The Institute for the Science of Origins is excited to sponsor the Origins Science Scholars Program for the general public at Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.

red-rectangle-join-us-button-hiDuring this unique program, members of the community engage with each other and with leading scholars of the origins sciences to investigate everything from the big bang to the developing mind and emerging life. Each evening begins with a presentation by a world-class researcher. In general, this is followed by dinner with the speaker and open discussion among all the participants. However, due to ongoing covid concerns, there are no dinners until further notice.

We are excited to share unique and challenging perspectives and hope to leave participants better educated about origins research and the Institute for the Science of Origins.

We look forward to seeing you! All lectures will take place both in person and via zoom. In-person talks will take place in Schmitt Hall, with the exception of the Nov 1 lecture by Dr Yunger Halpern, which will be held at the Tinkham Veale ballroom. More info will be provided during registration. We look forward to seeing you in person again!

Click here to see videos of past OSS lectures!
Click here to register online
To register by phone: Call Felicia at 216-368-2090

Fall 2022 Program

.The seven-week program addresses::

NanoScience & DNA

Also on zoom, but registration and small donation to Siegal needed. More info coming soon, but in a nutshell:

When: Oct 11 through Nov 22, 2022
Where: on Zoom!
n.b. Sessions traditionally take place on the campus of Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, but this semester virtual attendance will also be an option.

Tuesday evenings
Lectures begin at 6pm, followed by Q&A and discussion


Oct 11

“DNA Origami”

Divita Mathur

Case Western Reserve University

Dr Mathur is Assistant Professor in Chemistry and DNA Nanotechnology at CWRU and will be talking about how to fold dna into novel nanostructures for exciting applications.


Oct 18

“Paleoanthropology from Africa to the Amazon: Revealing the earliest stages of anthropoid evolution”

Erik R. Seiffert

University of Southern California

Dr Seiffert is Professor and Chair of the Department of Integrative Anatomical Sciences at the Keck School of Medicine of USC,  Erik is incredibly diverse in his interests, and has conducted field work all over the world.

Oct 25

“Integrating geological and biological data to
reconstruct ancient environments of the Andes”

Darin Croft

Case Western Reserve University

Dr Croft is Professor of Anatomy, School of Medicine, CWRU.  He has given us several fantastic talks in past years of OSS. He is the author of the beautiful and popular book featuring lavish illustrations of extinct animals and lost worlds,  Horned Armadillos and Rafting Monkeys.  If you have a copy, bring it along. He’ll be glad to sign it for you!


Nov 1

“Quantum Steampunk: The physics of yesterday’s tomorrow”

Nicole Yunger Halpern

Joint Quantum Institute, University of Maryland

This exciting lecture is supported by the Gundzik Endowment. Dr Yunger Halpern is the author of an oustanding book about quantum mechanics of the same name.
The lecture will be followed by a Quantum Steampunk book signing opportunity! Buy a copy on site, or bring your own!


Nov 8

“The quantum mechanics of black holes”

Samir Mathur

The Ohio State University

Dr Mathur is a theoretical physicist who specializes in string theory and black hole physics. Mathur is a professor in the Department of Physics at Ohio State University and a member of the University’s High Energy Theory Group. He was previously a faculty member at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and held postdoctoral positions at Harvard University and the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research.


Nov 15

“Statistical Mechanics Meets Music”

Jesse Berezovsky

Case Western Reserve University

Dr Berezovsky is Associate Professor of Physics at CWRU. Berezovsky will be telling us how we can understand different systems of harmony using the same tools that allow us to understand phase transitions like water freezing.

Nov 22

“Maxwell’s Demon and the Thermodynamics of Computing”

Mike Hinczewski

Case Western Reserve University

Dr Hinczewski is Associate Professor of Physics at CWRU  Maxwell’s demon is not a creature of mythology, but a thought experiment that would hypothetically violate the second law of thermodynamics. It was proposed by the physicist James Clerk Maxwell in 1867, but Hinczewski will tell us how we can use it to understand computation.




Katie Hinde, Arizona State University  “Mother’s Milk & the Evolving Microbiome

Katie Hinde is studying breast milk’s status as the first superfood, providing babies with invaluable microbes custom-tailored to their individual needs, via an incredible and unlikely dialogue between the mother’s enzymes and the baby’s saliva. Mother’s milk is older than dinosaurs. Interestingly, the biological recipe of milk differs between sons and daughters. Breast milk is food and medicine and is the message that organizes a baby’s brain, body and behavior. Milk has been shaped by hundreds of millions of years of natural selection. As scientists decode the mysteries of milk and its evolution, we gain essential new tools for human health and well-being.

Many Thanks! 

The ISO Origins Science Scholars Program is presented in cooperation with Case Western Reserve University’s College of Arts and Sciences and The Laura and Alvin Siegal Lifelong Learning Program and the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, and taped and broadcast in cooperation with CWRU’s MediaVision and IdeaStream.

Click here to register online.
To register by phone: Call Felicia at 216-368-2090

CWRU Students:
If you’d like to sign up for a chance to attend the lecture and dinner on one of the above dates, please email Patricia Princehouse at