A Night at the Museum

Tomorrow is the first Wednesday of the month, which means that you can catch the SciCafe at the American Museum of Natural History! This monthly series offers free after-hour lectures on a range of topics given by experts in the fields of discussion.

SciCafe happens in the big glass room that contains the planetarium…at night…when no one else is at the museum. There are drinks (cash bar…but get a free drink when you get three stamps on your geek card!) and snacks (nibbles are free…more substantial food is available for purchase). When I first started attending, there was much more in the way of complimentary hors d’oeuvres, but I appreciate the plight of the non-profit, so I’ve let that slide. Mostly, I love that there is a community of people who flock to the museum, every month, to LEARN. Sure, it may function (for some people) as a place to meet a potential science-minded date, but that’s okay, too!

The best SciCafe that I’ve ever attended was “The Neuroscience of Creativity,” which examined the brain activity of musicians as they played music, particularly improvised. Dr. Charles Limb was especially good, and the topic was of significant interest to me, but be aware that the accessibility of the information delivered at any of these lectures is dependent on the lecturer’s skill at communicating clearly to an audience of people who do not, say, have doctorates in neuroscience. In spite of spending two (misguided) years as a pre-med student, I do not have a natural aptitude for science. However, my lack of ability does not correlate with a lack of interest. Even if you do not consider yourself a science pro, I definitely recommend a visit, especially if the month’s topic is of interest to you.

This month’s topic is “How the Brain Shows Its Feminine Side.” Bridget Nugent, PhD, researcher at the University of Pennsylvania, will lecture. The event begins at 7:00pm in the Cullman Hall of the Universe.

~The New York Native


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