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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

News, Politics, & Media Programs

Lecture/Seminar

How To Be a Conscious Eater

Wednesday, August 31, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET

Bewildered by navigating a food world full of fads, conflicting news, and marketing hype? You can still make smart, thoughtful choices amid the chaos. Sophie Egan, an expert on food’s impact on human and environmental health, offers a practical guide to everyday eating that’s good for you, good for others, and good for the planet.

Lecture/Seminar

Madame President: What Will It Take? with Capitol Hill Correspondent Ali Vitali

Wednesday, September 7, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET

In-Person and Online Program: NBC News correspondent Ali Vitali witnessed a 2020 presidential election in which highly qualified and experienced women candidates again dealt with a different level of scrutiny than their male counterparts. She analyzes why it’s so hard for a woman to be taken seriously as a presidential contender, what will it take for men and women to be held to the same standard—and what happens next.

Lecture/Seminar

The Vice Presidency: Power on Hold

Thursday, September 8, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. ET

Once dismissed as “not worth a bucket of warm spit,” over the years the vice presidency has emerged as a more respected position since its office holders became closer high-level policy advisers to presidents. Veteran White House correspondent, historian, and author Ken Walsh explores how those who served in the second-highest post in American government contributed to the evolving state of the vice presidency.

Course

The Private Space Industry Revolution

Friday, September 9, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. ET

We’re living through a revolution in the private space industry, but with the potential for increased light pollution, satellite collisions, and the formation of “mega-constellations” of satellites in Earth’s orbit, do the pros outweigh the cons of this explosive growth? Leading astronomers and pioneers in the private space industry weigh in on the future in a fascinating four-part series presented in cooperation with George Mason University Observatory. This session showcases space policy issues.

Lecture/Seminar

Senator Patrick Leahy: The Road Taken

Monday, September 12, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET

In-Person and Online Program: Drawing on his new memoir, The Road Taken, Patrick Leahy recalls pivotal moments in our nation’s history, from the post-Watergate reform era to ground-breaking Supreme Court confirmations and stress tests like 9/11, the war in Iraq, January 6, and Donald Trump’s impeachment trials.

Course

The Private Space Industry Revolution

Friday, September 16, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. ET

We’re living through a revolution in the private space industry, but with the potential for increased light pollution, satellite collisions, and the formation of “mega-constellations” of satellites in Earth’s orbit, do the pros outweigh the cons of this explosive growth? Leading astronomers and pioneers in the private space industry weigh in on the future in a fascinating four-part series presented in cooperation with George Mason University Observatory. This session showcases the vulnerabilities of the night sky.

Course

The Private Space Industry Revolution

Friday, September 23, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. ET

We’re living through a revolution in the private space industry, but with the potential for increased light pollution, satellite collisions, and the formation of “mega-constellations” of satellites in Earth’s orbit, do the pros outweigh the cons of this explosive growth? Leading astronomers and pioneers in the private space industry weigh in on the future in a fascinating four-part series presented in cooperation with George Mason University Observatory. This session showcases mega-constellations.

Lecture/Seminar

Extinctions on Earth: Then and Now

Tuesday, September 27, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

Andrew H. Knoll, a professor of natural history and earth and planetary sciences at Harvard University, discusses the five moments over the past 500 million years when most of Earth’s animal species disappeared, how those past events relate to 21st-century global change, and what lessons may be learned for preserving our planet’s precious and precarious biodiversity for future generations.

Lecture/Seminar

The Legal Legacy of Jim Crow

Wednesday, September 28, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

In-Person and Online Program: Margaret A. Burnham, director of Northeastern University’s Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project, investigates the violence of the Jim Crow–era, the legal apparatus that sustained it, and its enduring legacy. As she maps the criminal legal system in the mid-20th-century South, she traces its line back to slavery and forward to the legal structures of today.

Course

The Private Space Industry Revolution

Friday, September 30, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. ET

We’re living through a revolution in the private space industry, but with the potential for increased light pollution, satellite collisions, and the formation of “mega-constellations” of satellites in Earth’s orbit, do the pros outweigh the cons of this explosive growth? Leading astronomers and pioneers in the private space industry weigh in on the future in a fascinating four-part series presented in cooperation with George Mason University Observatory. This session showcases SpaceX and the commerical space industry.

Lecture/Seminar

The Life and Times of Norman Cousins: A Peacemaker in the Atomic Age

Monday, October 17, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

Best remembered as the longtime editor of the influential weekly magazine Saturday Review, Norman Cousins was also engaged in secret missions behind the Iron Curtain to conduct high-stakes negotiations directly with the Soviet leadership during the decades after WWII. Historian Allen Pietrobon discusses his enormous impact on the course of American public debate, international humanitarianism, and Cold-War diplomacy.

Program

Steve Case Drives Them To Succeed

Monday, October 24, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. ET

Entrepreneur Steve Case recognized that jobs and opportunity spurred by technology were concentrated in a select few coastal cities. In response, he launched Rise of the Rest, a nationwide platform to back and spotlight innovative startups outside of Silicon Valley. Join Case as he shares some of the success stories of these startup communities, all leveraging regional strengths and betting on the future of innovation beyond the country’s usual tech hubs.

Lecture/Seminar

The Revolutionary Samuel Adams

Tuesday, November 1, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET

In-Person and Online Program: Thomas Jefferson once asserted that "for depth of purpose, zeal, and sagacity, no man in Congress exceeded, if any equaled, Sam Adams." But in spite of his celebrated status among America's Founding Fathers, Samuel Adams' life and achievements have been largely overshadowed in the history books. In a spirited conversation, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Stacy Schiff examines this often-overlooked founder.

Lecture/Seminar

Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America

Wednesday, November 2, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. ET

In-Person and Online Program: French sociologist Alexis de Tocqueville wrote Democracy in America, his seminal assessment of both the American experiment and the future of democracy after a visit to this country in 1831. Georgetown professor and political theorist Joseph Hartman considers the way in which Tocqueville thought through democracy and its problems and what Tocqueville means for us today.