An evening with  Sean M. Decatur  President, American Museum of  Natural History

Distinguished Speaker Series

Distinguished Speaker Series
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Distinguished Speaker Series

Past is More than Prologue: Finding the Future of Science in Natural History Museums

Tuesday, April 16, 2024 | 7 p.m.

SUNY New Paltz, Lecture Center 100

Refreshments and meet and greet to follow the program

For over 150 years, the American Museum of Natural History has built a collection of more than 34 million objects and specimens that embody the history of our planet, its biology, and its culture. The collection also tells the story of difficult legacies of the ways humans have tried to make sense of the world, including the damaging science of eugenics and the painful history of colonialism.  But new technologies in imaging, genomics, chemical analysis, and artificial intelligence can unlock insights into evolution, human health, the impact of climate change, and the loss of biodiversity, making the museum’s collection an invaluable resource for today’s most pressing scientific problems. Understanding the past through natural history collections, and sharing these collections through education and exhibition programs, may open the door to essential information for understanding and shaping our shared future.  



Hear what our attendees have to say about the SUNY New Paltz Distinguished Speaker Series:



General admission is complimentary. A $10.00 donation is suggested to the SUNY New Paltz Foundation to support educational opportunities for our students. SUNY New Paltz Students are FREE




If you have special accessibility questions or require accommodations to fully participate in this event, please contact as soon as possible to make appropriate accommodations.


Now in its sixteenth successful year, our Distinguished Speaker Series features high-profile individuals from literature, public affairs, and popular culture, with each presentation attracting the campus community and the wider public, generating media coverage, and providing memorable experiences for our students. SUNY New Paltz received a generous gift from a private donor to initially underwrite a portion of this signature campus program.


Opportunities are available to recognize you or your business before and throughout the event. For information, contact