Science & Nature Programs
Chasing the Ghost of the China Clipper
All-Day Tour

Led by transportation expert Scott Hercik, learn about the beginning of trans-Pacific commercial aviation and the four-engine flying boats, the legendary Clipper line that pioneered the launch, during this visit to the Glenn L. Martin Maryland Aviation Museum.

Date
Saturday, October 21, 2017 - 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
How the Brain Works

Neuroscientist Moran Cerf looks at how the brain influences behavior, emotion, decision-making, and dreams. He also offers a new perspective on how much free will we have.

Date
Tuesday, October 24, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
A Spectacular Day at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary
All-Day Tour

Spend a day at the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, the world’s first refuge for birds of prey and an international center for raptor conservation, for a chance to see eagles, falcons, hawks, and osprey soaring high over a mountaintop preserve aglow with fall foliage.

Date
Friday, October 27, 2017 - 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Urban Farming in DC: Rooftop Garden Tour and Workshop at H Street Farms

Niraj Ray of Cultivate the City, a District-based organization of urban farmers, offers a look at creative solutions to growing your own food or beautifying your small space. Bring home your own herb plantings to give you a head start.

Date
Sunday, October 29, 2017 - 2:00 p.m.
The Grisly World of Victorian Surgery

If you were unlucky enough to need surgery in the early 19th-century, you had more to fear than your malady: The procedure itself could kill you. Medical historian Lindsey Fitzharris leads a fascinating Halloween-night excursion into the germ-ridden, dirty, and often-deadly Victorian operating room, where your surgeon made up for his lack of skill by some fairly gruesome means.

Date
Tuesday, October 31, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
Scott Kelly: A Year in Space

The veteran of four space flights, astronaut Scott Kelly discusses the dangers, achievements, and physical and emotional challenges he encountered during his record-breaking year aboard the International Space Station.

Date
Friday, November 3, 2017 - 7:00 p.m.
Neuroscience and Art: A Creative Connection
2-Session Daytime Course

Merge recent findings on visual perception with familiar elements of art to discover how your landscape and still-life paintings can take on new and fresh creative edges.

Date
Tuesday, November 7 and 14, 2017 – 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Autumn Nature Walk on Theodore Roosevelt Island
Daytime Tour

Enjoy the magic of an autumn morning as author and naturalist Melanie Choukas-Bradley leads a scenic walk around Roosevelt Island, a 90-acre wooded oasis and national memorial in the middle of the tidal Potomac.

Date
Wednesday, November 8, 2017 - 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
The Fate of Rome: Nature’s Triumph Over Human Ambition

The centuries-long dissolution of the Roman Empire was shaped not just by emperors, soldiers, and barbarians but also by volcanic eruptions, solar cycles, climate instability, and devastating viruses and bacteria. Classicist Kyle Harper traces how a seemingly invincible empire fell victim to forces far stronger than its armies: those of the environment.

Date
Wednesday, November 8, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
Holidays in the Brandywine Valley: Nemours and Longwood Gardens
All-Day Tour

Join a decorative arts specialist for a festive holiday tour of two du Pont family properties in the Brandywine Valley: Nemours Mansion and Gardens, and Longwood Gardens. The beauty of both the beaux-arts estate and Longwood’s 300 acres of formal French-inspired gardens are enhanced by lavish holiday décor and special displays.

Date
Wednesday, November 29, 2017 - 7:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Inside NIST: A Visit to the National Institute of Standards and Technology
Daytime Tour

With research focused on everything from rescue robots to tissue engineering taking place at its Gaithersburg headquarters, this center for technology, measurement, and standards offers a fascinating destination for a behind-the-scenes tour.

Date
Thursday, November 30, 2017 - 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
What It’s Like To Be a Dog

What if we could actually know what was going on in our pets’ brains? It’s possible, according to neuroscientist Greg Berns. He shares stories about his research with dogs and other animals that reveal that complex intelligence is all around us.

Date
Thursday, November 30, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
Inside NIST: A Visit to the National Institute of Standards and Technology
Daytime Tour

With research focused on everything from rescue robots to tissue engineering taking place at its Gaithersburg headquarters, this center for technology, measurement, and standards offers a fascinating destination for a behind-the-scenes tour.

Date
Thursday, December 7, 2017 - 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Feynman and Wheeler: A Friendship in Particle Physics

Physicist Paul Halpern examines how the unlikely collaboration of two temperamentally contrasting scientists—Richard Feynman and John Wheeler—laid vital groundwork for late-20th-century breakthroughs that made a lasting impact on physics.

Date
Tuesday, December 12, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
Holidays in the Brandywine Valley: Nemours and Longwood Gardens
All-Day Tour

Join a decorative arts specialist for a festive holiday tour of two du Pont family properties in the Brandywine Valley: Nemours Mansion and Gardens, and Longwood Gardens. The beauty of both the beaux-arts estate and Longwood’s 300 acres of formal French-inspired gardens are enhanced by lavish holiday décor and special displays.

Date
Wednesday, December 13, 2017 - 7:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
The Smithsonian Museum Conservation Institute: A Behind-the-Scenes Look
All-Day Tour

Members-Only Event: Take the rare opportunity to go behind the scenes at the laboratories and studios where scientific analyses and conservation treatments of the Smithsonian’s collections take place. The visit to the Suitland facility also includes a look at objects and collections that are never exhibited to the public.

Date
Wednesday, January 24, 2018 - 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.