Why did Gandhi hate iodine (I, 53)? Why did the Japanese kill Godzilla with missiles made of cadmium (Cd, 48)? How did radium (Ra, 88) nearly ruin Marie Curie’s reputation? And why did tellurium (Te, 52) lead to the most bizarre gold rush in history?
In this next edition of LIVE@Frost Science, we are proud to welcome New York Times bestselling author Sam Kean as we explore the periodic table through his book,“The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements.”
This event is being held as part of the museum’s celebrations in honor of the International Year of the Periodic Table. The Periodic System was first published in 1869 by Dmitri Mendeleev, marking 2019 as the 150th anniversary of the Periodic Table of Elements. This noteworthy milestone resulted in the United Nations General Assembly and UNESCO proclaiming 2019 as the International Year of the Periodic Table of Elements.
The periodic table is one of our crowning scientific achievements, but it’s also a treasure trove of passion, adventure, betrayal and obsession. The fascinating tales in Sam Kean’s book and presentation follow carbon, neon, silicon, gold and every single element on the table as they play out their parts in human history, finance, mythology, conflict, the arts, medicine, and the lives of the (frequently) mad scientists who discovered them. In weaving this tale of the periodic table, Sam Kean fuses science with the classic lore of invention, investigation, discovery, and alchemy, from the Big Bang through the end of time. Audiences learn that Marie Curie used to provoke jealousy in colleagues’ wives when she’d invite them into closets to see her glow-in-the-dark experiments. And that Lewis and Clark swallowed mercury capsules across the country and their campsites are still detectable by the poison in the ground.
Admission is complimentary. Tickets are limited to two per transaction. Program will take place inside the Frost Planetarium.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Program starts promptly at 7:00 p.m. Seating is first-come, first-served. Snacks and beverages will be available for purchase prior to the event. (Food and beverage is not allowed inside the Frost Planetarium).
Please note registration to the event does not include museum admission. Museum exhibitions close at 6:00 p.m. Onsite parking is available in the museum garage for $8 flat rate starting at 6:00 p.m.
About the Speaker
Sam Kean spent years collecting mercury from broken thermometers as a kid, and now he’s a writer in Washington, D.C. He is the New York Times bestselling author of Caesar’s Last Breath, The Dueling Neurosurgeons, The Disappearing Spoon, and The Violinist’s Thumb. His stories have appeared in The Best American Nature and Science Writing, The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times Magazine, and Slate, and his work has been featured on NPR’s “Radiolab,” “Science Friday,” “All Things Considered,” and “Fresh Air.” His newest book, The Bastard Brigade, came out in July 2019.
- Onsite parking is available in the museum garage for $8 flat rate starting at 6:00 p.m.