Saturday Speaker Series

Dive into fascinating stories of science with our Saturday Speaker Series!

Once a month, from September to May, a speaker will offer a short talk on an intriguing scientific topic, followed by a Q&A or discussion over complimentary tea and coffee. Afterward, feel free to mingle with other guests and the speaker, or spend time visiting our free museum.

Admission is free, and no reservations are necessary.

Upcoming Lectures

The following lectures, originally scheduled for April 11 and May 9, have been postponed. We will announce new dates for these events as soon as possible.

Fishing for Answers: Using the Zebrafish in Biomedical Research

Microscopic study of frog and fish specimens

Microscopic study of frog and fish specimens

Microscopic study of frog and fish specimens, from Arcana natura detecta (1695)

Science History Institute

This is a tale of how a small freshwater fish has made a sizable impact on biomedical research and discovery. Francesca Tuazon looks at the history of model organisms and the technological advances afforded by using zebrafish. Follow the journey of an early zebrafish embryo on its way to becoming an adult and discover how the years of innovation that led to our current understanding of embryo development can also be traced through a lineage of female scientists.

About the Speaker

Francesca Tuazon recently completed a PhD in cell and molecular biology at the University of Pennsylvania, with a focus on developmental, stem-cell, and regenerative biology, and she is interested in the mechanisms that regulate dynamic signaling events in both time and space. She wants to use developmental models that can uncover broader regulatory mechanisms applicable to disease, especially those in which developmental pathways are reactivated such as in cancer.

The 2014 Emergency Ebola Epidemic in Sierra Leone


Map of the Coast of Sierra Leone by Joan Blaeu (1662)

Map of the Coast of Sierra Leone by Joan Blaeu (1662)

Koninklijke Bibliotheek via

During the 2014–2015 Ebola epidemic in West Africa many social and cultural factors influenced both the spread of the virus and the attempts to stop its dissemination. This talk will explore the role of behavioral science in the emergency Ebola epidemic and ways to help Sierra Leone recover from the disease’s devastating impact.

About the Speaker

Hannah Lawman was an epidemiologist for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention during the emergency Ebola response in Sierra Leone. She worked with an interdisciplinary team to combat fears about seeking treatment, especially related to ambulances. She currently directs research at the Philadelphia Department of Public Health in the Division of Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention.