LAWRENCE — Botany collections, genetics, Alfred Hitchcock and the science of small are among the subjects to be explored through spring semester events planned by the KU Natural History Museum.
The events begin at 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 3, with a behind-the-scenes look at some of the more than 400,000 research specimens of grasses, lichens, seeds, trees and shrubs in the botany collection. Visitors are encouraged to call 864-4450 to register in advance for the tour, which takes place at the R. L. McGregor Herbarium on West Campus.
At 7:30 pm Tuesday, Feb. 5, the museum will offer a talk and discussion by biochemist Bryan Smith about ways cancer treatments may change as scientists learn how to harness an individual’s genetic information to target certain cells. The event is the first of the semester in the museum’s popular Science on Tap series, hosted by Free State Brewing Co., 636 Massachusetts St. Future speakers in the series include Sharon Billings, KU associate professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, who will speak about how soil and plants regulate the Earth’s climate (and how humans are changing that balance), and Michele Pritchard of the KU Medical Center, who will discuss how the microbes of the gut respond to alcohol in surprising ways.
The museum’s student advisory board will launch its new film series “Myths and Mayhem” with Alfred Hitchcock’s classic horror film “The Birds” at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 7. The series combines movies with introductions or question-and-answer sessions led by Biodiversity Institute scientists. Other films in the series are “Bats,” about genetically modified bats on the loose, and the storm-chaser thriller “Twister.”
Rounding out February will be the next Science Saturday event for children and families, Nanoscience, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 16. Science Saturday events take place monthly and include activities and demonstrations. Other Saturday Science events will focus on animals of Latin America and the creation of natural history collections.
Information about tours, Science on Tap, Science Saturday and other events scheduled for the spring can be found on the museum’s website.