200 Years. 200 Stories. Story 200: “What’s Next? ”

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The Parkway entrance to the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University

What’s Next?

If you have been following along with our 200 stories for the past 200 days, you have learned about our founding, our growth, and our current research throughout the world. You’ve gotten to know Academy personalities ranging from founder Thomas Say and early ornithologist John James Audubon to environmental pioneer Ruth Patrick and current Academy scientists Nate Rice and Jason Weintraub. You’ve heard about our expeditions, you’ve traveled with us behind the scenes, and you’ve marveled at some Academy artifacts from the past 200 years. With this incredible past behind us, what’s up next for the Academy?

During our Bicentennial, we will bring you a year of exciting events, educational programs, and our special bicentennial exhibit, The Academy at 200: The Nature of Discovery. Senior Fellow Robert M. Peck and historical biographer Patricia Tyson Stroud will launch their new book on the Academy’s 200-year history at a book talk and signing on April 25. This spring we will begin our yearlong Bicentennial Town Square series, “New Questions for an Old Planet,” featuring expert panelists who will cover climate change and energy; food and public health; water; and green building. Our October 11-12 symposium, “Biodiversity: From Evolutionary Origins to Ecosystems Function,” will introduce current and future biodiversity research. Throughout the year, we’ll explore highlights from our collections during specially themed bicentennial months and offer behind-the-scenes tours Thursdays through Mondays at 11 am.

As we bring you one-of-a-kind bicentennial programming, we are also looking beyond our 200th birthday. In 2011, the Academy and Drexel University announced a historic affiliation that unites two of Philadelphia’s most respected research institutions and promotes discovery, learning, and civic engagement in the natural and environmental sciences. Benefits of this new affiliation will be vast, including the enhancement of exhibits, the opportunity to work with Drexel educators to improve programming, additional resources, and innovative ways to access the Academy’s rich collections and science. A new department at Drexel called Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Sciences (BEES) will accept its first students in fall 2012 and bring Academy and Drexel scientists together with a focus on the natural and environmental sciences.

The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University will continue to stand at the forefront of scientific research and education and will further establish Philadelphia, the birthplace of modern science in North America, as a city central to the advancement of the natural and environmental sciences. As we move forward, we will add many more stories to our fascinating history. Thank you for accompanying us during these 200 days. We hope you will join us this year at the museum and support us as we begin our third century.

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