Science & Nature Programs
Feynman and Wheeler: A Friendship in Particle Physics

Physicist Paul Halpern examines how the unlikely collaboration of two temperamentally contrasting scientists—Richard Feynman and John Wheeler—laid vital groundwork for late-20th-century breakthroughs that made a lasting impact on physics.

Date
Tuesday, December 12, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
Holidays in the Brandywine Valley: Nemours and Longwood Gardens
All-Day Tour

Join a decorative arts specialist for a festive holiday tour of two du Pont family properties in the Brandywine Valley: Nemours Mansion and Gardens, and Longwood Gardens. The beauty of both the beaux-arts estate and Longwood’s 300 acres of formal French-inspired gardens are enhanced by lavish holiday décor and special displays.

Date
Wednesday, December 13, 2017 - 7:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Are We Alone in Our Place Among the Stars?: Exoplanets May Reveal the Answer

In a universe filled with infinite solar systems, could there be Earth-like exoplanets capable of sustaining life? Join Sam Quinn, an astrophysicist with the Harvard-Smithsonian Center, who describes what scientific exploration has thus far revealed. 

Date
Wednesday, January 10, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
The Smithsonian Museum Conservation Institute: A Behind-the-Scenes Look
All-Day Tour

Members-Only Event: Take the rare opportunity to go behind the scenes at the laboratories and studios where scientific analyses and conservation treatments of the Smithsonian’s collections take place. The visit to the Suitland facility also includes a look at objects and collections that are never exhibited to the public.

Date
Wednesday, January 24, 2018 - 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
3D Printing: Medicine’s New Dimension

From architecture and fashion to STEM education, 3D printing has begun to revolutionize so many areas of our lives. Hear from two experts from the National Institutes of Health about how scientists are tapping into the technology’s potential in the new field of biomedical research.

Date
Tuesday, February 13, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
Galápagos: Evolution and Ecology in the Enchanted Islands

The Galápagos Archipelago has served as a pirate haven, a center for whaling, and, today, as a national park of Ecuador. But it’s the islands’ amazingly rich and diverse ecosystem and importance in the study of evolution that has earned the Galapagos a special place among the great wonders of the natural world.

Date
Thursday, February 15, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
Strange and Curious Smithsonian Jobs: Dove and Crowe—Their Work Is For the Birds

Smithsonian’s experts really do have some of the most curious specialties, which will be highlighted in an occasional “behind-the-scenes” series Strange and Curious Smithsonian Jobs. To kick things off, meet two scientists who study birds in unexpected ways.

Date
Tuesday, February 27, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
Take an Elemental Journey: A Guided Tour of the Periodic Table of Elements

The Periodic Table of Elements organizes the essential building blocks of matter in our universe. Join award-winning science educators Callan Bentley and Piraba Swaminathan as they introduce the chemical elements that populate the Periodic Table's columns and rows, and hear their fascinating stories.

Date
Thursday, March 1, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
The Philadelphia Flower Show
All-Day Tour

Inspired by the theme Wonders of Water, the 2018 edition of the world’s largest indoor flower exhibition—all 10 colorful acres of it—celebrates the beauty and life-sustaining interplay of horticulture and water. The legendary show is the perfect place for gardeners and flower enthusiasts to spend a day filled with beauty.

Date
Wednesday, March 7, 2018 - 9:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Feel Like an American: How the History of Emotions Reveals National Character
4-Session Daytime Course

The history of emotions is a relatively new area of study that offers a valuable tool to examine social developments and cultural trends. Historian Peter Stearns of George Mason University highlights some of the field’s core ideas as he looks at 250 years of American history through the lenses of happiness, love, shame and guilt, and anger and fear.

Date
Thursday, March 8 to 29, 2018 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
The Philadelphia Flower Show
All-Day Tour

Inspired by the theme Wonders of Water, the 2018 edition of the world’s largest indoor flower exhibition—all 10 colorful acres of it—celebrates the beauty and life-sustaining interplay of horticulture and water. The legendary show is the perfect place for gardeners and flower enthusiasts to spend a day filled with beauty.

Date
Friday, March 9, 2018 - 9:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Inside Oak Ridge National Laboratory: Where the Manhattan Project Began
4-Day Tour

A partnership between the Smithsonian and Oak Ridge National Laboratory offers a rare chance to go behind the scenes at this center for cutting-edge energy science. This one-of-a-kind 4-day study tour brings you into the heart of Oak Ridge’s past and present, guided by the staff and the scientists who lead and conduct its research.

Date
Depart: Saturday, March 17, 2018 - 7:00 a.m.
Return: Tuesday, March 20, 2018 - 11:00 p.m.
An Orchid Afternoon

This entertaining and informative session with an orchid expert delves into many aspects of the beloved flower and our endless fascination with it. Learn about the flower’s history and lore; basic care; create a bark-mounted orchid to take home; and bring in one from your own collection for a question-and-answer session.

Date
Sunday, March 25, 2018 - 2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The Most Famous Address in Washington: Perspectives on White House History

In this 4-session lecture series, noted specialists explore architecture, music, gardens, and art at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue—a place where every decision, no matter how innocuous, has political ramifications. Participants receive a copy of each speaker’s corresponding large-format book published by the White House Historical Association. This session focuses on White House gardens.

Date
Thursday, April 19, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.