March First Saturday Open House & Westbrook Free Lecture with Nathan Lents

Nathan H. Lents

Wagner Free Institute of Science

Saturday, March 4, 2023 12:00 pm EST

Wagner Free Institute of Science
1700 W Montgomery Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19121

Written in the Scars: What Our Flaws Teach Us about Our Past With Dr. Nathan H. Lents
We like to think of human beings as the pinnacle of creation, or the most evolved animals on earth, but we may actually be one of the most flawed species of all. If we are intelligently designed, the designer has a lot to answer for. The surprising answer to why our bodies have accumulated so many errors is because humans have become experts at working around them. In this presentation, Dr. Nathan Lents will explain how the many quirks and glitches in human anatomy tell us interesting things about our past and help us live in better harmony with our bodies.
As part of our monthly 1st Saturday Open House, the Museum will be open to visitors to come explore the museum’s collections! You can study the anatomy of our human and primate skeletons before the talk. A reception with Nathan Lents will follow the talk in the museum. His book, Human Errors: A Panorama of our Glitches, from Pointless Bones to Broken Genes, will be available in the gift shop.
Program Schedule:
Noon - 3pm: Explore the Exhibit Hall
3 - 4:30pm: Talk in the Lecture Hall
4:30 - 5:30pm: Reception and book signing
This event is free and in person at the Wagner.
About the Speaker
Nathan H. Lents, Ph.D. is Professor of Biology and Director of the Cell and Molecular Biology program at John Jay College of the City University of New York. He is also a visiting professor of Forensic Science at the University of Lincoln in the UK, and an elected fellow for the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. Dr. Lents’s research explores the evolution of the human genome in search of human-specific elements that may help explain our unique evolutionary trajectory. He also writes articles in the popular press and is the author of two books: Not So Different: Finding Human Nature in Animals and Human Errors: A Panorama of our Glitches, from Pointless Bones to Broken Genes.
About the Annual Westbrook Free Lectureship
Dr. Richard B. Westbrook, Trustee of the Wagner Free Institute of Science from 1884 until his death in 1899, established the Westbrook Free Lectureship as a means to encourage open discourse on scientific subjects, especially “disputed questions in science and theories of Evolution.” Since 1912 when the series began, Westbrook lecturers have included some of the most distinguished scientists and scholars of the past 100 years, among them oceanographer Sylvia Earle, anthropologists Nina Jablonski and Margaret Mead, and climatologist Michael Mann.
Things to Know Before Your Visit
• Walk-in visitors are welcome. Advance registration is appreciated and will speed up your entry to the museum.
• Masks are recommended but not required.
• There is no coat check or place to stow personal items – please travel light.
• To protect the specimens and our historic interiors, photography is not allowed in the museum and food and drink are not permitted in the building.
•The Institute does not have a parking lot. Street parking on Montgomery Avenue and 17th Street is free and metered parking is available on Bouvier Street and Cecil B. Moore.
A dream that keeps growing…
In 1855, William Wagner had a dream of providing free science education to anyone who wanted to learn, regardless of background or ability to pay. Today, the Wagner offers more programs to more people than ever before! Your support helps us provide free education, not only through the museum, but through a wide range of courses, lectures, field trips, and children’s science programs. Donations also assist us in caring for the museum and library collections and in preserving our wonderful building, which was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1990. To learn more about what we do please visit our website.
Registration Information
In keeping with its original charter, admission is free—donations are suggested to ensure the future and quality of Wagner's free education programs and to preserve its National Landmark building and collections.
Suggested Donations
$5/person for college students & children
For any questions, please email or call 215-763-6529 x17.
If you would like to check your membership status or become a member, please email or call 215-763-6529 x11.