Privileging the Public in Public History

Presenter: Morris J. Vogel, President of the Tenement Museum
Date: Friday, December 12, 2014 - 5:30pm to 7:00pm
Type of Event: Lecture and Reception

Morris J. Vogel heads one of the most innovative museums in the country, the Tenement Museum, located on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. The Museum preserves and interprets the history of immigration – recreating through costumed interpreters the personal experiences and stories of the working class immigrants who lived at 97 Orchard Street. With guided tours of the building and surrounding neighborhood, the Tenement Museum enhances the appreciation for the profound role immigration has played and continues to play in shaping America’s evolving national identity.

Dr. Vogel will share his experiences leading the Tenement Museum and speak to the growing trend to make history more accessible to a public audience. Prior to joining the museum in 2008, Dr. Vogel served as a faculty member and chair of the Department of History at Temple University. He is the author or editor of six books in the social history of American medicine, cultural history, and urban history. While at Temple, Vogel founded the NEH-funded Mid-Atlantic Regional Center for the Humanities (MARCH) and was a member of the Historic Preservation Board of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Most recently, he served as director of Creativity and Culture at the Rockefeller Foundation, where he developed strategies for employing culture as an agent of social transformation.

This lecture is in honor of Dr. Martin L. Levitt, Librarian at the American Philosophical Society (APS), who will retire from his post at year’s end. The APS joins Temple University, where he earned his Ph.D. and taught for many years, in honoring Dr. Levitt for his more than 25 years of service at the American Philosophical Society.

This event is free and open to the public
Closest Parking: Bourse Garage, 400 Ranstead Street (entrance on 4th next to Ritz Movie Theater)

An Evening With Thomas Jefferson and John Adams

An Evening With Thomas Jefferson and John Adams
Date: Tuesday, November 18, 2014 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm
Type of Event: APS Museum Event

The teamwork, friendship, rivalry, and finally friendship again between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson is perhaps the most famous relationship between two Presidents of the United States. Witness the two American patriots recollect, discuss, and sometimes argue about what exactly happened while a nation unlike any other was being born. Featuring Steve Edenbo as Thomas Jefferson and Peyton Dixon as John Adams.

Thomas Jefferson impersonator and historian, Steve Edenbo has entertained and inspired audiences of all ages since 1999. Edenbo has interpreted Thomas Jefferson at venues that include Monticello, The National Archives, Independence National Historical Park: DeclarationHouse, Congress hall and City Tavern, the Smithsonian Institution, National Constitution Center, University of Virginia, Freedoms Foundation of Valley Forge, Carpenter’s Hall, Trenton’s Patriot Week, the Philly Pops at Independence Hall, Texas A&M International University , and the Academy of Natural Science.

Peyton Dixon, an interpreter with eight years experience and an actor for over 25 years, has been seen as John Adams at the National Archives in Washington D.C., Wilmington’s Delaware Art Museum, and has portrayed the man in Philadelphia’s Independence Hall for the last three years.

Science on Tap: Do Cats Make You Crazy?

Science on Tap: Do Cats Make You Crazy?
Date: Monday, November 10, 2014 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm
Type of Event: APS Museum Event

The 2014 Ig Nobel prize in public health was recently awarded to researchers studying whether owning a cat is mentally hazardous to people. The source of this hazard is not the cat itself but what it can carry: an extremely contagious and ubiquitous parasite calledToxoplasma gondii. This successful parasite can infect almost any warm-blooded animal, hiding in the brain as a cyst. In most people it is thought that the dormant Toxoplasma brain cyst does nothing. However, research suggests that these dormant cysts may actually have neurological consequences. Before you run home and get rid of your cuddly kitten, we will objectively take a look at the research to try and understand if cats really make you crazy.

Omar Harb, Ph.D., is Education and Scientific Outreach manager for the Eukaryotic Pathogen Databases, one of four National Bioinformatics Resource Centers. This center, based at the University of Pennsylvania, provides scientists worldwide working on parasitic diseases like toxoplasmosis and malaria with free and easy online access to big data such as genome sequences. Over the past six years, Dr. Harb has focused on running workshops for scientists, serving as an advisor for developing online research tools, and ensuring that big data are readily available for general scientific consumption. Dr. Harb has a doctoral degree in microbiology and postdoctoral training in Toxoplasma and Plasmodium cell and molecular biology.

This month’s Science on Tap event is hosted by the American Philosophical Society Museum.

Our Declaration: A Reading of the Declaration of Independence in Defense of Equality

Our Declaration - Lecture and Reception with Danielle Allen
Presenter: Danielle Allen
Date: Thursday, October 23, 2014 - 5:30pm to 7:30pm
Type of Event: Lecture, Reception, and Book Signing

Danielle Allen, a professor of social science at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ, is a political philosopher widely known for her work on justice and citizenship in both ancient Athens and modern America.

Every Independence Day we stand together in rare bipartisanship and celebrate the Declaration of Independence and its defense of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. But why not equality? As we debate the meaning of that concept in modern society, scholar Danielle Allen repositions it at the core of our Founding Document.

In Our Declaration, Allen reminds us that it is “all men are created equal” that immediately follows “We hold these truths to be self-evident.” Yet it is liberty that continues to trump equality in the national discussion over the Declaration’s legacy.

