Lectures and Special Events
The Strange Case of the Rickety Cossack
June 9, 2015
In his new book, The Strange Case of the Rickety Cossack, paleoanthropologist and American Museum of Natural History curator Ian Tattersall argues that a long tradition of “human exceptionalism” in paleoanthropology has distorted the picture of evolution. Scientists have repeatedly created convoluted, fanciful stories to explain their finds, rather than face the inconvenient possibility that their assumptions were mistaken. Tattersall offers an idiosyncratic look at the competitive world of paleoanthropology, beginning with Charles Darwin 150 years ago, continuing through the Leakey dynasty in Africa, and concluding with the latest astonishing findings in the Caucasus. With tact and humor, Tattersall concludes that we are not the perfected products of natural processes, but instead the result of substantial doses of random happenstance.
A book signing of The Strange Case of the Rickety Cossack will follow.
More in this Series:
September 29, 2016
The award-winning climate scientist Michael E. Mann and the Pulitzer Prize–winning political cartoonist Tom Toles describe their new book The Madhouse Effect.
October 1, 2016 - May 6, 2017
We invite visitors to experience the cultures represented in the iconic Hall of Northwest Coast Indians through a series of live activities guided by Museum volunteers.
October 6, 2016
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.
November 7, 2016
Robert Peck, author of the new, illustrated book The Natural History of Edward Lear, discusses the remarkable life and natural history paintings of this beloved children’s writer, and why he abruptly and mysteriously abandoned his scientific work.
November 10, 2016
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.
November 19, 2016
Earthquakes happen frequently—but what causes them? Why are they unpredictable? What do they tell us about Earth's deep interior?
November 20, 2016
Discover how programmers and scientists are working together to mine the Museum’s library database, unlocking new ways to visualize and understand stacks of archives. Hear first-hand accounts from the data trenches, and find out what hackers can really create in 24 hours.