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!
September 26, 2017 An Evening With Peter Brannen: Envisioning the Future by Unlocking Earth's Past
Using fossils and the Earth's deep geological record, award-winning science journalist Peter Brannen will explore groundbreaking research to broaden views on climate change and the role climate played in the most extreme catastrophes in the planet's history. Afterward, in a conversation with Kirk Johnson, Sant Director of the National Museum of Natural History, Brannen will discuss his new book, The Ends of the World. He will reveal how understanding the planet's five mass extinctions can offer us a glimpse of our future and ask, "Are we on the brink of a sixth?"
October 5, 2017 An Evening With Ruth DeFries: How Humans Innovate in the Face of Natural Disasters
MacArthur Genius Award-winner and environmental geographer Ruth DeFries is an expert in the study of human impact on our environment. In her latest book, The Big Rachet, DeFries unfolds the tale of technologies and innovations, big and small, that propelled our species from hunters and gatherers on the savannahs of Africa to shoppers in the aisles of the supermarket. To some, these technologies are a sign of our greatness. To others, they are monuments to our hubris, as each new innovation has created new opportunities for disaster. In a conversation with Kirk Johnson, Sant Director of the National Museum of Natural History, DeFries will discuss how the cycle of crisis and growth is the story of our species, and why understanding this pattern explains not just how we reached this point in our history, but how we might survive and thrive in millennia to come.
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. 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. 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. 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
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. 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. 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. 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.