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February 2011 Public Programs at the American Museum of Natural History
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January 5, 2011 - by CG News Desk

SciCafe: How Games Can Change the World

Wednesday, February 2, doors open at 7 pm

Gottesman Hall of Planet Earth (Enter at 81st Street.)

Free admission with cash bar, 21+ with ID


Hundreds of millions of people globally—174 million in the United States alone—regularly inhabit virtual worlds because they provide the rewards, challenges, and victories that are often lacking in everyday life. Join Jane McGonigal, who studies games that require and harness the power of collective intelligence, when she discusses why games are engineered to maximize human potential and how they can change and influence life in the real world.


Cocktails, cutting-edge science, and conversation are on tap at this popular after-hours series, which takes place on the first Wednesday of every month. For more details and information on monthly speakers, visit


Proudly sponsored by Judy and Josh Weston.


Additional support provided by National Institutes of Health Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA).


Presented in conjunction with Brain: The Inside Story


Lunchtime Winter Bird Walks

February 3, 10, and 17, noon–1:30 pm

Across from the Museum at the northeast corner of Central Park West and 77th Street

$75 (Advanced registration required; space is limited.)


Catch a glimpse of owls, songbirds, and woodpeckers in the woods, seed-eating birds in the fields, and multiple species of ducks and gulls in the lakes as ornithologist Paul Sweet leads walks through three Central Park habitats to observe the varied bird species of New York City.


The Hidden Reality: Parallel Universes and the Deep Laws of the Cosmos
with Brian Greene

Monday, February 7, 7:30 pm

Hayden Planetarium, Space Theater

$15 Adults ($13.50 Members, students, senior citizens)


In recent years, a growing body of work based on the principles of quantum mechanics, cosmology, and string theory has been converging around a proposal that our universe is actually only one of many. Join theoretical physicist and Columbia University professor Brian Greene when he discusses a number of different models of parallel universes and his latest book, The Hidden Reality: Parallel Universes and the Deep Laws of the Cosmos. Book signing to follow.


From the Field: Revisiting Akeley’s Gorillas

Wednesday, February 9, 6:30 pm

Kaufmann Theater, first floor

$15 ($13.50 Members, students, senior citizens)


Stephen C. Quinn, senior project manager in the Department of Exhibition, recently traveled to the eastern Congo basin to visit the exact site depicted in the Akeley Hall of African Mammals’ mountain gorilla diorama. Like the artists on Carl Akeley’s 1926 expedition, Quinn used field sketches and paintings to document the area’s flora and fauna, recording the changes that have taken place over the last 80-plus years. In this unique event, Quinn will share finished works, including a panoramic plein-air painting.


Sponsored by the Artists for Conservation Foundation, this expedition and resulting artworks reinforce the important role artists play in habitat conservation and environmental education.


Wild, Wild World: A Dog’s Mind

Saturday, February 12, 11 am–noon and 1–2 pm

Linder Theater, first floor

$10 children, $12 adults (Members’ tickets are $8 children; $10 adults.)


Have you ever wondered what goes on in a dog’s head? Join Alexandra Horowitz, a cognitive scientist at Barnard College and author of the new book Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know, who will discuss what’s on dogs’ minds and lead live, interactive demonstrations.


Presented in conjunction with Brain: The Inside Story


Romance Under the Stars

Monday, February 14, 6:30–8 pm

Hayden Planetarium, Space Theater (Enter at 81st Street.)

$75 per person (includes one hour of open bar and appetizers)


Celebrate Valentine’s Day with a unique New York City experience. The evening begins with a cocktail hour complete with hors d’oeuvres, champagne, and chocolate-covered

strawberries to the music of the Josh Rutner Quartet. A narrated tour of the night sky in the Hayden Planetarium will follow. Sit back, hold hands, and enjoy some of the greatest

romance stories of all time.


Global Weekends: Saluting Our Jazz Elders

Saturday, February 19, 1–5 pm

Kaufmann and Linder Theaters, first floor

Hall of African Peoples, second floor

Free with Museum admission

For details, call 212-769-5315 or visit


Celebrate African-American History Month by honoring trailblazing artists and musicians whose outstanding contributions are reflected in varying musical styles. Enjoy

performances from New Amsterdam Music Association, which has supported and featured magnificent jazz artists since 1904. Experience the blending of New Orleans jazz and gospel through the jubilant sounds of legendary Edward Babb and the McCollough Sons of Thunder. Be thrilled by the power and passion of Joey Morant and Catfish Stew. Robert O’ Meally, founder of the Center for Jazz Studies at Columbia University, will moderate a panel discussion about jazz as an evolving art form and cognitive process worthy of research and study.


This program is co-produced with Community Works and New Heritage Theatre Group.


Support for Global Weekends is made possible, in part, by the May and Samuel Rudin Family Foundation, Inc., the Ford Foundation, the Tolan Family, and the family of Frederick H. Leonhardt.


Presented in conjunction with Brain: The Inside Story


Insights from the Hubble Telescope with Jackie Faherty

Tuesday, February 22, 6:30 pm

Hayden Planetarium, Space Theater

$15 Adults ($13.50 Members, students, senior citizens)


Ever wonder what astronomers study with the Hubble Space Telescope? In this program,Jackie Faherty will explore some of Hubble’s most exciting results through the 3D datasets available in the Hayden Planetarium’s Digital Universe, the world’s most complete atlas of the cosmos.


Adventures in the Global Kitchen: Smell (and Taste) the Roses

Wednesday, February 23, 6:30 pm

Linder Theater, first floor



Join Harold McGee, author of the seminal On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen, and perfumer Mandy Aftel when they join forces with cognitive neuroscientist Jay Gottfried of Northwestern University to explore how the human brain processes sensory input. Learn how scents—such as mint, rose, and even rotten eggs—are encoded in the brain and how memory influences eating desires and habits. Tastings included.


Presented in conjunction with Brain: The Inside Story


Museum Information



The Museum is open daily, 10 am–5:45 pm.

The Museum is closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas.


Space Show Hours

Space Shows are shown Monday through Friday every half hour, 10:30 am– 4:30 pm except Wednesdays (first show on Wednesday begins at 11 am).  Saturday through Sunday, every half hour, 10:30 am–5 pm.



Suggested general admission, which supports the Museum’s scientific and educational endeavors and includes 46 Museum halls and the Rose Center for Earth and Space, is $16 (adults) suggested; $12 (students/seniors) suggested; $9 (children) suggested.


The Museum offers discounted combination ticket prices that include suggested general admission plus special exhibitions, IMAX films, and Space Shows.

o        Museum plus special exhibition, IMAX film, or Space Show: $24 (adults), $18 (students/seniors), $14 (children)

o        Museum Supersaver, which includes the Space Show, IMAX, and all special exhibitions: $32 (adults), $24.50 (students/seniors), $20 (children)


Visitors who wish to pay less than the suggested Museum admission and also want to attend a special exhibition, IMAX film, or Space Show may do so only on-site at the Museum. To the amount they wish to pay for general admission, they should add $20 (adults), $16.50 (students/seniors), or $11 (children) for a Space Show, special exhibition, or IMAX film.


Public Information

For additional information, the public should call 212-769-5100 or visit the Museum’s website,


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