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Consortia Online Events
Castle Lecture Series
Noon–1pm
Talks are held monthly and are webcast live. Videos archived here.

Scots in the American West Symposium
8 August 2013
Archive available here.

Grand Challenges Share Fair
May 14, 2013
Archive available here.

The Anthropocene: Planet Earth in the Age of Humans
11 October 2012
Archive available here.

Grand Challenges Share Fair
May 10, 2012
Archive available here.

Perspectives on Limits to Growth: Challenges to Building a Sustainable Planet
March 1, 2012
Archive available here.

Grand Challenges Share Fair
May 18, 2011
Archive available here.
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Castle Lecture Series

The Castle Lectures Series is a program of monthly talks by Smithsonian scholars and researchers sponsored by the Grand Challenges Consortia. Each lecture beings at noon and is approximately 30 minutes in length followed by a short question and answer period. The talks will be webcast live and archived on this page for later viewing.

The unifying theme for these lectures is The Anthropocene: Planet Earth in the Age of Humans. Smithsonian scholars from many different museums and research centers are conducting research on global environmental change and humanity's responses to those changes. The effects of humans on the planet, and our knowledge of those effects, puts us in a new geological epoch, the Anthropocene, or Age of Humans.

Since its founding in 1846, the Smithsonian has been devoted to understanding the universe around us, and over the years it has taken on additional roles: recording and interpreting biological and cultural diversity, documenting and preserving our national history, and sharing the knowledge we gain from research with people around the world. As a result, the Smithsonian is well suited to the challenges of the Anthropocene. The Smithsonian's invaluable collections, which it is charged to care for in perpetuity, document historic baselines that are necessary for measuring and illustrating the magnitude of anthropogenic change. The Smithsonian is an institution built to meet the specific challenges of our time: documenting and understanding the processes of change, putting change in a historical and geological context, exploring how different cultures address these changes, and helping people see change in their lives through the lenses of science, culture, and art.

Upcoming Talk(s)

Odile Madden

Plasticene in Progress: What Innovation in Plastic Can Tell Us About the Anthropocene
Odile Madden
Research Scientist
Museum Conservation Institute
April 23, 2014

Previous Talk(s)

Kris Helgen

Museums, Biodiversity and the Anthropocene
Kris Helgen
Research Zoologist and Curator-in-Charge of Mammals
National Museum of Natural History
March 19, 2014

The Words That Come Before All Else: Empathic Tradition Applied in the Anthropocene
Tim Johnson
Associate Director for Museum Programs
National Museum of the American Indian
February 19, 2014

Forest-Climate Interactions in an Era of Global Change
Dr. Kristina J. Anderson-Teixeira
Ecologist, Leader of CTFS-SIGEO Ecosystems & Climate Initiative
Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
January 23, 2014

Smithsonian's Current and Emerging Role in Global Climate Science: Thoughts from the 2013 IPCC Report
Dr. Christine France
Research Physical Scientist
Museum Conservation Institute
December 17, 2013

Dynamics of Urban Forest Cover in the Age of Humans
Dr. Andrew Johnston
Geographer
National Air & Space Museum
November 19, 2013

What will it mean to be human? Imagining our lives in the Anthropocene
Dr. Rick Potts
Director of the Human Origins Program
National Museum of Natural History
September 25, 2013

After the Ice: Polar Ice as a New Arena for Humanistic Research and Conflicting Interests
Dr. Igor Krupnik
Curator of the Arctic and Northern Ethnology and Head of Ethnology Division
Department of Anthropology
National Museum of Natural History
July 23, 2013

TEMPO: A Smithsonian/NASA mission to monitor North American air pollution from space
Dr. Kelly Chance
Associate Director for Atomic and Molecular Physics and Senior Physicist
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
June 19, 2013

The Coastal Anthropocene
Dr. Patrick Megonigal
Deputy Director
Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
May 20, 2013