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Showing blog posts tagged with "Q&A"

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A Meeting of Minds, in “Nature and Poetry: A Conversation with E. O. Wilson and Robert Hass,” Thursday, December 6, at the Museum

Q&As

On Thursday, December 6, the eminent sociobiologist E. O. Wilson will join former U.S. Poet Laureate and MacArthur Fellow Robert Hass (far left) at the Museum for a discussion about the interplay between art and science—and how close observation of nature, whether in poetry or science, can inspire the conservationist in all of us. 

Tags: Q&A, Theodore Roosevelt

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Explore Exoplanets with Emily Rice at October 30th Event

Q&As

Over the last few years, the search for planets that revolve around stars other than our Sun—known as exoplanets—has accelerated and yielded amazing results. Will scientists find one whose conditions closely resemble Earth’s? Find out what lies ahead in the Tuesday, October 30, Astronomy Live! program with Emily Rice, an astrophysicist and Museum research associate who will guide visitors on a “ride” through space in the Hayden Planetarium Space Theater.

Tags: Exoplanets, Q&A, Rose Center for Earth and Space

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Remembering Lonesome George

Q&As

On Sunday, the tree of life lost another member: Lonesome George, the famed last survivor of the Pinta Island tortoises (Chelonoidis abingdoni). Director of the Museum’s Center for Biodiveristy and Conservation Eleanor Sterling has been in the Galápagos for the past few days. She recently answered a few questions about Lonesome George’s passing and legacy.

What are you doing in the Galápagos?

Eleanor Sterling: The Galápagos National Park Service and the Galápagos Conservancy called together a meeting of experts on public participation in monitoring and conservation and I was invited as a specialist.

Who was Lonesome George?

Sterling: Lonesome George was a giant tortoise who was close to a century old and who was quite famous for being the last known representative of his species. And with his death, the whole species that was found on Pinta Island in the Galápagos is now extinct. There are other individuals who have some of the genes of Pinta Island tortoises, but he was last known individual to have the full genome of this species.

What role did humans play in the decline of his species?

Sterling: Seafaring individuals stopped by the Galápagos and collected tens of thousands of tortoises over the years. They packed their hulls with tortoises to use as food as they traveled around rest of world, because tortoises could last a long time without dying. Humans also introduced species such as rats to the islands where tortoises live, and those introduced species compete with tortoises for food or depredate on their young and eggs.

Tags: Center for Biodiversity and Conservation, From the Field, Q&A

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SciCafe: Forgetting Fear with Daniela Schiller

Q&As

Fear can take many forms, from minor phobias to life-altering conditions such as PTSD. Now, new research is shedding light on how these so-called fear memories could be changed. At the final SciCafe of the season on Wednesday, June 6,neuroscientist Daniela Schiller will discuss her work on the neural mechanisms of emotional control and potential ways to modify or “erase” fear memories. Schiller recently answered a few questions about how memories are created and lost.

How did you first become interested in studying emotional memories?

It wasn’t an explicit decision. I started with philosophy and psychology, and I was interested in the brain and the mind. And the combination is the neural basis of behavior, and within behavior, emotion is fascinating because it’s the least willful process we have. We think emotions just happen to us, but they don’t just pop out of the blue. It’s interesting to look at the mechanism and see that it’s a very distinct process in the brain that you can observe and counteract and modulate.

Tags: Brain, Q&A, SciCafe

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