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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.




2017 Solar Eclipse Facts and Tips

On August 21st, 2017, most of North America will experience a solar eclipse, with a select area experiencing a total solar eclipse. To learn more about what an eclipse is, and how to safely view this event, we spoke with museum astrophysicist Jackie Faherty. A full transcript of this podcast will be available at a later date here: To see the path of totality, and more information on the eclipse, visit eclipse2017.NASA.gov. If you liked this episode, subscribe to Science at AMNH and rate us...

Duration: 00:16:07

SciCafe: Exercise Your Brain

Need some extra motivation to get to the gym? Neuroscientist and exercise enthusiast Wendy A. Suzuki explains how physical aerobic activity can change your brain. Dr. Suzuki gives an overview of her research into how exercise can improve cognitive function and even demonstrates a routine you can follow along at home. This SciCafe lecture took place at the Museum on June 7, 2017. To learn about upcoming SciCafe events, visit amnh.org/scicafe. For a full transcript of this podcast, visit:...

Duration: 00:43:48

Scicafe: Snakes of Madagascar

In this podcast, join herpetologist Frank Burbrink on a journey to the remote forests of Madagascar, where his team recently discovered several new species of reptiles. Hear tales of life in the field and discover how DNA analysis helps identify new species in the lab. This SciCafe lecture took place at the Museum on May 3rd, 2017. This lecture included many original photographs, which can be seen in the video version by visiting https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eyfFSpEZ-vE To learn about...

Duration: 00:19:13

Science Throwdown: Sea vs. Space

Into the deep or over the Moon—which is more important, intriguing, and inspiring? Explore the merits of sea vs. space across a range of judging categories with aquanauts Fabien Cousteau and Liz Bentley Magee, and astronauts Mike Massimino and Don Pettit. Hosted by comedian and journalist Faith Salie. This event took place at the Museum on April 13, 2017. For a full transcript of this podcast, visit: http://www.amnh.org/explore/news-blogs/podcasts/science-throwdown-sea-vs.-space

Duration: 01:39:14

Frontiers Lecture: Our Path to a New Home in the Planets

While the public is fascinated by the idea of Earth-like planets outside of our solar system, there may be some opportunities even closer to home. In this podcast, planetary scientist Amanda Hendrix and science writer Charles Wohlforth highlight the developments and initiatives that have transformed the dream of space colonization into something that could become reality. The duo discuss groundbreaking research and make the case that Saturn’s moon Titan offers the most realistic prospect...

Duration: 01:06:56

SciCafe: Stress and Human Evolution

How do trauma, poverty, and racial discrimination influence our health? What about our evolutionary history causes our bodies to respond in this way? Biological anthropologist Zaneta Thayer explores the biological mechanisms through which early life stress influences biology and health later on. This lecture took place at the Museum on April 5, 2017. To learn about upcoming SciCafe events, visit amnh.org/scicafe. For a full transcript of this podcast, visit:...

Duration: 00:42:22

Cuba: Threads of Change

Cuba’s political relationship with the United States is changing, and with it, potentially it’s biodiversity. In this podcast, conservation biologist and co-curator of the exhibition ¡Cuba! , Ana Luz Porzecanski, moderates a panel on contemporary Cuba, its people, identity, and biodiversity. You will hear from historian and policy expert Julia Sweig, anthropologist Ruth Behar, environmental lawyer Dan Whittle, and Museum herpetologist and co-curator of ¡Cuba! Chris Raxworthy. This event...

Duration: 01:19:59

Frontiers Lecture: The Greatest Story Ever Told So Far with Lawrence Krauss

The fundamental laws of the universe are not what we think or perceive—they are weird, wild, and counterintuitive. We all experience the world in a way that is shielded from the deeper realities underlying everyday phenomena. The story of scientist’s efforts to uncover these hidden realities involves the greatest intellectual journey ever taken by humans. A tale ripe with drama and surprise, it has implications for our understanding of space and time, our origins, and our future,...

Duration: 01:20:52

Cannibalism: A Perfectly Natural History

Eating one’s own kind is a natural behavior found in thousands of species, including humans. In this podcast, Museum Research Associate Bill Schutt explains new research about this widespread behavior, such as why so many fish eat their young, and when sexual cannibalism can be an evolutionary advantage. This lecture took place at the Museum on February 17, 2017.

Duration: 01:13:40

2017 Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate: De-extinction with Neil deGrasse Tyson

Biologists today have the knowledge, the tools, and the ability to influence the evolution of life on Earth. Do we have an obligation to bring back species that human activities may have rendered extinct? In this podcast, host and moderator Neil deGrasse Tyson leads a panel of experts in a discussion about this possibility - and the technology needed to get there. You will hear from George Church of Harvard University and MIT, Hank Greely of Stanford University, Gregory Kaebnick of the...

