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American Museum of Natural History Podcast

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The American Museum of Natural History presents over 200 public events each year, including lectures and presentations by scientists, authors, and researchers at the forefront of their fields. These podcasts showcase event highlights, and often reveal the findings of the Museum's own cutting-edge research in genomics, paleontology, astrophysics, biodiversity, and evolutionary biology.

The American Museum of Natural History presents over 200 public events each year, including lectures and presentations by scientists, authors, and researchers at the forefront of their fields. These podcasts showcase event highlights, and often reveal the findings of the Museum's own cutting-edge research in genomics, paleontology, astrophysics, biodiversity, and evolutionary biology.
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The American Museum of Natural History presents over 200 public events each year, including lectures and presentations by scientists, authors, and researchers at the forefront of their fields. These podcasts showcase event highlights, and often reveal the findings of the Museum's own cutting-edge research in genomics, paleontology, astrophysics, biodiversity, and evolutionary biology.




SciCafe: The Future of Our Oceans with Jeremy Jackson

The worlds’ oceans have changed dramatically in the 50+ years that marine ecologist Jeremy Jackson has been studying them. Overfishing, pollution, and climate change have converted once-thriving ecosystems like coral reefs and mangrove forests into slime-covered wastelands. But Dr. Jackson has shed his former nickname of ”Dr. Doom” and now focuses on the remarkable resilience of the oceans–if only humans can give them time and space to recover. This SciCafe took place at the Museum on June...


SciCafe: Why Dinosaurs Matter with Diego Pol

The Titanosaur, Patagotitan mayorum, is the largest-known dinosaur to ever walk the Earth—weighing more than 10 African elephants. How did it get so big? How did it dominate the prehistoric landscape for millions of years? And what can this extinct animal teach us about our own future on this planet? Join paleontologist Diego Pol as he explores these questions and recounts his journey leading the team that discovered the Museum’s Titanosaur. This SciCafe took place at the Museum on May 1,...


How Policy Can Help Us Fight Climate Change

Climate change may be affecting populations around the world in different ways, but the sobering state of our shared environment should worry everyone. How can we as a global community make changes to our economic, leadership, and policy models to panel of experts discuss the complex realities of climate change and the importance of putting aside cultural and political differences to address the environmental and human costs of our changing ecosystems. This panel is moderated by Ana Luz...


SciCafe: Microbial Worlds of the Deep Sea with Jeffrey Marlowe

Only a fraction of the oceans’ floors has been explored, yet scientists already know that microbial communities are thriving in the extreme and often bizarre landscapes of the deep sea. Harvard University geobiologist Jeffrey Marlowe shares findings from his expeditions to the bottom of the oceans—including investigations of microbes that consume 90 percent of the methane coming up from the seafloor—and highlights the growing need to protect these communities which we’re only just beginning...


The Biology of Bias and Future of Our Species

What can science reveal about bias in our education, healthcare, and other social systems? It turns out, quite a bit. This series of short talks from experts in the fields of medicine, law, education, and business explores where bias comes from, the importance of facing the fraught history of bias, and how we might benefit from striving to be “good-ish” rather than “good.” Speakers include: Dolly Chugh, professor at New York University's Stern School of Business; Marianne J. Legato,...


SciCafe: The Raw Truth About Cooking with Rachel Carmody

For most humans, foods that have been cooked or otherwise processed are a part of everyday life. But what happens on a molecular level when you chop, mash, and sautee your meal? How has cooking given humans an evolutionary edge? And how is new research on the human microbiome challenging information listed on nutrition labels? Harvard University’s Rachel Carmody tackles these questions by studying the past, present, and potential future of how, and why, humans eat the way they do. A video...


Probing Asteroids in Space with Harold C. Connolly Jr.

Asteroids can teach us a lot about the origin of our solar system—but they can also pose a potential threat if they come too close to Earth. Join Harold C. Connolly Jr. for an overview of the OSIRIS-REx and Hyabusa2 spacecraft missions that are currently probing the asteroids Bennu and Ryugu—two “potentially dangerous asteroids” whose orbits around the Sun are predicted to come within 5 million miles of Earth. This Frontiers Lecture took place in the Museum's Hayden Planetarium on December...


SciCafe: Science Of Love with Bianca Jones Marlin

Oxytocin, the so-called “love drug,” has been the subject of ongoing debate surrounding its impact on the human brain—but what does the latest science show? Bianca Jones Marlin, a neuroscientist and postdoctoral researcher at Columbia University, looks at the brains of female mice to see how oxytocin affects the behavior of mothers, and explores how this research could offer solutions for human children who suffer neglect. You can watch a video version of this SciCafe here:...


SciCafe: Teaming Up with Robots with Julie Shah

Imagine a robot that knows without being told which tool to hand to an autoworker, or how to match hospital patients with the most appropriate medical staff. The next generation of robotics may be capable of complex tasks like these—able to learn on the job and better anticipate the needs of human coworkers. Join Julie Shah of MIT to find out how scientists are creating smarter, safer robots, and the ways these new technologies have the potential to save both money and lives. A video version...


