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Theme Semester

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As the University of Michigan celebrates its Bicentennial in 2017 and the U-M Museum of Natural History prepares to move to a new building, opening in 2019, it's time to take a look at the past, and to think about how it informs the future.  "Back to the Future," the Museum's Winter 2017 theme semester, does the same thing, but looking at how the past informs the future of science.

 

Theme Semester Events

Family Reading and Science Workshop 1: For the Birds

Sunday, January 22
1:00–2:00 p.m.

Find out how a 62-year old bird specimen was used to solve “the mystery of the bird with two songs” and led to yet another surprising discovery. Try your hand at gathering data from actual museum specimens and learn about other ways that the 200,000 birds in the collection are used to protect other birds while advancing scientific understanding.

For children ages 6-11 with an adult.  Click here for more information or to register.

 

Science Café: Politics and Psychology from Mussolini to the Alt-Right

Wednesday, January 25, 5:30–7:30 p.m.
Conor O’Neill’s Pub, 318 S. Main St., Ann Arbor

Join us for a lively discussion of the history and social psychology of nationalist and fascist politics and what light this scholarship may or may not shed on current events. Dario Gaggio of the U-M History department will discuss the relationships between fascism, nationalism, and the politics of class (as well as the urban/rural divide) in the interwar period in Europe. Joshua Rabinowitz of the U-M Psychology department will highlight both classical and contemporary research on individual differences and motives that seeks to understand the appeal of such political movements.

Science Cafés provide an opportunity for audiences to discuss current science topics with experts in an informal setting. Click here for more information.

 

Family Reading and Science Workshop 2: The Secrets of Plants

Sunday, February 12
1:00–2:00 p.m.

This workshop will focus on how plants are shared across the world and used in research to answer questions about global warming, habitat destruction, new medicinal uses and the spread of disease.  Select and press some plants to take home, learn about the techniques researchers use and see some of the 1.7 million specimens in the collection at the U-M Herbarium. 

For children ages 6-11 with an adult.  Click here for more information or to register.

 

February Science Café: Ancient Climates, Future Climates–What Can the Deep Past Tell Us?

Wednesday, February 22, 5:30–7:30 p.m.
Conor O’Neill’s Pub, 318 S. Main St., Ann Arbor

Earth's climate has changed many times, and the mechanisms of these changes may shed light on what we can expect in the future.  Join Chris Poulsen, Professor and Chair of Earth and Environmental Science at the University of Michigan, as we tease apart some lessons from the ancient past. Are there modern implications from the ancient Earth?  Additional speakers to be announced.

Science Cafés provide an opportunity for audiences to discuss current science topics with experts in an informal setting. Click here for more information.

 

Family Reading and Science Workshop 3: We Collect Everything

Sunday, March 19
1:00–2:00 p.m.

In this workshop you will be introduced to the sometimes odd and unusual variety of collections from the past that are used in current research.  Come try out some hands-on labs to discover why a myriad of mollusks, a sundry of sand, an army of algae or a tower or tusks from the past are so important to our scientific knowledge today.

For children ages 6-11 with an adult.  Click here for more information or to register.

 

March Science Café: Topic to be announced

Wednesday, March 22, 5:30–7:30 p.m.
Conor O’Neill’s Pub, 318 S. Main St., Ann Arbor

Science Cafés provide an opportunity for audiences to discuss current science topics with experts in an informal setting. Click here for more information.

 

Back to the Future Discovery Day

Saturday, March 25
9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

This year the U-M Museum of Natural History will bring you Back to the Future, a fun-filled family event focusing on how specimens from the past are used in current research to inform our present and predict our future. Join us for a series of hands-on activities, crafts and demos, as well as, an opportunity to meet our special guest scientists.This is a free event, no registration required, open to the public.

 

William R. Farrand Memorial Lecture
Object Lessons: Museums and Collections at the University of Michigan in the Nineteenth Century

Professor Kerstin Barndt, Associate Professor, Germanic Languages and Literatures

Thursday, March 30, 6:30 p.m.; reception following
Professor Kerstin Barndt will speak about the history of U-M’s world-class collections of natural history, ethnography and art. The talk draws on her research for a forthcoming book, Object Lessons: and the Formation of Knowledge:  The University of Michigan Museums, Libraries and Collections 1817-2017.

Special Exhibit

Museum on the Move

The U-M Museum of Natural History will be moving into a new facility. Discover where we’ve come from and where we’re headed in ​this new exhibit about our past and future. View fascinating historic images and plans for the new museum, and revisit past exhibit favorites retrieved from our archives.

Click here to visit the Exhibits section of our website.

Share Your Memories!

Museum Memories

Do you have memories of time spent at the U-M Museum of Natural History? If so, we want to hear about them!

To help celebrate the University’s Bicentennial next year, the Museum plans to collect and share heartfelt memories from those whose lives have been impacted by the Museum—in ways bigand small!  

Visit the Museum Memories website for more info or to share your memory!