E-Newsletter: April 2018

Welcome to our April e-newsletter. We hope you enjoy these bimonthly dispatches on the innovations and discoveries that shape our lives.
Museum Dance Off
Get your voting fingers ready—Museum Dance Off is back! Now in its fifth (and final) year, this worldwide competition hosted by the blog When You Work at a Museum encourages museum professionals to show off their collections and their dance moves in a lighthearted competition. In 2018, 48 museums from around the globe submitted videos in the hopes of proving their dance prowess.

The Science History Institute jumped into the fray with its fourth submission to the contest: a Star Wars–inspired video called A New Name, A New Hope. “Since the whole theme this year is ‘The Last Dance,’ it got us thinking about ‘The Last Jedi,’” said museum dancer and manager of public programs Alexis Pedrick. “And since we have a new name, ‘A New Name, a New Hope’ just seemed like the right fit this year.” The Institute dance team has brought home an award each year they’ve entered the contest: a Judges’ Choice Award in 2017, Best in Competition in 2016, and a Judges’ Choice for Best Mission Narrative in 2015. But what they haven’t won is the contest!  

That’s where you come in.  Voting begins at 8:00 a.m. Eastern time tomorrow ( Tuesday, April 24 ), and you can vote as many times as you’d like. To vote, visit www.whenyouworkatamuseum.com. Vote early, vote often, and help carry the Science History Institute to Museum Dance Off victory!
Upcoming Exhibition

For many of us alchemy conjures up images of mysticism or a fool’s quest for gold. But alchemy’s golden age was much more. In this era of experimental discovery and practical skill, physicians and chymists worked to heal the human body. They studied the secrets of the natural world. These men and women ushered in change, creativity, and scientific inquiry. This era was stranger than fiction and more curious than myth. We invite you to step into the real Age of Alchemy.
Friday, May 4 | 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Be one of the first to tour Age of Alchemy, chat with exhibition curator Elisabeth Berry Drago, and take an alchemy-themed scavenger hunt. Light refreshments will be served.

Admission for this event is free, and no reservations are required.
Detail of The Alchemist and His Wife , ca. 1928, by Jacques Hammerer, after 17th-century original by David Ryckaert III. Science History Institute.
New and Notable
How do Philadelphians imagine a sustainable future for their city? How will people in Philadelphia produce and use energy in the future? And how might the personal histories of Philadelphia citizens shape the ways they imagine Philadelphia’s energy futures?

Those questions inspired Imagining Philadelphia’s Energy Futures, an oral history and public education project about energy, climate change, and the future of Philadelphia. The project consisted of oral history interviews with a small but diverse set of Philadelphia citizens who were selected in collaboration with the project’s local partners. Each interview recorded a participant’s personal history. Read and hear their stories.
Heritage Day Celebration
Heritage Day is the Science History Institute’s annual celebration of the achievements and promise of the sciences and technologies that shape material culture and innovation.

On May 9, we will gather to honor our 2018 award recipients:
Othmer Gold Medal
Joshua Boger founded Vertex Pharmaceuticals with the aim of developing innovative medicines for people with serious, life-threatening diseases. The company has a clinical development program focused on treatment for cystic fibrosis along with more than a dozen other research programs targeted to serious illnesses. 

Learn more about Boger and his contributions to pharmaceutical discovery and development.
American Institute of Chemists Gold Medal
E. Gerald Meyer’s career spans seven decades, during which he has been chemist, professor, academic leader, businessman, public servant, and science visionary. Meyer nurtured and guided generations of chemistry graduates into productive industrial and academic careers.

Learn more about Meyer and his work to advance scientific education and the chemical enterprise.
Richard J. Bolte Sr. Award for Supporting Industries
W. Graham Richards was a pioneer in the field of computer-aided molecular design for industrial applications, particularly pharmaceuticals. He organized the Screensaver Lifesaver project, which enlisted 3.5 million personal computers to screen billions of compounds in the search for drugs to treat cancer and to protect against anthrax and smallpox.

Learn more about Richards and his contributions to the pharmaceutical industry.
From the Blog
The Distillations blog is the place for regular updates from the intersections of science, culture, and history.
After the Vietnam War a mysterious yellow substance fell from the skies of Southeast Asia. Was it a chemical weapon or something stranger?
Do cats mess with your brain?
Program Spotlight
The festival is in full swing! This communitywide celebration of science features lectures, debates, hands-on activities, special exhibitions, and a variety of other informal science education experiences for Philadelphians of all ages.

We participate in a broad array of festival activities by creating programs that interpret the Science History Institute’s work in a way that is welcoming and fun. Coming up:

Monday, April 23 | 6:00 p.m.
Join us for drinks and explore the many ways science has taught us lessons.

Wednesday, April 25 | 6:00 p.m.
Join local scientists and researchers as they recall the moment science sparked their passion.

History Lab
Join us this summer for History Lab, a series of free monthly seminars taking place from June through August. We’ll explore big questions from science and history that have immediate, real-world implications.

This summer we’ll explore where scientific data comes from, what we do with it, and the stories we tell about it. Join neighbors, friends, and colleagues to discuss the complicated, influential role that scientific data plays in our world.

Saturday, May 19 | 1:00 p.m.
Calling all educators! We need your feedback to help us adapt our History Lab program for classrooms. Join fellow educators in discussing “Communities and the Future” and then help us brainstorm ways to adapt this program for a school-aged audience.

Saturday, June 2 | 1:00 p.m.
We often receive conflicting information (from doctors, celebrities, advertisers, news outlets, family, and community) about what is “good” for us. How do we sift through the health data we hear about every day?

Saturday, July 21 | 1:00 p.m.
Because we assume that human perspectives are varied and unreliable, algorithms and quantitative data collection often seem dedicated to “removing” subjective experiences from the equation. Why is that?

Saturday, August 4 | 1:00 p.m.
Can we collect and interpret data beyond our usual senses? How might we understand data differently if we produced it in colors, or claps, or smells?
Coming Up
The Institute Goes to Houston
Tuesday, May 1 | 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. (CDT)
Exhibition Opening
Friday, May 4 | 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Public Event
Thursday, May 17 | 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Friday, June 1 | 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
History Lab
Saturday, June 2 | 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Continuing Education
Monday, June 4, to Friday, June 15 | 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Saturday Speaker
Saturday, June 9 | 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Public Event
Thursday, June 28 | 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Thanks for Reading!
The Science History Institute e-newsletter is published every other month. Comments, questions, or suggestions? Contact enews@sciencehistory.org
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