Insights Lecture Series
Cincinnati Museum Center's Insights Lecture Series features local and national experts speaking on a variety of subjects chosen for their relevance and their ability to spark insight and dialogue. All lectures are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted, and most are livestreamed online on Museum Center's Ustream channel.
Thursday, July 31: Maria Longworth Storer: A Woman of Power and Influence
Wednesday, October 15: Evolution and Creation: Conflicting or Compatible?
Lecturer: Colonel Constance J. Moore
When: 7 p.m. Thursday, July 31
Where: Reakirt Auditorium and on Ustream
In collaboration with Ursulines of Cincinnati at St. Ursula Academy
Maria Longworth Storer (1849-1932) is famous for founding Rookwood Pottery. This lecture, however, looks beyond Rookwood and paints a portrait of a woman who pushed social boundaries and left lasting impacts on politics through her charitable work.
Storer funded a free pediatrics hospital, daycare center and healthcare team for the Home of the Friendless. She provided scholarships for talented artists. She also invested much of her wealth in municipal improvements and was an expert fundraiser for civic causes, including the Zoological Center.
When Bellamy, her husband, was elected to the House of Representatives, Maria had rollicking discussions at her dinner table concerning Progressive era issues, with dynamic men such as Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft and Henry Adams. She had the ability to draw these dynamic men into spirited discussions about issues of the day.
After Bellamy joined the diplomatic service, Maria influenced negotiations following the Spanish American War. She advised the Secretary of State about political concerns in several European governments. During World War I, Maria bravely sought clarification of the Red Cross entrance requirements so religious sisters could participate in nursing efforts required by the military.
Learn more about Storer's work, along with a look at philanthropy in Cincinnati today, during this lecture.
Before the lecture, we encourage you to experience the final stop of the world tour of Diana, A Celebration and our companion gallery, Daughters of the Queen City. And be sure to check out our gifts inspired by Diana and Daughters of the Queen City in our Collector's Gallery store!
Lecturer: Patricia H. Kelley, Professor of Geology, University of North Carolina Wilmington, 2009-2014 Paleontological Society Distinguished Lecturer on Evolution and Society
When: 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 15
Where: Reakirt Auditorium / Ustream
Many Americans view science and religion as incompatible, concluding that acceptance of evolution precludes religious faith. The lecture addresses whether evolution is in conflict with creation or whether there is a valid way to reconcile the two. Much of the controversy can be linked to insufficient understanding of what science is, how it differs from religion, and what is meant by evolution.
The lecture distinguishes science from religion, clarifies various meanings of evolution, and presents the evidence for evolution and the mechanisms by which it occurs. Beyond the fossil record, Dr. Kelley also examines the Biblical creation accounts and creationist approaches such as Intelligent Design to assess the compatibility of evolution with faith-based perspectives.
What you’ll learn: The difference between science and religion, differing definitions of evolution, evidence supporting evolution, the implications of intelligent design and implications of biblical creation accounts
Can’t make the lecture? Watch it live on our Ustream Channel.
Check back soon to RSVP for this lecture
Who: Dr. Stanley D. Gehrt, The Ohio State University
What: The Myths and Truths of Ghost Dogs
When: 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 16
Where: Newsreel Theater
Urban landscapes continue to increase across much of the world, which presents challenges for the management and conservation of large carnivores. Coyotes have become residents in many metropolitan areas across North America, and they are arguably the most mysterious and feared carnivore in the city. For the past 13 years, researchers have been uncovering the hidden lives of coyotes in Chicago, one of the most urbanized landscapes in the U.S.
Results from this project, the largest of its kind, form the foundation of this program, including discussions on how the coyote adjusts to urban life, the ecological role they play in cities, and the implications of their success for people and pets. Over the course of the presentation, we will dispel some of the myths and uncover facts about their lives, and what they mean to us.
Who: Dr. Kyle M. Straub, Tulane University
What: Rock Studies: A Flawed Record of Earth’s History, But the Best One We Have
When: 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 23
Where: Reakirt Auditorium
How do we know what we know about the earth? What does the latest research studying our planet tell us about its history? Join us and Dr. Kyle Straub from Tulane University in exploring the challenges and methods that geologists are currently developing in order to read the grand story of the history of the earth.
Scientifically known as Stratigraphy, the study and research of layered sedimentary rocks on continental margins preserve the most complete record of environmental conditions in Earth’s past. These strata preserve information related to tectonics, sea-level, and climate and if correctly interpreted, could aid our ability to predict the consequences of future climate change.
Unfortunately, we lack a Rosetta Stone for reading this record, and unlocking the wealth of information preserved in stratigraphy has proven difficult. Challenges include the incompleteness of the record and the preservation of patterns that resemble those associated with changing environmental conditions, but which are generated by the internal processes of rivers and deltas.
