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The Science series presents cutting-edge research about biology, physics, chemistry, ecology, geology, astronomy, and more. These events appeal to many different levels of expertise, from grade school students to career scientists. With a range of relevant applications, including medicine, the environment, and technology, this series expands our thinking and our possibilities.
 
The Civics series at Town Hall shines a light on the shifting issues, movements, and policies, that affect our society, both locally and globally. These events pose questions and ideas, big and small, that have the power to inform and impact our lives. Whether it be constitutional research from a scholar, a new take on history, or the birth of a movement, it's all about educating and empowering.
 
The Arts & Culture series enriches our community with imagination and creativity. Whether reinventing the classics for a new audience or presenting an innovative new art form, these events are aimed at expanding horizons. From poetry to music to storytelling, this series leaves our audiences inspired, encouraged, and seeing the world with new eyes.
 
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With its massive economy and military budget, America is the world’s most powerful country. How did the U.S. come to have so much power to affect nations and people around the globe? How did the country achieve this status over the past 250 years? Michael Mandelbaum helps us understand how the U.S. got here through the evolution of its foreign poli…
 
Building Policy Update: As of June 1, 2022, masks remain required at Town Hall Seattle. Read our current COVID-19 policies and in-building safety protocols. Thu 7/14, 2022, 7:30pm Blaise Agüera y Arcas and Melanie Mitchell with Lili Cheng How Close Are We to AI? BUY THE BOOKS Ubi SuntBy Blaise Agüera y Arcas Artificial Intelligence: A Guide for Thi…
 
David Duchovny is best known for his television roles as FBI agent Fox Mulder on The X-Files (1993-2002 and 2016-2018) and writer Hank Moody on Californication (2007-2014), both of which earned him Golden Globe awards. Beyond his extensive on-screen accomplishments, which include dozens of other films and television shows, he’s also a musician and …
 
With exponential growth in the Seattle area, demand and costs for housing are high and availability is low. Affordable housing is difficult for so many to come by, and the region is feeling more than just growing pains; it’s in crisis. In Seattle, most residential areas are zoned for single-family homes, restricting the ability to increase housing …
 
Typically held at bars and nightclubs, drag is a form of entertainment in which a performer uses clothing and makeup to impersonate a particular gender identity, usually of the opposite sex. Yet drag is so much more than nightclub entertainment — it provides community, instills self-confidence, and can even save lives. Join drag king performer Ceas…
 
The fight for racial justice within the U.S. criminal legal system — and the call for its reform — has intensified in recent years. Studies show that Black Americans are almost five times as likely to be incarcerated than whites. Can our society be transformed? The story of the formerly incarcerated gang founder and leader, Antong Lucky, reveals ho…
 
Year after year, the quality of the world’s agricultural soil is degrading, which deeply impacts the quality and quantity of the food that we grow. Further, there’s a clear link between the health of our soil and the health of humans. What does that mean for us? Eventually we’ll face an existential crisis of the world’s food supply and our health. …
 
According to census data, the greater Seattle area is home to the fifth-largest Filipino American population in the U.S — the majority of which arrived in the area after 1965. From the 1950s to 1970s, Filipino Americans, or Pinoys, faced serious hardships and struggles with racism, discrimination, and exploitation. It was a difficult life for many.…
 
As a philosophy that means different things to different people and groups, it can be hard to know what liberalism stands for. Traditionally, liberalism is viewed as a political and moral philosophy based on individual rights, civil liberties, democracy, and free enterprise. In the 1990s and 2000s, democracy spread and markets prospered, and it see…
 
Alzheimer’s is a global health problem with more than 6 million people living with the disease in the U.S. alone. Tremendous gains have been made in the understanding of the science and basic biology underlying Alzheimer’s and other dementias. These advances are leading to great strides in strategies for prevention, detection, diagnostics and thera…
 
When the Seattle Art Museum opened the Olympic Sculpture Park on the urban waterfront in 2007, it changed the way people could interact with art and experience the city’s environment. The fact that it’s free and open to everyone makes the park one of the most inclusive places to see art in the Pacific Northwest. The sculpture park contains pieces l…
 
In 2015, anthropologist and writer Levi Vonk found himself on a journey filled with twists, turns, and a chance meeting that would forever impact his life. With a desire to report on the dangerous realities faced by Guatemalans as they fled civil and economic instability in their home country, Vonk joined a migrant caravan making its way into Mexic…
 
From the grasslands of the Columbia Plateau to the rich valleys west of the Cascade Mountains, There are over 70,000 miles of rivers in Washington state. Rivers are vital to our region’s ecosystems, hosting a wide diversity of living things in their waters and along their banks – our beautiful state would not be what it is without our waterways. Ho…
 
It’s no surprise that people love short stories. They hold all the elements of a great novel — an intriguing theme, characters that seem to come to life, and storytelling that lingers even after the last page — all packaged in a brief, delightfully readable package. It’s no wonder that award-winning author Don Lee has returned to short stories in h…
 
