American Museum of Natural History - Public Programs for Jan. 2011

January 2011 Public Programs at the American Museum of Natural History:

This Is Your Brain On Drugs: The Science Behind Meth, Cocaine, and Marijuana

Wednesday, January 5, doors open at 7 pm
Gottesman Hall of Planet Earth—Enter at 81st Street
Free admission with cash bar, 21+ with ID
How do drugs and drug use affect the brain? Join Carl Hart, associate professor at Columbia University, when he discusses his latest research on the cognitive effects of drug use on the brain and the sometimes surprising findings.
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
How I Killed Pluto with Mike Brown
Monday, January 10, 7:30 pm
Hayden Planetarium Space Theater
$15 ($13.50 Members, students, senior citizens)
Hear the dramatic account of the most tumultuous year in modern astronomy by the astronomer who inadvertently caused it. In 2005, astronomer Mike Brown made the discovery of a lifetime: the tenth planet, Eris, which was 27 percent more massive than Pluto. But instead of simply adding one more planet to our solar system, his discovery ignited controversy that launched Brown into the public eye and culminated with the demotion of Pluto. Brown will discuss his memoir from that year, How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming. A book signing will follow.
Adventures in the Global Kitchen: Wine and Aging
Wednesday, January 12, 6:30 pm
Linder Theater, first floor
Does the fountain of youth flow with red wine? Join Dr. Joseph Maroon, author of The Longevity Factor: How Resveratrol and Red Wine Activate Genes for a Longer and Healthier Life, as he discusses resveratrol, an enzyme found in red wine that has been shown to slow down the effects of aging and postpone some diseases of old age. Maroon will be joined by wine distributor Evan Spingarn to discuss red wine and its impact on the aging brain. Wine tasting included.
Presented in conjunction with Brain: The Inside Story
Saturday, January 15, 1–5 pm
Milstein Hall of Ocean Life, first floor
Free with Museum admission
Celebrate gray matter at BRAINFest! Learn how your brain thinks, processes sensory information, and perceives the world around you. Have fun improving your memory, confusing your senses, and testing your abilities through various games, puzzles, and other interactive activities for the entire family.
Presented in conjunction with Brain: The Inside Story
This is Your Brain on Ping Pong
Wednesday, January 19, 6:30–9 pm
Milstein Hall of Ocean Life, first floor
Free with cash bar
Imagine the complexity of chess at speeds of up to 100 miles an hour. This is table tennis—also known as ping pong—a game in which strategic decisions are made with split-second timing. Join us for an evening focused on the science and skill of table tennis and discover how the brain benefits from this simple game. Improve your skills with instruction by pros from SPiN, New York’s only table tennis social club. Meet a few aficionados, including actor Susan Sarandonand puzzle master Will Shortz, as well as a few ranking champions.
Presented in conjunction with Brain: The Inside Story
Neuroeconomics: Decision Making and the Brain
Thursday, January 20, 6:30 pm
Kaufmann Theater, first floor
$15 ($13.50 Members, students, senior citizens)
Neuroscientist Paul Glimcher of New York University and Rob DeSalle, curator of Brain: The Inside Story, will discuss the interdisciplinary field of neuroeconomics, which melds psychology, economics, and neuroscience to study the mechanics of decision making and intuition. Among other topics, Glimcher and DeSalle will discuss how the brain enables us to evaluate decisions, categorize risks and rewards, and interact with each other.
Presented in conjunction with Brain: The Inside Story
Wild, Wild World: Wolves
Saturday, January 22, 11 am–noon and 1–2 pm
Linder Theater, first floor
$10 children; $12 adults (Members’ tickets are $8 children; $10 adults)
Meet Atka, an Arctic gray wolf from the Wolf Conservation Center (WCC) in South Salem, New York. Learn about these highly endangered predators and the vital role wolves play in sustaining a healthy ecosystem. WCC staff will also discuss the organization’s participation in the program to reintroduce wolves into their traditional ranges in the western United States.
Astronomy and Vision with Emily Rice
Tuesday, January 25, 6:30 pm
Hayden Planetarium Space Theater
$15 ($13.50 Members, students, senior citizens)
For thousands of years, the study of the stars was limited to what could be seen with the naked eye. Join postdoctoral researcher Emily Rice and learn how human vision and the brain sense and interpret visible light, discern brightness and color, and sense patterns better than even the most sophisticated computer programs.
Presented in conjunction with Brain: The Inside Story
Living in America: Brain and the Tibetan Creative Mind
Tuesday, January 25–Sunday, January 30
Hall of Birds of the World, Gardner D. Stout Hall of Asian Peoples, Kaufmann and Linder Theaters
Free with Museum admission
Experience meditation, watch monastic dances, and learn about the latest research on Tibetan meditation’s impact on the brain in this unique six day-long program. Featured
speakers include Richard J. Davidson, director of the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds at the Waisman Center at the University of Wisconsin, and Joseph Loizzo, director of the Nalanda Institute for Contemplative Science. AbbotKhen Rinpoche Geshe Kachen Lobzang Tsetan and seven monks from India’s Tashi Lhunpo Monastery will demonstrate Tibetan arts, including the creation of a “Medicine Buddha” sand mandala.
For daily program details, call 212-769-5315 or visit To reserve a meditation session, call 212-769-5200.
Living in America: Brain and the Tibetan Creative Mind is made possible with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, celebrating 50 years of building strong, creative communities in New York State’s 62 counties.Logistical advice provided by The Tibet Fund, New York, N.Y.
Presented in conjunction with Brain: The Inside Story
Tibetan Meditation, Brain, and the Arts
Thursday, January 27, 6:30 pm
Enter at 77th street
$20 ($18 Members, students, senior citizens)
Abbot Khen Rinpoche Geshe Kachen Lobzang Tsetan, neuroscientist Richard J. Davidson, and psychiatrist and Tibetologist Joseph Loizzo, director of the Nalanda Institute for Contemplative Science will discuss the training of Tibetan monks, recent brain research on long-term meditators in the Tibetan tradition, and the practice of meditation in the West.
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.
 • Museum plus special exhibition, IMAX film, or Space Show: $24 (adults), $18 (students/seniors), $14 (children)
 • 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.

For additional information, call 212-769-5100 or visit
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