Who: Professor Irene Lemos, Oxford University
What: Ancient Greece Out of the Dark
When: 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 3
Where: Reakirt Auditorium
The site of Lefkandi in Greece has offered much to the archaeology of the Late Bronze and Iron Age Aegean. The amazing discoveries made by teams of British and Greek archaeologists at the site have changed our perspectives of the period from 1200 to 700 BCE. In this lecture, a collaboration with the Archaeological Institute of America, Professor Lemos will discuss the most important discoveries at the site. Under the control of the powerful palace of Thebes but after the collapse of the Mycenaean administration system, the site became one of the key and most important settlements in the eastern Mediterranean.
During the last stages of the Bronze Age and into the Iron Age the inhabitants exploited the beneficial location of the site in Greece and the natural resources of its region. Lefkandi developed into one of the most prosperous and affluent communities of its time. Was this an exceptional site whose wealth and complex social organization was indeed unrivaled or is it because of the modern archaeological research that we can gain a glimpse of one of the lesser known periods in ancient Greece?
7 p.m., Reakirt Auditorium
- Dr. Amy Townsend-Small, Assistant Professor of Biogeochemistry, University of Cincinnati
- Dr. Erin Haynes, Assistant Professor, Department of Environmental Health, University of Cincinnati
- Dr. Robert Chase, Professor, Edwy R. Brown Department of Petroleum, Engineering, Marietta College
Moderator: Mr. Kevin Pape, Gray & Pape Inc.
Hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as "fracking," is a method of recovering or extracting natural gas from deep shale formations and has been used since the 1940s. The process of hydraulic fracturing involves pumping millions of gallons of water, sand and a variety of chemicals into horizontally drilled wells. When this combination of liquids is pumped into the well under extremely high pressure, it fractures the shale and allows the natural gas to flow from the fissures that the sand particles hold open.
Fracking is very common and widely used across the United States, including natural gas wells in Appalachian states such as Pennsylvania, West Virginia and New York. Several active natural gas wells in Ohio are currently being fracked. As exploration for natural gas continues, future expansion and fracking of natural gas wells in Ohio is extremely likely.
A hotly contested dispute is currently being played out in the public media and courtrooms across the country. One side of the dispute maintains that fracking is a safe, effective and sophisticated method of extracting natural gas that will reduce our reliance on foreign energy sources. The other side describes it as an unreasonably dangerous process that is an assault on the environment and public health.
Please join our panelists for an informative evening discussion regarding the process of fracking, the implications for the environment and for human health.
Lecturer: Herman Mays, Ph.D., Cincinnati Museum Center Curator of Zoology
When: Thursday, March 20, 2014 with special screening of the OMNIMAX® film Journey to the South Pacific at 6 p.m. (buy tickets) and free lecture and Q&A at 7 p.m.
Where: Reakirt Auditorium
Islands are laboratories of evolution. From the Galapagos Islands to New Guinea, the islands of the Pacific Ocean have provided the foundation for our modern understanding of evolution. Comparatively less attention, however, has been paid to the islands of the Eastern Pacific, namely Taiwan and the thousands of islands that make up the nation of Japan. Cincinnati Museum Center Curator of Zoology Dr. Herman L. Mays Jr. has been a key participant in a long-term study of the birds of this region of more than a decade. Part scientific results and part travelogue, you are invited to hear about the exploration of this region by Dr. Mays and his colleagues, its myriad plants and animals and how cutting-edge tools in genetics are helping decipher the history of the region's birds.
Thursday, April 17
This is Your Life: 60 Years and Counting - Transmitting the Lessons of the Holocaust Through One Family’s Story
Lecturer: Julie Kohner
When: 7 p.m. Thursday, April 17
Where: Reakirt Auditorium
In Collaboration with the Center for Holocaust and Humanity Education
In 1953, Ralph Edwards, a television personality, took a courageous step and introduced the story of a Holocaust survivor on the popular program he hosted, This is Your Life, the most watched television show of its time. This was only eight years after the end of World War II when people, including survivors, hardly spoke about their experiences at home, let alone on national television.
This presentation introduces you to This Is Your Life and particularly, the woman who appeared on national television on May 27, 1953: Holocaust survivor Hanna Bloch Kohner, the mother of presenter Julie Kohner. The original television episode will be shown during the discussion.
After the video presentation, Ms. Kohner continues the discussion with an update of the lives of those who appeared on the show, how the show came to be, artifacts from the show and life after the show, with questions and answers. A book signing will follow at end of the program.
Wednesday, May 28
A Glass of Wine, a Loaf of Bread and Wow!: Nicholas Longworth’s Many Contributions to Cincinnati
Lecturer: Wendy Hart Beckman, Author, Founders and Famous Families: Cincinnati
When: 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 28
Where: Reakirt Auditorium
Presented in collaboration with Wood Herron & Evans
Learn about Nicholas Longworth's many contributions to Cincinnati in this lecture by Wendy Hart Beckman, author of the latest book on Cincinnati history, Founders and Famous Families: Cincinnati. Everything in this book is truly Cincinnati, right down to the research conducted mostly at Cincinnati Museum Center’s History Library and Archives. (Read more about the Longworth family in these articles from the Cincinnati History Library and Archives!)
