New studies that trumpet the benefits of pairing disparate things or notions, all in the name of growing creativity or scientific breakthroughs, seem to pop up weekly.
First Fridays, the once-a-month social events at the Natural History Museum, has taken these exciting studies to heart. For instead of pairing science lessons with other science lessons, the Exposition Park institution matchmakes science and sound in the form of interesting talks, live bands, and DJ-spun tunes.
Call it an unlikely meeting of concepts, and one that works. The series, which has rolled out on the first Friday of each month over the first half of the year, every year, since 2009, is packed to the gills. ("Gills" is fitting here, since the museum houses a host of fish specimens.)
So packed that opening night, Feb. 6, is sold out, though there's a chance for tickets at the door. Tickets for March 6 are now on sale, and there are more dates to anticipate: April 10, May 1, and June 5.
As for the talks? The Feb. 6 night welcomes Lila Higgins, Manager of NHM Citizen Science, as she discusses "Finding LA's Hidden Wildlife One Photo at a Time." A discussion on citizen science activism and a science salon with the nerd brigade follow, with a spectrum of sounds bringing up the rear: Quitapenas is just one of the evening's music acts.
Wandering by fearsome reptiles and ancient mammalia, discussing electronica and nature, and hobnobbery of the highest order shall also ensue.
That's "hobnobbery," not snobbery. For while science and cutting-edge music are standard at the First Fridays events, a general feel of inclusive coming-together, for the sake of ideas and art, crowds the museum's great halls like so many dinosaur bones.
Shouldn't disparate things, like science and rocking out, be brought together more often? Studies tell us this is the sweet spot, in terms of innovation. It's where the magic happens, in short. (And science is truly magical, in all of the word's best and brightest meanings.)