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State Museum Hosts Lunchtime Talk Series "Brain Food for the Curious"

Release Date: 
Friday, October 6, 2017
Contact Information: 
Contact: Office of Communications Phone: (518) 474-1201


New York State Museum historians and scientists will share their knowledge and research in a series of lunchtime talks this fall and winter. “Brain Food for the Curious” will be held select on Tuesdays in October through March, from 12:10 – 12:40 p.m., in the Huxley Theater. Each program includes a 20-minute talk with a State Museum historian or scientist followed by a question-and-answer period. Attendees are encouraged to bring their lunch.

Following is a schedule of “Brain Food for the Curious” talks for the 2017-18 season:

Ten Thousand Women Descend on Albany: The 40th Anniversary of the New York State Women’s Meeting
Tuesday, October 17
Learn about the New York State Women’s Meeting that was held at the Empire State Plaza on July 8-10, 1977. Planners expected 3,000 attendees, but approximately 10,000 showed up to discuss women’s issues that would then be discussed at the National Women’s Conference in Houston in November 1977.

Is it a Ghost or a Ghoul? Costume vs. Clothing in the New York State Museum’s Collection
Tuesday, October 31
We use the words “clothing”, “costume”, “dress”, and “fashion” to describe what we wear. Explore various examples from the Museum’s history collection, including clothing related to All Hallows’ Eve.

Contemporary Native American Art Collection
Tuesday, November 14
Learn about new acquisitions to the Museum’s Contemporary Native American Art Collection, including photography, basketry, painting and intricately carved woodwork.

Astronauts of Inner-Space: The Millbrook Commune and the ‘60s
Tuesday, November 28
Explore New York’s unique role in the psychedelic ‘60s through the history of the Millbrook Commune, Timothy Leary’s ‘Grounded Space Colony’ housed on a 2,500-acre estate in Dutchess County.

Beyond Global Warming – A Future of a Hyper-warming Earth
Tuesday, December 12
Learn more about climate change as sea levels have risen 10 inches in the last century with the melting of ice sheets and thermal expansion of ocean water.

Pre-Contact and Early-Historic Social Networks in Northern Iroquoia
Tuesday, December 19
Iroquoian pottery is characterized by often complex geometrical designs. Hear about how recent analyses of these designs are changing our understanding of Iroquoian social interactions in New York and southern Ontario.

Archaeological Evidence for Pre-Clovis Occupation of Northeastern North America
Tuesday, January 9
When and how did humans first colonize the Americas? Learn about current theories for the Ice Age peopling of the Americas and archaeological evidence for earliest human occupations of northeastern North America.

The Origin of Life on Earth
Tuesday, January 23
Every year scientists get closer to understanding how life could have evolved on early Earth. Hear how geologic life likely arose and how that process may have taken place.

The Champlain Sea: North America’s Last Inland Sea
Tuesday, February 6 
About 10,000 years ago, whales, seals and other sea life made the area now covered by Lake Champlain and the St. Lawrence River their home. Learn about the geology and animals of this unique period in New York history.

Exploring the Fascinating Freshwater Mussels of New York
Tuesday, February 20
Among the most endangered groups of animals on the planet are the freshwater mussels, yet their presence in our lakes and rivers often goes unnoticed. Hear about recent Museum studies that are supporting the restoration and recovery of populations in New York.

Challenges of Geology Fieldwork in the Forested Catskill Mountains
Tuesday, March 6
Scientific researchers often talk about their result, but to gather the data they need, there are sometimes real challenges. Hear about challenges of geological fieldwork in the mountains of New York, including the Catskill Mountains.

A New Look at a Classic Mineral Group: The Amphiboles
Tuesday, March 20
Among the common rock-forming minerals, perhaps no major group is as interesting as the amphibole group. Take a geological tour through the amphibole’s world.

The Marvelous Bird Egg Collection of the New York State Museum
Tuesday, March 27
The Museum’s ornithology collection includes nearly 6,000 sets of bird eggs. Learn how this collection has recently been rehoused and how bird eggs are being used for new research.

The State Museum is a program of the New York State Education Department’s Office of Cultural Education. Located at 222 Madison Avenue in Albany, the Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  It is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day. Admission is free. Further information about programs and events can be obtained by calling (518) 474-5877 or visiting the Museum website at