Beginning in the 1970s Chicana and Chicano organizers turned to community radio broadcasting to educate, entertain, and uplift Mexican American listeners across the United States. In rural areas, radio emerged as the most effective medium for reaching relatively isolated communities such as migrant farmworkers. And in Washington’s Yakima Valley, wh…
 
There’s a powerful movement happening in farming today, and it’s not a movement focused on flashy technology or producing food faster or at larger scales. Instead, it’s a movement that centers on farmers reconnecting with their roots, reviving their ancestors’ methods of growing food, healing their communities, and ultimately fighting climate chang…
 
As a hockey-loving kid from Minnesota, Jim Weber always had a competitive spirit and a knack for leadership. In the seventh grade, he wrote that he wanted to become an NHL hockey player, and his second choice was to someday run a successful company. Although his hockey dreams didn’t quite pan out, Weber further honed his leadership skills in colleg…
 
Hundreds of public monuments have come down during the social and racial reckoning currently sweeping our country. And while Seattle has not been at the epicenter of the furor over public monuments, there have been heated discussions over the monument to Confederate soldiers in a Capitol Hill cemetery and a statue of Vladimir Lenin in Fremont. In t…
 
In Black Writers Unmasked, members of the African-American Writer’s Alliance will share African proverbs, wisdom, love, hope, and readings from their new anthology. AAWA Members participating in this event are listed below, and their biographies are available here. Gail Haynes Georgia S. McDade Helen J. Collier (co-facilitator) Lola E. Peters Minni…
 
In 1972, Richard Nixon made a historic visit to China. The trip broke 25 years of silence between the U.S. and China, paving the way for the establishment of full diplomatic relations later in the decade. Around the same time, second-generation Chinese American Gish Jen started writing; she first visited China with her family in 1979, the experienc…
 
Sometimes it feels like we’re living the same day over and over again. We wake up in the same bed, eat the same breakfast, do the same tasks, and talk to the same people, just coasting along and going through the motions. Taking a vacation can offer a temporary break from the mundane; at the same time, it only reinforces the sameness of daily life.…
 
It’s sometimes easy to forget that the U.S. has reached its present state over decades and centuries of political decision-making, not just a handful of years. Every move builds on the last, doing and undoing the work of former leadership while facing new crises on top of the old. Is it possible to call out poor policy choices of the past, understa…
 
As the threats of climate change become more urgent than ever, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and unsure about what to do. The problems — and their solutions — seem unwieldy and complicated. But what if we embrace the complexity of the climate crisis and create solutions that are just as intertwined as the issues? That’s where intersectional environ…
 
The United States is awash in manipulated information about everything from election results to the effectiveness of medical treatments. Corporate social media is a particularly effective channel for manipulative communication — Facebook being a particularly willing vehicle for it, as evidenced by the increased use of warning labels on false or mis…
 
On the first stop of the “Las cuatro esquinas Tour” around the United States, Dr. Adriana Pacheco and Seattle Escribe bring together a panel of key players in education, culture, and literature to discuss names, topics, trends and voices in literature by writers of hispanic heritage and their impact on the culture. The literature of writers from Sp…
 
There’s no way around it — it’s a challenging time in America. Societies have lived through pandemics and political strife before, but never with powerful tools like social media and the Internet. It makes for a special brand of division that most of us have experienced in some way, from dinner table arguments with relatives to heated interactions …
 
Farmers and environmentalists haven’t always seen eye-to-eye about the best ways to manage agricultural landscapes, but America’s farms are vital to preserving ecosystems and a stable climate. How might the two come together to unite for the common good? In No Farms, No Food, longtime farm, fisheries, and environmental policy advocate Don Stuart to…
 
Each night in the United States, more than 200,000 people incarcerated in state and federal prisons — 1 in 7 prisoners — will go to sleep facing the reality that they may die without ever returning home. In 1996, criminal justice activist and photographer Howard Zehr published Doing Life, a book of photo portraits of individuals serving life senten…
 
In the 1940s, the insecticide DDT was widely used to combat insect-borne human diseases like malaria and control insects in agricultural applications, gardens, and inside homes. In the 1950s, it became evident that the pesticide was causing extensive health and environmental damage. In 1962, Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring alerted the public to …
 
Examples of Northwest Coast art appear in museums and collections throughout our region, but what does it mean when there is no word for “art” in the language of the people who created it? How might the Indigenous definition of art be far more expansive — demonstrating rich kinship connections and manifesting spiritual power — than a non-Indigenous…
 
Students today face a barrage of stressors that impact every corner of their lives, from academic and social stress to family dynamics and personal trauma. The added layers of non-inclusive school environments, along with the unique challenges of immigrant and first-generation students, only contribute to students’ stress and anxiety. In their new …
 
The COVID-19 pandemic — one of the most disruptive events in human history — has made it more challenging than ever to feel prepared, hopeful, and equipped to face the future with optimism. How do we map out our lives when it feels impossible to predict what the world will be like next week, let alone next year or next decade? Humans aren’t particu…
 
Jonathan Galassi is an acclaimed poet, translator, and longtime publisher at Farrar, Straus and Giroux who has built a life around the art of language. His poetry, described as “direct and plain-spoken,” by The New York Times, is known for illuminating the human experience and its multitudes, from nature and fatherhood to love and partnership. In a…
 
