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Science & Nature Programs

The Science of Sleep with WebMD's John Whyte

A good night’s sleep might be a dream for some, but the importance of sleep and how it impacts our overall health is a reality for all. John Whyte, WebMD’s chief medical officer, presents the latest research about sleep, including strategies that work best to improve its quality.

Date of event
Wednesday, January 29, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

The New Brain Science: How Brainwave Research Is Shaping the Future

Neuroscience is widening our awareness of the wealth of information brainwaves can hold about who we are—and that information’s power. Neuroscientist R. Douglas Fields examines the current frontiers of the new brain science and what its research means for medicine, technology, and our understanding of ourselves.

Date of event
Wednesday, February 5, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

Lucy's Ancestor: A Human Face for an Ancient Skull

Paleoanthropologist Rick Potts, head of the Smithsonian’s Human Origins Program, examines the significance of the 2016 discovery of a skull that represented the most ancient early human ever found. Paleo-artist John Gurche describes how he reconstructed the face of that pivotal human ancestor for the David H. Koch Hall of Human Origins at the Natural History Museum.

Date of event
Monday, February 10, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

You + Me = Symbiosis

Celebrate Valentine’s Day by looking at some of Mother Nature’s greatest examples of relationships that work guided by two Smithsonian scientists, lichenologist Manuela Dal Forno and entomologist Natasha Mehdiabadi.

Date of event
Friday, February 14, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

The Science of CBD: Anecdotes and Evidence

Products that tout the powers of CBD are popping up all over the marketplace. Join Steven Grant, a neuroscientist at the National Institutes of Health, for an examination of what research has—and more importantly, has not—discovered about this elusive chemical's potential benefits and risks.

Date of event
Thursday, February 20, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

Volcanoes of the Western Aleutians

Join research geologist and curator Liz Cottrell of the Natural History Museum as she recounts her 2015 journey to the middle of the Bering Sea to explore active volcanic features previously unknown to science.

Date of event
Monday, February 24, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

The Philadelphia Flower Show: A Preview of Spring

There’s no better way to sweep away winter than with an overnight escape to the horticultural paradise that’s the Philadelphia Flower Show. There’s no need to fight the crowds (or time): Spend 2 hours taking in the blooms before the show opens to the public, then enjoy a full day to explore the delights of the world’s largest annual floral exhibition.

Date of event
Depart: Sunday, March 1, 2020 - 10:00 a.m.
Return: Monday, March 2, 2020 - 8:00 p.m.

The Smithsonian Greenhouses and How They Grow

One of the joys of a Smithsonian visit in any season is the gloriously varied greenery and flowers that brighten your paths indoors and out. Get a preview of what spring will look like on the National Mall with a visit to the source of all that natural beauty: the Smithsonian Gardens greenhouse facility in Suitland, Maryland.

Date of event
Thursday, March 12, 2020 - 9:30 a.m.

The Smithsonian Greenhouses and How They Grow

One of the joys of a Smithsonian visit in any season is the gloriously varied greenery and flowers that brighten your paths indoors and out. Get a preview of what spring will look like on the National Mall with a visit to the source of all that natural beauty: the Smithsonian Gardens greenhouse facility in Suitland, Maryland.

Date of event
Thursday, March 19, 2020 - 12:30 p.m.

Forgotten No More: Rediscovering Remarkable Women

Women have been making strides in their fields that have often being overlooked, uncredited, or forgotten by time. Celebrate Women’s History Month by spending a fascinating day with four experts who bring to light an array of remarkable women who have lived in the shadows of history far too long.

Date of event
Saturday, March 28, 2020 - 9:30 a.m.

Alexander von Humboldt: His World of Nature

He has more species named after him than any other human being. Learn why from Eleanor Jones Harvey, senior curator at the American Art Museum, who examines the fascinating life of German naturalist and explorer Alexander von Humboldt, one of the most influential intellectuals of the 19th century. 

Date of event
Sunday, March 29, 2020 - 3:00 p.m.

Extreme Weather and Climate: Adaptation in a Changing World

Meeting the shock and awe of extreme floods, droughts, storms, and fires calls for plans and action—and authoritative scientific information. Roger S. Pulwarty, the senior scientist in the physical sciences division at NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory, examines the significance and sources of that information as countries, communities, and businesses make critical decisions in response to changing weather and extreme climate trends.

Date of event
Tuesday, March 31, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

The Best of Brooklyn

Brooklyn offers plenty of delights for lovers of art, music, nature, and of course, food. On this two-day visit, arts journalist and former Brooklynite Richard Selden introduces you to several of the borough’s top attractions.

Date of event
Depart: Sunday, April 19, 2020 - 7:00 a.m.
Return: Monday, April 20, 2020 - 9:30 p.m.

Hiking in Shenandoah National Park

In a two-day active getaway designed for outdoor lovers, explore Blue Ridge trails at the height of their spring beauty, and stay at an historic lodge on Skyline Drive that offers magnificent panoramic views of the mountain landscapes.

Date of event
Depart: Sunday, May 3, 2020 - 8:30 a.m.
Return: Monday, May 4, 2020 - 7:30 p.m.