NMNH After Hours
Programs for Adults
Evening and Weekend Programs
The National Museum of Natural History remains temporarily closed. Please consult our calendar of events, museum websites, and si.edu for the latest updates. We appreciate your understanding.
Have fun, meet others, and explore the issues of our time through our science and cultural programming offered on evenings and weekends. Our After Hours events give you access to scientists, filmmakers, authors, and innovators seeking to better understand the natural world and our place in it. After Hours events are designed for adults, but all are welcome.
NMNH After Hours programs include:
Programs in other series, such as HOT (Human Origins Today) Topics and Virtual Science Cafés; plus programs that are not part of a series.
Thursday, January 21, 2021, from 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. ET:
How Humans Thrive in Extreme Environments
When you think of superheroes, Wonder Woman, Spiderman, and the X-Men might come to mind. But do you ever think of yourself? Thanks to cultural innovations and genetic adaptation by natural selection, we humans rise to our own super abilities to thrive in seemingly intolerable environments all over the world: at extremely high altitudes in the Himalayas; in freezing cold in the Arctic; and in toxic, arsenic-rich regions in the Andes Mountains, to name just a few. Christina Balentine, an anthropological geneticist and Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Texas at Austin, will share her research on the topic and answer your questions as you learn about our own superhuman abilities. Register
Moderator: Briana Pobiner, paleoanthropologist and educator at Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History.
This program is offered as part of the ongoing HOT (Human Origins Today) Topic series.
This program will be presented as a Zoom video webinar. A link will be emailed to all registrants.
Thursday, February 4, 2021, from 5 - 6 PM ET:
Virtual Science Café: Tropical Forests in Wyoming, Himalayan Birds, & Crafting Nature
Our Virtual Science Café returns in February to illuminate research surprises in the field, and the changing role and value of research collections.
Learn, unwind, and engage with Smithsonian scientists whose curiosity and perspectives are bound to help you think differently about the natural and cultural world.
To help you set the stage at home for this virtual science café, we’re teaming up with DC-area restaurant Busboys and Poets! Upon registration you'll receive an order link before the program, and whether you're local or non-local you can shake up a themed drink to enjoy using a recipe provided by Busboys and Poets.
"Do Himalayan Birds Wear Down Jackets?" by Sahas Barve
Summary: Self-proclaimed bird-nerd Sahas Barve has observed thousands of birds around the world. His recent work focuses on how birds stay warm in cold Himalayan habitats and if—like humans wearing jackets to stay toasty—their feathers act as one big coat, or if they take the “layer up” approach to keep warm on the highest mountains in the world.
"Tiny Fossil, Big Insight" by Vera Korasidis
Summary: Sometimes the smallest organisms tell the biggest stories. Palynologist and geologist Vera Korasidis conducts field research in Wyoming – known for its vast prairies and snow-topped mountains – to uncover the history of its landscapes and ecosystems. She’ll share stories of her research and findings, including the discovery of fossil pollen that reveals a different, more tropical picture of North America.
"Crafting Nature in a Genomic Age" by Adrian Van Allen
Summary: As an anthropologist, Adrian Van Allen studies the cultures of science in museums. As she interviews scientists and learns to prepare specimens, she discovers how ideas about nature are formed—and how they change as new technologies such as genomics shape what is collected, prepared, and preserved for the future. In her talk, she’ll share her ethnography of how frozen collections of tissue samples and DNA are made at the Smithsonian and what drives scientists to preserve our collective ecological heritage by putting “life on ice.”
This program will be presented virtually via Zoom Webinar. A link will be emailed to all registrants. Register
Natural History on the Big Screen
This film series presents a curated selection of natural history-related films, followed by discussions with filmmakers and related experts.
Wednesday, January 27, 2021, at 5:00 p.m. ET: The Love Bugs
Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History and the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital invite you to a virtual screening of "The Love Bugs," followed by a Q&A discussion. This humorous and poignant documentary explores the love of Nature and the nature of Love — and what it means to completely devote oneself to both.
Over 60 years Charlie and Lois O'Brien traveled to more than 67 countries, quietly amassing the world’s largest private insect collection, an entomological game-changer of 1.25 million specimens. These two renowned, married entomologists now grapple with the advancement of the Parkinson’s disease that afflicts Charlie. But Charlie and Lois know they need to keep fighting for the value of scientific knowledge, so they turn to their insects for a little help.
Register to watch the film virtually starting January 26, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. ET and then join us on January 27, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. ET for a discussion with the co-directors Allison Otto and Maria Clinton; Lois O’Brien; entomologist at the National Museum of Natural History, Floyd Shockley; and Nico Franz, director of biocollections at Arizona State University.
Upon registration you will be emailed the link to watch the film and join the discussion. Register
Beyond the Exhibition
This series features the content, curators, and conversations inspiring new and developing exhibitions at the National Museum of Natural History.
An Evening With
This signature series features cutting-edge thought leaders in conversation with paleontologist and Sant Director of the National Museum of Natural History, Kirk Johnson.
Anthropocene: Life in the Age of Humans
This discussion series explores human impact on the environment, featuring scholars, artists, and others in an intimate conversational setting.
Exploring the Arctic
These programs explore the cultures and natural history of the north.