Talks, Classes, and Films

The Museum offers talks, classes, film festivals, and other informal learning. Nat Talks, made possible with support from presenting sponsor The Downing Family Foundation and media partner KPBS, feature museum staff and outside experts and authors from around the country speaking on an array of topics, including the latest in scientific research, history, conservation, and the natural world. Reel Science, presented by The Nat and Digital Gym Cinema, takes place Fridays in May (two events will be at The Nat and two events will be hosted at Digital Gym). Enjoy ascience-fiction movie, followed by commentary from a local scientist, who will provide contextualized and corrective feedback about the film’s scientific themes.

Nat Talks and film events take place in the Charmaine and Maurice Kaplan Theater.

Tickets to all events may be purchased online, at the Museum, or by calling 877.946.7797.

If it's our regular, daily schedule of 2D and 3D films you're looking for, please visit our Giant Screen Theater page. Films are included with paid admission.



Upcoming Events


Nat Talk: Listening to Understand our Oceans

Tuesday, April 9, 2019 7 PM

When over 90% of ocean habitat is dark, how can scientists study the whales that live there? Shannon Rankin, wildlife research biologist with the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration, uses passive acoustic monitoring (also known as listening) to research migration patterns, feeding habits, and evolution. Shannon will discuss how scientists and the animals they study use sound to understand the world beneath the water’s surface. 

Museum doors open at 5:30 PM and the talk begins at 7 PM. Food, beer, and wine will be available for purchase at the Flying Squirrel Café before the talk.

Purchase Tickets



Reel Science

Friday, May 3, 2019 7 PM

Save the date for a screening of a science-fiction movie, presented by The Nat and Digital Gym. The film will be paired with a local scientist who, after the screening, will provide contextualized and corrective feedback about the scientific themes in the film.

Film title and guest scientist will be announced soon. Tickets will be available in early April, and will be $9 for members and $12 for non-members.

Note: this screening is hosted at Digital Gym Cinema (2921 El Cajon Blvd, San Diego, CA 92104)




Reel Science

Friday, May 10, 2019 7 PM

Save the date for a screening of a science-fiction movie, presented by The Nat and Digital Gym. The film will be paired with a local scientist who, after the screening, will provide contextualized and corrective feedback about the scientific themes in the film.

Film title and guest scientist will be announced soon. Tickets will be available in early April, and will be $9 for members and $12 for non-members.




Nat Talk: The Untold Story of the Honey Bee in the Wild

Tuesday, May 14, 2019 7 PM

Humans have kept honey bees in hives for millennia, but only in recent decades have biologists begun to investigate how these industrious insects live in the wild. Author and Cornell University Professor Tom Seeley will present the captivating story of what scientists are learning about the behavior, social life, and survival strategies of honey bees living outside beekeepers’ hives.

Tom Seeley will show why wild colonies of honey bees living in forests are thriving while the managed colonies living in beekeepers' apiaries are in crisis. This Nat Talk  offers a new vision of how beekeeping can better align with the natural habits of honey bees. After the talk, Tom will sign copies of his book, The Lives of Bees: The Untold Story of the Honey Bee in the Wild, available for purchase in the Museum store. Museum doors open at 5:30 PM and the talk begins at 7 PM. Food, beer, and wine will be available for purchase at the Flying Squirrel Café before the talk.

Purchase Tickets



Reel Science

Friday, May 17, 2019 7 PM

Save the date for a screening of a science-fiction movie, presented by The Nat and Digital Gym. The film will be paired with a local scientist who, after the screening, will provide contextualized and corrective feedback about the scientific themes in the film.

Film title and guest scientist will be announced soon. Tickets will be available in early April, and will be $9 for members and $12 for non-members.

Note: this screening is hosted at Digital Gym Cinema(2921 El Cajon Blvd, San Diego, CA 92104)




Reel Science

Friday, May 24, 2019 7 PM

Save the date for a screening of a science-fiction movie, presented by The Nat and Digital Gym. The film will be paired with a local scientist who, after the screening, will provide contextualized and corrective feedback about the scientific themes in the film.

Film title and guest scientist will be announced soon. Tickets will be available in early April, and will be $9 for members and $12 for non-members.




Nat Talk: How to Walk on Water and Climb Up Walls | Animal Movement and the Robots of the Future

Tuesday, June 11, 2019 7 PM

From the incredible efficiency of the wet dog shake to colonies of ants building rafts out of their own bodies, animals move with astounding grace, speed, and versatility. But how do they do it, and what can we learn from them? 

Georgia Tech Mechanical Engineer and Author David Hu will present how animals have adapted and evolved to traverse their environments, taking advantage of physical laws with results that are startling and ingenious. After the talk, David will sign copies of his book, How to Walk on Water and Climb up Walls: Animal Movement and the Robots of the Future. Books areavailable for purchase at the museum store.

Museum doors open at 5:30 PM and the talk begins at 7 PM. Food, beer, and wine will be available for purchase at the Flying Squirrel Café before the talk.

Purchase Tickets