News, Politics, & Media
Plastics: Separating the Good from the Bad

We have a complicated relationship with plastics: We depend on the material’s convenience and affordability every day, but the overabundance of waste it produces harms the environment. Smithsonian scientists Odile Madden and Pierre Comizzoli discuss how their own work—in museum conservation and research biology, respectively—approaches plastics’ potential and its problems.

Date
Wednesday, August 23, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
Tiki Time! Exotic Cocktails and the Cult of the Tiki Bar

In countless restaurants and bars, rum drinks topped with paper umbrellas, “exotic” foods, and fantasy Polynesian décor offered mid-century America’s favorite tropical escape. Martin and Rebecca Cate, founders of Smuggler’s Cove in San Francisco, lead a colorful journey into the lore and legend of tiki culture and its modern revival, and offer samples of their bar’s original cocktail recipes.

Date
Thursday, August 24, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
How YouTube Remade Media

Over the past 10 years, the internet video platform YouTube has changed media and entertainment profoundly. Find out how an upstart company became a modern pop culture juggernaut—and how the new rules of entertainment are being written as the media landscape undergoes radical change.

Date
Thursday, September 7, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
Science in Our Lives

With discoveries in topics from the origins of the universe to the human microbiome rapidly unfolding, science is more important now than ever. Smithsonian Associates’ innovative new Science Literacy Program meets that challenge with an exciting new series of expert-led programming, as well as the opportunity to participate in a lively online learning community.

Date
Monday, September 11, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
Athens and the Roots of Democracy

Kelcy Sagstetter, assistant professor of history at the United States Naval Academy, explores the fascinating origins of Western democracy and their link to its current iterations.

Date
Wednesday, September 13, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
Poachers and Piano Keys: Cristian Samper on Elephants and the Ivory Trade

President and CEO of the Wildlife Conservation Society Cristian Samper explains the nuanced issues of elephant poaching, the ivory trade, and the role museums and conservationists play in the protection of elephants and other ivory-producing species.

Date
Thursday, September 14, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
The Supreme Court: A Preview of the New Term

Spend a morning getting a rare behind-the-scenes look at the Supreme Court—including the courtroom where cases are argued. Then, a panel of top legal experts previews the issues that will come before the court when the new session begins in October.

Date
Tuesday, September 19, 2017 - 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
The Supreme Court: A Preview of the New Term (Afternoon Panel Only)

Spend the afternoon with a panel of top legal experts who will preview the issues that will come before the Supreme Court when the new session begins in October.

Date
Tuesday, September 19, 2017 - 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Great Escapes: How Spies, Hostages, and Assets Survive and Get Out Alive
4-Session Daytime Course

Escape-room challenges are popular among fans of spy thrillers, but what if your life actually depended on the result? Be regaled by experts familiar with life-or-death operations conducted in such places as Iran and Moscow in this series exploring memorable escapes, rescues, and evasions from the 1970s through today.

Date
Wednesday, September 27 to October 18, 2017 – 10:15 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.
American Women in Politics: Did Suffrage Matter?

Nearly a century after the 19th Amendment was ratified, it is worth asking whether having the women’s vote has made a significant difference in American politics. Historian Elisabeth Griffith, a biographer of suffrage pioneer Elizabeth Cady Stanton, reviews women’s political engagement from marching for the vote to campaigning for (or against) a woman for president.

Date
Wednesday, September 27, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
Journalists on Journalism
4-Session Evening Course

Not since the Watergate era have journalists—for better or worse—been front and center in our political debates. In this timely series, get an inside look at today's news business from acclaimed journalists Lesley Stahl, Jim VandeHei, Mara Liasson, and Jim Lehrer.

Date
Thursday, October 5 to 26, 2017 – 7:00 p.m. to 8:15 p.m.
Sally Quinn: On Life, Love and Spirituality

Celebrated journalist Sally Quinn's life is also the story of modern Washington during some of its most turbulent years. This evening, Quinn sits down for a wide-ranging interview with Washington Post associate editor Bob Woodward and journalist and author Elsa Walsh.

Date
Tuesday, October 10, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
Looking Toward Asia: Perspectives from Foreign Service Experts
4-Session Evening Course

For centuries, relations between the United States and Asia have been in a constant state of change. American Foreign Service experts offer timely perspectives on our engagement with Asia’s major power players.

Date
Wednesday, October 11 to November 1, 2017 – 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Analyzing President Trump’s First Year: Twelve Months Unlike Any Other

On the 1-year anniversary of Donald Trump’s election, experts from media and politics offer a measured examination of the changes President Trump has brought and how the political landscape has changed in 12 tumultuous months.

Date
Thursday, November 2, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
Traditional Roots of Modern China: How an Ancient World View Drives Contemporary Policies

In a timely daylong program, China scholar Robert Daly traces China’s 21st-century drive for wealth, power, and status to the beliefs, geographic influences, and social and cultural practices rooted in the earliest dynasties.

Date
Saturday, November 4, 2017 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.