SciCafe: End of the Megafauna with Ross MacPhee

Woolly mammoths and giant ground sloths are just a few of the strange animals that once roamed Earth, living on every habitable continent. But about 50,000 years ago, these “megafauna” began to disappear. What factors contributed to their disappearance? Why did some species survive while others did not? Ross MacPhee, curator in the Museum’s Department of Mammalogy, takes us on a journey back in time to the world of now-extinct megafauna, and explains what scientists think may have happened....


SciCafe: Technology Inspired by Nature with Tak-Sing Wong

What does a carnivorous plant have in common with the design for a water-saving toilet? What about a hungry cell with surgical equipment? It may be surprising to learn that engineers still turn to the natural world for inspiration. For Tak-Sing Wong, a professor of engineering at The Pennsylvania State University, nature is a constant source of inspiration. In our November SciCafe, Wong introduces two cutting-edge technologies that have been directly modeled after natural phenomena. A video...


The Milky Way as You’ve Never Seen It Before with Jackie Faherty – AMNH SciCafe

In April 2018, the Gaia space telescope released its second catalog of over 1.3 billion stellar distances, helping astronomers map the Milky Way like never before. Astrophysicist Jackie Faherty takes us on a tour through her current work using Gaia data to visualize and study the galaxy. This SciCafe included brand new visualizations that let you literally fly through the galaxy. A video version with all of Faherty’s data visualizations will be available on the Museum’s YouTube channel on...


Jaguar: An Indomitable Beast with Alan Rabinowitz

In celebration of International Cat Day and to honor the legacy of zoologist and conservationist Alan Rabinowitz who died August 5, we’re re-publishing a talk he gave at the Museum in 2014. Rabinowitz shares his journey to conserve the jaguar, a species that despite its past resilience, is now on a slide towards extinction. In a story of tenacity and survival, the big cat expert also reveals better strategies for saving other species, and how to save ourselves from immediate and long-term...


Science Throwdown: Sea vs. Land

The world under the waves or the wilds of the land? Which creatures—marine or terrestrial—are the most compelling, intriguing, and inspiring? Comedian and journalist Faith Salie leads two teams of scientific luminaries in this tongue-in-cheek “debate,” featuring categories like “Next Top Predator” and “Sexy Beast.” Panelists include conservationist Carl Safina and animal behavior expert Lori Marino (Team Sea) facing off against zoologist Jarod Miller and primatologist Mireya Mayor (Team...


Planetary Origin Stories with Alycia Weinberger

Swirling disks of dust and gas surround young stars, and these disks contain the building blocks for new planets. It would take 100 million years to see a planet fully form, but luckily there are plenty of planetary systems in development for us to observe. By studying and compiling “snapshots” from nearby star systems, Alycia Weinberger of the Carnegie Institute of Washington takes us on a journey back in time to the origins of planets. For a full transcript, visit...


SciCafe—Orangutans, Obesity, and Human Evolution with Erin Vogel

While wild orangutans in the rainforests of Borneo feed on a remarkable variety of plant life, they also endure unpredictable cycles of feast and famine. Erin Vogel of Rutgers University explains how research on these primates’ diet and health may help us to better understand the evolution of early human diets, as well as provide insight into today’s global obesity epidemic. This SciCafe took place on June 6, 2018. To watch a video version of this lecture, visit:...


Visualizing Planets with Radio Telescopes with Meredith Hughes

Astronomers have discovered thousands of planets in our galaxy, but how much do we understand about how they are formed? Why, for example, are some planets rocky like ours, while others like Jupiter and Saturn are gaseous? Astrophysicist Meredith Hughes of Wesleyan University explains what we know about planet formation in our own solar system, and breaks down how powerful radio telescopes are helping scientists answer questions about distant systems in our galaxy. For a full transcript,...


SciCafe: Ocean Locomotion with Frank Fish

How can studying ocean life help us to create more efficient technologies? Frank Fish, professor of biology at West Chester University of Pennsylvania, explores how the elegant movements of manta rays and humpback whales are inspiring new and better approaches to engineering. This SciCafe took place on May 2, 2018. Subscribe to the Science@AMNH Podcast on iTunes, Soundcloud, or wherever you get your podcasts. The SciCafe series is proudly sponsored by Judy and Josh Weston. SciCafe: Ocean...


Astrophysicist Jackie Faherty Breaks Down New Data from the ESA’s Gaia Mission

On April 25th, 2018, the European Space Agency’s Gaia observatory released its second data catalog, which includes the distances to a staggering 1.4 billion stars. Museum Astrophysicist Jackie Faherty explains why these new findings are important to astronomers, and how Gaia’s data can help us unlock our galaxy’s past, present, and future.


SciCafe: Seeing is Believing with Marisa Carrasco

How do our brains make sense of the world our eyes see? How does attention affect our perception? And how is it possible to miss things even if they are right in front of us? In her recent SciCafe talk, Marisa Carrasco, a professor of psychology and neural science at New York University, revealed the surprising answers to these questions and demonstrated firsthand how our brains selectively process complex information. This podcast highlights some of the essential questions Carrasco...