Past Events

The Future of the University

David Krakauer, Director, Wisconsin Institute for Discovery

The modern model of the university has been largely unchanged for over a century: comprised of disciplines associated with departments and schools, teaching in lecture halls and accreditation by degree. Rapidly advancing computer technologies, informative large data sets, surprising insights from educational research, and new economic realities are forcing us to rethink the standard model. The practical call for true interdisciplinary work to meet pressing societal challenges, combined with deep structural impediments to building partnerships that span the public and private domains, are accelerating the call for change.
Krakauer will discuss a few earlier attempts to address these challenges, and then focus on the work of The Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, a laboratory for exploring the future of research and education within the ecosystem of a large research university.

Event Details

Date/Time Thursday, April 17, 2014 - 8:00pm - 9:15pm

Extinctions in the Invertebrate Fossil Record and What They Have in Common With Stock Prices and Stars in the Universe

A Collection Conversation with Dr. Bruce Lieberman

Some groups that once were dominant life forms on this planet and found in rocks throughout the state of Kansas and indeed around the world, like trilobites and ammonites, are no longer with us, and many people wonder why. Join us to learn about the invertebrate fossils studied by Dr. Bruce S. Lieberman, see specimens, and find out how the extinction of many fossil groups matches patterns seen in the stock market and also in star systems. Dr. Lieberman will describe the commonalities across these very different systems, and discuss what it means for our understanding of evolution.

Event Details

Date/Time Thursday, April 17, 2014 - 7:00pm - 8:00pm

Science Saturday: Climate Change

Learn how stronger storms, melting glaciers, and rising temperatures are changing our planet. Join us for hands-on activities that explore possible solutions to 21st Century climate change.

Event Details

Date/Time Saturday, April 12, 2014 - 1:00pm - 3:00pm

Science Class Filmstrip Night: April

As a part of our Thursday night programming, we're reaching back into our collection of old biology filmstrips to bring you the best from our science treasure trove. Stop in for the film, and check out new exhibits while you're here. Follow the museum’s Facebook and Twitter feeds for upcoming titles.

Event Details

Date/Time Thursday, April 10, 2014 - 6:00pm - 7:30pm

Family Day: Optical Antics and Illusions

Join us for a joint event at both the Spencer Museum of Art and the KU Natural History Museum that explores optics and illusions. The afternoon includes the optical phenomena at play in works by the artist James Turrell at the Spencer. At the KU Natural History Museum, you'll see how black is actually made of all the visible color spectrum, and learn how some bird feathers can bend light and fool the eye. What is light made of? Do you know how many colors light can hold? Plus, explore your sense of vision and learn about the anatomy of your sight.  Families are invited to move back and forth between the two museums at their leisure. 

Event Details

Date/Time Sunday, April 6, 2014 - 1:00pm - 3:00pm

TBT film event: Bride of the Gorilla (1951)

For our Throwback Thursday, we'll be showing Bride of the Gorilla (1951) in the Panorama. Watch as the owner of a plantation in the jungle marries a beautiful woman. Shortly afterward, he is plagued by a strange voodoo curse which transforms him into a gorilla.

Event Details

Date/Time Thursday, April 3, 2014 - 6:30pm - 8:00pm

Behind the Glass

A conversation about the Panorama's condition, conservation and history

Join us for a conversation about the Panorama with special guests Ronald Harvey and Bill Sharp. Ronald Harvey of Tuckerbrook Associates will be at the KU Natural History Museum this spring to lead a conservation assessment of the animals of the Panorama, as well as their environment. Bill Sharp is co-author of The Dashing Kansan, the biography about the Panorama’s creator, Lewis Lindsay Dyche.

Event Details

Date/Time Wednesday, March 26, 2014 - 7:30pm - 9:00pm

Math: Fairness and Social Choice

How can mathematics help us understand and address issues of social choice and fairness? Multi-candidate elections, power distribution in the Electoral College, and apportioning Congressional representatives among states are just a few of many examples. Professor Jeremy Martin will lead an exploration of how math can help us understand these problems and why they are so hard to solve.

Event Details

Date/Time Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - 7:30pm - 9:08pm

Data & Democracy: What is Free Speech in the Age of Social Media?

Sponsored by The Commons, the School of Journalism, and the Office of the Provost
Amid a changing social landscape of connectivity and communication, the legal and societal landscape of what is meant by 'free speech' may be shifting as well. The First Amendment guarantees free speech, but what are the substance and forms of that protection in the age of social media?
As the use of social media in daily life grows exponentially, we consider what free speech and privacy mean in an era of immediate and unfettered access to wide dissemination, and whether there are new rules that characterize social engagement and free expression today.
The discussion will be moderated by Deanell Reece Tacha, Duane and Kelly Roberts Dean of the School of Law and professor of law at Pepperdine University and KU alumna.

Event Details

Date/Time Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - 7:00pm - 8:30pm

Collection Conversations: Birds with Town Peterson

What does it mean to study birds now, and what do we learn from studying them in 2014 that's different from 1914? Join Distinguished Professor Town Peterson, curator of ornithology, for a close look at some of the birds of the KU ornithology collection, and discussion about the science of studying birds. 

Collection Conversations are short, informal talks by research scientists about the collections that form the basis of research at the biodiversity Institute and Natural History Museum.

Event Details

Date/Time Thursday, March 20, 2014 - 7:00pm - 8:00pm