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Smithsonian Associates Presents October Program Highlights

October 4, 2016

The October issue of the Smithsonian Associates’ program guide features a variety of educational and cultural programs, including seminars, lectures, studio arts classes, performances for adults and children and local and regional study tours. Highlights this month include:

Meet Astronaut Mike Massimino—No Ordinary Spaceman

Thursday, Oct. 6; 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m.

Smithsonian’s S. Dillon Ripley Center

Former astronaut Mike Massimino is the veteran of NASA space flights aboard space shuttles Columbia and Atlantis. His final mission was to repair the Hubble Space Telescope in 2009. Massimino talks about interesting moments on this planet and in space, as well as what having the “right stuff” really means at NASA and beyond. His book Spaceman: An Astronaut’s Unlikely Journey to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe (Crown Archetype) is available for signing after the program.

Masterworks of Five Centuries 2016—2017 Concert Series

Saturday, Oct. 8, or Sunday, Oct. 9; Pre-concert lecture 6:30 p.m. to 7:15 p.m., concert: 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

National Museum of American History’s Music Hall

The 40th season of the Smithsonian Chamber Music Society features masterpieces from the early 17th to the early 21st century, played on some of the world’s most highly prized instruments. The season opens in October with a turn-of-the-century Viennese program containing two contrasting works of Arnold Schönberg: his D major quartet of 1897 and his monumental D minor quartet of 1904–05.

Challenges in Cheetah Conservation

Tuesday, Oct. 18; 6:45 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.

Smithsonian’s S. Dillon Ripley Center

Conservation biologist and leading cheetah expert Laurie Marker discusses Namibia’s transition from viewing their cheetah population as vermin to declaring their country to be the cheetah capital of the world with Suzan Murray, director of the Smithsonian Global Health Program at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute. Marker and Murray delve into the complex network of social, economic and environmental problems that must be unraveled if the cheetah, Africa’s most endangered big cat, is to have a permanent place on Earth.

Novelist Jodi Picoult: On Tackling Tough Topics

Wednesday, Oct. 26; 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m.

National Museum of Natural History’s Baird Auditorium

Bestselling author of 26 novels, Jodi Picoult typically addresses tough topics in her writing, from the death penalty to child abuse. In a conversation with NPR arts correspondent Lynn Neary, Picoult discusses her career, the sources of her storyline inspirations, her writing process and why the issues she tackles in her newest novel Small Great Things—race, privilege, prejudice, justice and compassion—spoke to her as a writer.

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Dr. Laurie Marker

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Woman kneeling beside two cheetahs