• Emily Graslie, chief curiosity correspondent, Field Museum

August 31, 2020

Emily Graslie, chief curiosity correspondent at Chicago’s Field Museum, will present Susquehanna University’s 2020-21 Common Reading Lecture at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 17. The event will be presented via Zoom and is free and open to the public.

At the Field Museum, Graslie uses a variety of new media to communicate the importance of natural history museums. Since opening in 1894, the museum’s collection has grown to nearly 40 million artifacts and specimens. The museum continues research throughout its collections, as well as documents previously unknown species, conserves ecosystems and educates budding scientists.

Susquehanna’s annual common reading creates a shared intellectual point of engagement for first-year students who all read the same book and then discuss it in various ways during their first semester on campus. It is based on the year’s academic theme of Curiosity. Each year, Susquehanna’s theme presents opportunities for university-wide dialogue around a central idea or question.

Graslie was born and raised in Rapid City, South Dakota. After moving to Missoula, Montana, to pursue an undergraduate degree in fine art painting, she fell in love with the campus vertebrate research collection as a place of artistic inspiration. What started off as a passionate volunteering position within a small museum eventually transformed into a full-time career as an advocate for these under-appreciated repositories.

Graslie has received numerous awards and recognitions for her work, including the American Alliance of Museum’s Nancy Hanks Award for Professional Excellence. She’s a six-time Webby Award nominee and honoree in the Online Science/Education Channel and Web Personality/Host categories; a member of the 2018 Forbes 30 under 30 list in education; and was named as one of the Chicagoans of the Year in the Arts in 2017 by the Chicago Tribune. Recently, in recognition of her outreach efforts, scientists at the University of Florida named a new species of butterfly in her honor: Wahydra graslieae.

The Common Reading Lecture will take place on Zoom. Community members are welcome to attend, and can register here.