Duration: 01:51:41

SciCafe: The Search for Slow Lorises

Slow lorises may look like big-eyed Ewoks, but their cute countenance has made these primates a target of the illegal wildlife trade. In this podcast, Mary Blair, primatologist and Director of Biodiversity Informatics Research at the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation, discusses how research on these endangered animals can contribute to a better understanding of wildlife trafficking and the risk of zoonotic disease spread. This lecture took place at the Museum on March 1, 2017. To...

Duration: 00:41:02

Frontiers Lecture: Gravitons, Exotic Higgs Bosons, or Nothing At All

In 2015, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) achieved a milestone, operating at the highest energy ever used by an accelerator experiment. Particle physicist James Beacham discusses what we’ve learned about gravitons, Higgs bosons, dark matter, and what’s next for the LHC. This lecture took place at the Hayden Planetarium on February 6, 2017. Support for Hayden Planetarium Programs is provided by the Horace W. Goldsmith Endowment Fund.

Duration: 01:41:07

The Lost City of the Monkey God with Douglas Preston

Since the days of the conquistador Hernán Cortés, rumors have circulated about an ancient White City of immense wealth hidden in the Honduran interior. But it was not until 1940 that hundreds of artifacts surfaced and tantalizing stories of the crumbling walls of this lost city were confirmed. In his new book, The Lost City of the Monkey God: A True Story, bestselling author Douglas Preston ventures deep into the Honduran jungle in a riveting, non-fiction narrative about the unearthing of...

Duration: 01:26:13

SciCafe: When Insects Get Intimate

Inspiring fear and fascination alike in humans, insects are capable of incredibly complex behavior like personality, and language. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, behavioral ecologist Marlene Zuk examines the bedroom lives of bugs, showing how six-legged sex lives can be just as interesting as our own. To learn about upcoming SciCafe events, visit amnh.org/scicafe. Watch a video version of this lecture here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3a-1G5dI48Q The SciCafe Series is proudly...

Duration: 00:36:21

SciCafe: Modifying Mosquitoes with CRISPR

Join Rockefeller University professor Leslie Vosshall as she demonstrates what is—and what will be—possible with CRISPR gene editing. This lecture took place at the Museum on January 4, 2016. To watch a video version, visit the AMNH Youtube Channel, or the SciCafe section of AMNH.tv. The SciCafe series is proudly sponsored by Judy and Josh Weston. SciCafe: Modifying the Mosquito with CRISPR, and related activities are generously supported by the Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA)...

Duration: 00:43:18

Frontiers Lecture: The Twisted Universe

You may have heard of the Big Bang – but what was the universe like before that fateful beginning? In this podcast, Brian Keating traces the history and theories that have lead to our current understanding of the universe, and the questions that still remain. This lecture took place at the Museum on December 12, 2016. Support for Hayden Planetarium Programs is provided by the Horace W. Goldsmith Endowment Fund.

Duration: 01:08:35

SciCafe: When Black Holes Collide

When black holes collide, the energy of the event generates intense gravitational waves. These waves were predicted by Einstein in his theories, but scientists have only recently been able to detect them experimentally. In this SciCafe, Barnard College professor and astronomer Janna Levin shares her scientific research on the first recordings of a gravitational wave from the collision of two black holes 1.3 billion years ago. This lecture took place at the Museum on December 7, 2016. Watch...

Duration: 00:52:10

Yes, Humans are Causing Earthquakes

Since 2009, earthquake activity has increased throughout the central United States, specifically in areas employing new and emerging oil and gas production technologies. Join Dr. Justin Rubinstein, deputy chief of the Induced Seismicity Project at the United States Geological Survey, as he discusses this new breed of human-caused earthquakes. This lecture took place at the Museum on November 10, 2016. The Annual IRIS/SSA Lecture Series is presented in collaboration with the Incorporated...

Duration: 01:07:54

What a Fish Knows

Myth-busting animal behavior expert Jonathan Balcombe takes us under the sea, through streams and estuaries, and to the other side of the aquarium glass to reveal the surprising capabilities of fishes. This lecture took place at the Museum on October 6, 2016. To listen to our archive of podcasts, visit amnh.org/podcasts.

Duration: 01:05:46

Welcome to the Universe with Neil deGrasse Tyson

Inspired by the popular introductory astronomy course that Neil deGrasse Tyson, Michael A. Strauss, and J. Richard Gott taught together at Princeton, this lecture by these three astrophyiscists covers it all – from planets, stars, and galaxies, to black holes, wormholes and time travel. This lecture took place at the Museum on October 26, 2016. Support for Hayden Planetarium Programs is provided by the Horace W. Goldsmith Endowment Fund.

Duration: 01:47:35

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