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Westbrook Free Lectureship

Dr. Richard B. Westbrook, Trustee of the Institute from 1884 until his death in 1899, established the Westbrook Free Lectureship as a means to encourage open discourse on scientific subjects, especially "disputed questions in science and the theories of Evolution."  Since 1912 when the series began, Westbrook lecturers have included some of the most distinguished scientists and scholars of the past 100 years, among them John Dewey, George Gaylord Simpson, and Margaret Mead.


~2017 Westbrook Free Lectureship~

Dire Predictions: Understanding Climate Change

Dr. Michael E. Mann, Pennsylvania State University

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Museum opens at 1:00
Lecture begins at 3:00 PM

Annual Member Reception follows the talk.

Reception free for members; $10 for guests.

Please register here for this free lecture.
To RSVP for the Member Reception, call

Alison Hansen-Decelles, Development Manager, at 215-763-6529 x11.

Blodget, Lorin. Climatology of the United States. Philadelphia : Lippincott, 1857.
From the Wagner Free Institute of Science library.

Devastating hurricanes. Record-breaking temperatures. Melting polar ice caps. Climate change is already having an effect on our everyday lives, but many people don’t understand the science behind it (and some don’t even acknowledge it is real). For our 2017 Westbrook Lecture, renowned Pennsylvania State University climate scientist Dr. Michael E. Mann will explain the solid evidence confirming climate change and its human influences—from instrumental measurements to computer-modeled predictions. He will also describe the frightening impacts of climate change, some of which we are already experiencing, and possible solutions to the problem. The Wagner’s museum will be open from 1 pm until the talk begins at 3 pm. Our Annual Member Reception will take place after the talk and will include a book signing with Dr. Mann. The reception is free for members, $10 for guests.

Dr. Michael E. Mann is Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science at Pennsylvania State University and director of the Penn State Earth System Science Center (ESSC). In addition to his numerous media appearances and citations, he has received several honors and awards including: the National Conservation Achievement Award for science by the National Wildlife Federation in 2013, the Stephen H. Schneider Award for Outstanding Climate Science Communication from Climate One in 2017, and he was a contributor to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. He has authored more than 200 peer-reviewed and edited publications and published three books: Dire Predictions: Understanding Climate Change, The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines, and most recently, The Madhouse Effect with Washington Post editorial cartoonist Tom Toles. He also co-founded the award-winning science website


Past Westbrook Lectures (Partial List)

2016 - "Natural History Collections: The Newest Biological Frontier"

          Dr. Kristofer Helgen, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

2013 - "Sustainable Seas: Vision and Reality"

          Dr. Sylvia Earle, Mission Blue

2012 - "The Sky is Falling: White-Nose Syndrome in Bats"

          Dr. Hazel Barton, University of Akron

2011 - "Adventures Among Ants"

          Mark W. Moffett, Smithsonian Institution

2010 - "I Am One of You: The Secret Language of Bacteria"

          Dr. Bonnie Bassler, Princeton University

2009 - "BSI -- The Case of the Disappearing Bees"

          Dr. May R. Berenbaum, University of Illinois

2008 - "The Evolution of Human Skin Color"

          Dr. Nina G. Jablonski, Pennsylvania State University

2007 - "A New 'Design' for Darwin: What Today's Science Says

          About Biology's Most Controversial Theory"

          Dr. Kenneth R. Miller, Brown University

1953 - "Cultural Background for Human Invention"

          Dr. Margaret Mead, American Museum of Natural History

1950 - "Evolution and the History of Life"

          Dr. George Gaylord Simpson, American Museum of Natural History

1949 - "Earth's Resources and Man's Needs"

          Dr. Kirtley F. Mather, Harvard University

1947 - "The Glacial Ages"

          Dr. Richard Foster Flint, Yale University

1940 - "Atomic Nuclei and Atomic Transmutations"

          Dr. Kenneth T. Bainbridge, Harvard University

1932 - "Common Sense, Science and Philosophy"

          Dr. John Dewey, Columbia University

1931 - "The Problems of the Origin and Antiquity of the American Aborigines

          in Light of Recent Explorations"

          Dr. Aleš Hrdlicka, United States National Museum (Smithsonian)

1928 - "The Science of Musical Sounds"

          Dr. Dayton C. Miller, Case School of Applied Science

1923 - "The Philosophy of Sanitation"

          George C. Whipple, Harvard University

1917 - "Heredity and Evolution in the Simplest Organisms"

          Dr. H.S. Jennings, Johns Hopkins University

1914 - "The Theory of Evolution"

          Dr. William Berryman Scott, Princeton University

1913 - "Conservation of Natural Resources"

          Gifford Pinchot, National Conservation Association

          Marshall O. Leighton, U.S. Geological Survey

          Overton W. Price, National Conservation Association

          Joseph A. Holmes, Department of the Interior, Bureau of Mines

1912 - "Ancient Civilization of Babylonia and Assyria"

          Dr. Morris Jastrow, University of Pennsylvania