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Friday, April 26, 2024
Tour of Allegheny Observatory

The Allegheny Observatory, part of the University of Pittsburgh, is probably on your list of "I have to go there sometime" places in the Pittsburgh area and now is your chance to cross it off your list. 

The tour is a delightful mix of science, history, Pittsburgh stories, and current research. The building itself boasts wonderful architecture and the telescopes each made major contributions to the advancement of science. We will visit the two historic telescopes, and if the weather is clear, use one of them to image sunspots the way Samuel Langley did in the 1860's.

(Note: The Allegheny Observatory is located at 159 Riverview Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15214. Transportation is on your own. Parking is free and on the right hand side of the road that circles the observatory. THE OBSERVATORY IS NOT ACCESSIBLE. THE TOUR INCLUDES NARROW CATWALK LIKE STAIRS. Also, there is no heat in the domes.)

1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Monday, May 13, 2024
Carnegie's Gift to Pittsburgh: A History of the Carnegie Institute

Andrew Carnegie, an immigrant from Scotland, was determined to make a major gift for the benefit of the people of Pittsburgh, his adopted hometown. The Carnegie Institute (Museums of Art and Natural History, Central Library, and Music Hall) opened in 1895. This richly illustrated lecture will explore Carnegie’s intentions, Mary Schenley’s land grant, the design, construction, expansion, and the 1970s Scaife Galleries addition. Adjacent developments will also be discussed.

Paul Tellers is an architect and planner. He was the university architect at Carnegie Mellon University, the director of planning at WTW Architects, facilities planning director for CUNY, and a project manager for the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. Paul currently serves as a guide for historical Pittsburgh tours for the Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation and for Rivers of Steel.

1:30 PM - 3:15 PM
Monday, May 20, 2024
The Inductive Origins of Darwin's Origin

Charles Darwin was far from the first person to defend the idea that new species originate by a natural evolutionary process. Why did Charles Darwin succeed in convincing his fellow naturalists when many before him had failed? Based on a decades-long study of his private notebooks and correspondence, this lecture will describe the methods of inquiry that lie behind Darwin’s brilliant presentation of the theory of evolution by natural selection presented in On the Origin of Species.

James G. Lennox, PhD, is a professor emeritus of history and philosophy of science, University of Pittsburgh. He has published widely on Aristotle, Charles Darwin, and evolutionary biology.

1:30 PM - 3:00 PM
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