstein, Johnson will illuminate current trends in paleontology, unveil new fossil discoveries featured in the National Fossil Hall, and explore why studying the past matters as we contemplate our planet’s future. Watch the Video
Prominent American educator, mathematician, and president of University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Freeman A. Hrabowski, III, is a passionate advocate for growing diversity in STEM fields, and his work has influenced national agencies, universities, and school systems. Later, in a conversation with Kirk Johnson, Sant Director of the National Museum of Natural History, Hrabowski will share his inspiring story – from participating in the 1963 Children’s Crusade for civil rights as a 12-year-old to serving as one of the leading intellectuals in the field of education.
April 20, 2017 An Evening With David Grinspoon: Earth in Human Hands
Award-winning astrobiologist and author, David Grinspoon, will describe the transformative role humans have played as he speaks about his new book Earth in Human Hands. Later, in a conversation with Kirk Johnson, Sant Director of the National Museum of Natural History, Grinspoon will suggest that our present moment is not only one of peril, but also great potential, challenging audiences to awaken to our role as a force of planetary change and become conscious shapers and caretakers of Earth.
Award-winning author, fellow at the Center for Humans and Nature, and visiting scholar at George Washington University, Florence Williams, will present the latest science from around the world looking at the human-nature connection from her new book, The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative. Later, in a conversation with Kirk Johnson, Sant Director of the National Museum of Natural History, Williams will discuss the powers of the natural world to improve health, promote reflection and innovation, and ultimately strengthen our relationships.
September 26, 2017 An Evening With Peter Brannen: Envisioning the Future by Unlocking Earth's Past
October 5, 2017 An Evening With Ruth DeFries: How Humans Innovate in the Face of Natural Disasters
November 14, 2017 An Evening With Paul Watson: Solving an Arctic Mystery
Photographer and best-selling author Paul Watson will weave together the spellbinding true story of the greatest cold case in Arctic history. Watson's new book, Ice Ghosts is a detective story of Western science, indigenous beliefs, and the irrepressible spirit of exploration which lead to the epic discovery of the 1845 Franklin Expedition—whose two ships, the HMS Erebus and the HMS Terror, and their crew of 129 were lost to the Arctic ice. Later, in a conversation with Kirk Johnson, Sant Director of the National Museum of Natural History, Watson will discuss this modern tale of scientists, researchers, divers, and local Inuit behind the recent discoveries of the two ships, which made news around the world.
July 24, 2018 An Evening With Nick Pyenson: Spying on Whales
In Spying on Whales: The Past, Present, and Future of Earth's Most Awesome Creatures, which E.O. Wilson praises as "the best of science writing," curator of fossil marine mammals at the National Museum of Natural History, Nick Pyenson, takes readers to the ends of the earth and the cutting edge of research to answer some of our biggest questions about whales. Join us for a presentation by Pyenson followed by a conversation with Kirk Johnson, Sant Director of the National Museum of Natural History.
In The Dinosaur Artist: Obsession, Betrayal, and the Quest for Earth’s Ultimate Trophy, author Paige Williams takes readers inside the riveting and perilous world of fossil hunters. Join us for a presentation by Williams followed by a conversation with Kirk Johnson, Sant Director of the National Museum of Natural History.