Most Americans are well aware that companies like Facebook are harvesting our data, but do we fully understand how their information is being used — and misused? In his new book, The Hidden History of Big Brother in America, radio host and bestselling author Thom Hartmann revealed exactly how the government and corporations track our online moves a…
 
Humans have been stumbling upon the remains of ancient animals since prehistoric times, long before fossils were routinely dug up, named, and pieced together into “whole” prehistoric skeletons. The word dinosaur wasn’t established until the mid-19th century – practically yesterday, considering the massive span of the geologic time scale. From bits …
 
Frances Kai-Hwa Wang is a prolific writer, passionate speaker, multicultural educator, and activist on Asian Pacific American issues. In her new collection of essays, You Cannot Resist Me When My Hair Is in Braids, she navigated the space between cultures and reflects on lessons learned from both Asian American elders and young multiracial children…
 
Cryptocurrency has been making steady waves — no doubt because of its almost too-good-to-pass-up promise of fortune that isn’t consistently regulated or controlled by any single authority. And while Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have gone through booms and busts, they aren’t going anywhere: at the time of this writing, the value of all crypto …
 
The majestic bald eagle can be spotted throughout most of North America at various points during the year. Here in Western Washington, we’re lucky to spot them all year-round — no doubt thanks to an abundance of tall trees for nesting and open bodies of water that provide a source of food. They are revered birds, sacred within Indigenous traditions…
 
When the Hart-Celler Act passed in 1965, opening up U.S. immigration to non-Europeans, it ushered in a whole new era. But even to the first generation of Asian Americans born in the U.S. after that milestone, it would have been impossible to imagine that sushi and boba would one day be beloved by all, that a Korean boy band named BTS would be the b…
 
Casual political discussions are anything but easy to navigate. Committing each of the 4,500+ words in the U.S. Constitution to memory and interpreting them effectively in conversation is a near-futile effort for the average American. To effectively engage in discussions — and often, arguments — about American politics, we might think we need a law…
 
Our world constantly vibrates with sound, from the delicate flap of an insect’s wings to the thunderous roar of a rocket launching into space. There’s the spring chorus of frogs. The sputter of a creek and the whoosh of a sudden breeze. Songs, music, and speech. But the sounds of today aren’t necessarily the same sounds that our ancestors encounter…
 
Growing up as an autistic and legally blind person, actor Mickey Rowe was told that he couldn’t be a part of the mainstream world. As Rowe navigated adulthood, he was ignored and misunderstood by classmates and colleagues, infantilized by theatre directors, and even barred from earning minimum wage, all because he is autistic. But for Rowe, the str…
 
The inner workings of the Federal Reserve System are an enigma to most of us. But as the early months of 2020 unfolded with a massive public health crisis, huge drops in the stock market, and millions of jobs lost, the actions of the Federal Reserve were critical in preventing sudden economic disaster. Nick Timiraos, chief economics correspondent f…
 
In the dense rainforest of the west coast of Vancouver Island, the Somass River (c̓uumaʕas) brings sockeye salmon (miʕaat) into the Nuu-chah-nulth community of Tseshaht. C̓uumaʕas and miʕaat are central to the sacred food practices that have been a crucial part of the Indigenous community’s efforts to enact food sovereignty, decolonize their diet, …
 
Bestselling author Erik Larson is widely known for masterful works of narrative nonfiction, and has a particular penchant for drawing a certain richness from historical snapshots — the kinds of topics typically relegated to the footnotes of conventional history books. In a 2020 interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Larson said, “My mission is to t…
 
Tuberculosis might seem like a disease of the past in the West, but globally it remains a persistent and costly threat across all age groups. According to the World Health Organization, over 1.5 million people died from TB in 2020 — could it be on track to re-emerge as the next global public health crisis? According to medical science journalist Vi…
 
It’s no surprise that fair, equitable, and respectful practices bolster engagement and motivation in the workplace. Being inclusive is, quite simply, the right thing to do. But we’re notoriously bad at it. Why? As Ruchika Tulshyan explained in her new book, Inclusion on Purpose: An Intersectional Approach to Creating a Culture of Belonging at Work,…
 
In the early ’90s, young Tiffanie Drayton and her siblings left Trinidad and Tobago to join their mother in New Jersey, where she’d been making her way as a domestic worker, eager to give her children a shot at the American Dream. At first, life in the U.S. was idyllic. But chasing good school districts with affordable housing left Tiffanie and her…
 
The human immune system is nothing short of remarkable: it helps our bodies ward off bacteria and viruses, heals wounds, and maintains the balance needed to keep us alive. The good news? Our immune systems are no longer threatened by the plagues and common diseases of the past. The bad news? Our bodies face an array of distinctively modern challeng…
 
Freedom of speech or expression is a fundamental element of democracy around the globe. Many countries have adopted constitutional laws that protect free speech; it’s also recognized as an international human rights law by the United Nations. But (and there’s always a but) free speech isn’t cut and dry, and interpretation of the not-so-simple right…
 
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