In 1804, when he was 21, Longworth came to Cincinnati to study law under Judge Jacob Burnet. By 1860, Nicholas Longworth owned more land, had more money and produced more wine than anyone else in the country. He was a lawyer, banker, amateur botanist and philanthropist.
Thanks to Longworth’s generosity by donating land, we now have the Cincinnati Observatory and Eden Park. Former President John Quincy Adams spread the first layer of mortar and laid the cornerstone of the Observatory, declaring the occasion a tribute to the citizens of Cincinnati and an example to the rest of the nation.
His granddaughter Maria started Rookwood Pottery and was instrumental in starting the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. His great-grandson married Alice Roosevelt, daughter of President Theodore Roosevelt. And the Longworth estate downtown is now the Taft Museum of Art.
Because of Nicholas Longworth, we have familiar names like Mount Adams and Rookwood, as well as Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's famous poem, Catawba Wine. Although Cincinnati had been called the "Queen City" before Longfellow’s poem, his ode to the grape sealed the name in the minds of many.
A book signing will follow lecture. A portion of book sale proceeds will be donated to the Cincinnati Museum Center.
Lecturers: Jeffrey T. Sammons & John H. Morrow, Jr., authors of the new book Harlem’s Rattlers and the Great War: The Undaunted 369th Regiment and the African American Quest for Equality
When: 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 24
Cost: Lecture is free. A 1913-Style Dinner precedes lecture; click here for more information and to purchase tickets.
Where: Reakirt Auditorium
In collaboration with the University of Cincinnati
When on May 15, 1918, a French lieutenant warned Henry Johnson of the 369th Regiment to move back because of a possible enemy raid, John reportedly replied: “I’m an American, and I never retreat.”
The story, even if apocryphal, captures the mythic status of the 369th Regiment, the African-American combat unit that never lost a man to capture or a foot of ground that had been taken during the first World War. Harlem’s Rattlers and the Great War reveals as never before the poignant history of this unit from its beginnings as the 15th New York National Guard to its singular performance in WWI and the pathos of postwar adjustment. Read more about the book in the Chronicle of Higher Education
In this lecture, listen to Sammons highlight Ohio’s important but little-known connection to the 15th New York National Guard/369th U.S. Infantry Regiment through the "The Original Ohio Players." Find out more about Charles W. Anderson, one of Booker T. Washington's most trusted operatives and native to Oxford, Ohio. And learn about Captain Charles Ward Fillmore, born in the Xenia/Springfield area and perhaps the person most responsible for the existence of the 369th Regiment.
Then hear Morrow recount stories from the 369th Regiment in France in 1918, also known as Harlem’s Rattlers. First working as laborers in the American Expeditionary Forces, the Regiment transferred to the French army and worked as frontline combat soldiers.
A book signing will follow the lecture.
When: Tuesday, June 24 at 5:30 p.m.
Where: Cincinnati Dining Room
Cost: $40 Members, $45 non-Members. Reservations are now closed.
During World War I, the United States encouraged citizens to conserve food and other materials in an effort to increase supplies for the troops abroad. Join Sammons, Morrow and scholars from around the world for a three-course, 1913-style dinner that will transport you back the days just before the First World War. Participants from University of Cincinnati’s Summer Institute, World War I and the Arts: Sounds, Sights, Psyches, will be there and ready to discuss WWI topics. The meal includes Grape Fruit Salad, Tourte Au Poulet, Fresh Strawberry Shortcake and a cash bar.
Lecturer: Maureen France, Photographer/Associate Professor, University of Cincinnati, School of Design
When: 7 p.m. Thursday, July 17
Where: Newsreel Theater
Chances are, you’ve encountered Paul Briol’s work around the Queen City at one time or another. During his 30-year career as a photographer, he captured more than 6,000 photos of Cincinnati, working almost exclusively with a tripod-mounted 8 x 10 inch view camera. Often, he spent hours printing a single photo to his exact specifications—some of which are featured in Museum Center’s current exhibit, Treasures in Black & White: Historic Photographs of Cincinnati.
Join us for this upcoming lecture led by professor and professional photographer Maureen France and discover the man behind the camera lens. Learn about his life, work and contributions to his profession, study an 8x10 camera and unearth the background of photography in Cincinnati.
What you’ll learn about: Photography in the 20th century, photography and the Queen City, Cincinnati industry and architecture through the ages
Be sure to stop by Treasures in Black & White in our South Gallery to see some of Briol’s most iconic photographs.