Aware that most adults have never read the Declaration of Independence, Allen sets out to reacquaint all Americans with this most seminal of history documents―arguably the most important document besides the Magna Carta―as well as to demonstrate why it is not only a pact affirming individual liberty (as the right regularly espouses) but an impassioned plea for equality.

Free Admission

Jefferson’s Garden Party

Date: Saturday, September 20, 2014 - 11:00am to 3:30pm
Type of Event: APS Museum Event

Celebrate the end of summer by immersing yourself in 18th century Philadelphia. Build and explore colonial Philadelphia as Thomas Jefferson knew it. Set type to print your own document like John Dunlap did for the Declaration of Independence. Try locally-made ice cream inspired by Jefferson’s favorite recipe (after 1:00 p.m.). Meet people from museums and organizations all over the city committed to exploring our city’s vibrant history and experience how our founding fathers and mothers influenced the city we live in today.

Trespassing on Einstein's Lawn: A Father, a Daughter, the Meaning of Nothing, and the Beginning of Everything

Presenter: Amanda Gefter
Date: Wednesday, September 10, 2014 - 5:30pm
Type of Event: Lecture, Reception, and Book Signing

Amanda Gefter is a physics writer and consultant for New Scientist magazine, where she previously served as Books & Arts editor and founded CultureLab,New Scientist's books and arts blog. She is a 2012-13 MIT Knight Science Journalism Fellow, and her writing has appeared in Scientific American, Forbes, and The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Trespassing on Einstein's Lawn is a spirited and personal account of a father/daughter quest for answers to the universe's biggest questions.

This event is co-hosted by the National Museum of American Jewish History, APS’s Historic District neighbor.

The APS Museum will be open prior to this lecture, 5pm - 6pm.

Science on Tap: Permaculture Food Forests in the City

Date: Monday, September 8, 2014 - 6:00pm

When William Penn created Philadelphia he envisioned a lush American Eden, a “greene country towne.” Today, Philadelphia is a far cry from that vision, but there is a growing movement to create a healthier, more sustainable city full of green spaces with access to healthy, local food.

Phil Forsyth, Philadelphia’s own Johnny Appleseed, has planted dozens of permaculture orchards and edible forests through his work with the Philadelphia Orchard Project. He will discuss permaculture, a design science aimed at creating sustainable regenerative landscapes and communities, and food forests, a permaculture strategy for developing diverse, multi-layered food-producing ecosystems. Phil believes we can we create functioning, diverse environments within the city that that mimic the natural systems within forests. These food forests and orchards bring fresh fruit to Philadelphians, replace vacant lots, bring the community together and help clean the water and air.

Phil Forsyth is the Executive Director of the Philadelphia Orchard Project, a non-profit that plants and supports community orchards in the city, including many food forests. Forsyth has a degree in Horticulture and Landscape Design; certification in Permaculture design and teaching; and 15 years of experience in urban farming and orcharding. Since 2007, the Philadelphia Orchard Project has planted 36 orchards with a wide range of community groups in neighborhoods across the city.

First Friday: Crafting a Classic

Date: Friday, September 5, 2014 - 4:00pm to 7:00pm
Type of Event: APS Museum Event

Thomas Jefferson’s family maintained that he wrote parts of the Declaration of Independence from the comfort of a revolving Windsor chair purchased in Philadelphia in 1776. Join us at First Friday in September to see that historical chair and watch chairmaker Brian Cunfer of the Windsor Chair Shop of Lancaster County demonstrate the expert craftsmanship required to create these beautiful objects.

Brian Cunfer started making American Windsor chairs in 1993. He studied the craft at John C. Campbell Folk School, where he currently teaches. Brian makes chairs full time from his studio in Lancaster, where he also conducts one-on-one chairmaking

4:00-7:00 p.m. – Chairmaking demonstrations ongoing in the Jefferson Garden.Jefferson, Philadelphia, and the Founding of a Nation exhibition open in Philosophical Hall.

Science on Tap: Show and Tell

Date: Monday, August 11, 2014 - 6:00pm to 7:00pm
Type of Event: APS Museum Event

Science on Tap in August will be held in a special Museum Show-and-Tell format! How do some of Philadelphia’s great historical and cultural institutions relate to science? Join us as Philadelphia museums bring a piece of their story to National Mechanics to demonstrate to us how they can relate to science. These organizations will present a specific object or idea in flash talk format that specifically connects to science. What a chance to see these establishments in a new scientific light!

Featuring Bartram’s Garden, Eastern State Penitentiary, Elfreth’s Alley, Free Library of Philadelphia, Independence Seaport Museum, National Liberty Museum, National Constitution Center, University of Pennsylvania Museum of Anthropology & Archaeology

Science on Tap is sponsored by a consortium of five Philadelphia institutions:
Academy of Natural Sciences
American Philosophical Society (APS)
Museum Chemical Heritage Foundation (CHF)
Mütter Museum of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia
Wagner Free Institute of Science

Second Saturday: Your Roots, Your Story

Date: Saturday, August 9, 2014 - 12:00pm to 3:00pm
Type of Event: APS Museum Event

Discover the most exciting history of all…the history of you! Learn how genealogy and geography go hand-in-hand. Plot your family’s past and see how it intersects with history. Join us across the street from the museum in the Jefferson Garden (rain location Philosophical Hall, 2nd Floor)!