The author of "Things Fall Apart," Chinua Achebe is one of the most widely read African authors.

Beyond Chinua Achebe: Five Great African Authors You Should Read Right Now

Two curators from the African Art Museum recommend authors who have joined Achebe in shaping the world's understanding of the African experience

Barro Colorado Island, on the Panama Canal, is home to at least 74 bat species. A group of German researchers is studying them all to understand the spread of diseases.

A Night in the Forest Capturing Bats

Our intrepid reporter joins tropical bat researchers in the field one night and gains some appreciation for their fangs

This hive of the stingless honey-making bee Melipona triplaridis is one of a handful of tropical hives bee expert David Roubik keeps at his home in Panama City. Note the waffle-like honeycomb in the background

Smithsonian's Bee Man Delivers Up Some Advice for Dealing with Colony Collapse Disorder

David Roubik, who pioneered the field of tropical bee studies, says what will save them is a better understanding of their natural state

“You have to consider...interactions between species” in a community, says Helen Esser, right.

Does Chopping Down Forests Spread Diseases?

A young scientist in Panama devises a novel way to study ticks and disease


What Your Favorite Book Looks Like in Colors

An artist reveals how each book has its own unique color spectrum

Classic Banjo, out August 6, features tracks by the best American banjo players over the past 60 years.

Finger-pickin’ Good: American Banjo Classics

Co-producer and banjo extraordinaire Greg C. Adams talks about Classic Banjo, a collection of American tunes that show off modern banjo's diverse roots

¡Así Kotama! is out July 2, on Smithsonian Folkways Records.

Listen to the Flutes of Ecuador, Then Catch Them Live

A new album on Smithsonian Folkways Records captures the effort to sustain a fading musical tradition


Two Faces, One Portrait

A collage artist combs through glamour shots of forgotten Hollywood actors to create compelling celebrity mashups

“A Democracy of Images,” open today at the American Art Museum, features 113 images that span the history of American photography, including William Eggleston’s Tricycle (Memphis), c. 1975.

How American Photography Went From Family Portraits to Art Form

A new exhibition at the American Art Museum show photography's role in the development of democracy in America

Legendary skateboarders Tony Hawk and Rodney Mullen will be at the National Museum of American History this weekend for Innoskate, a skateboarding innovation festival.

4 Tips for Inventing the Next Great Skateboarding Trick, Courtesy of Tony Hawk and Rodney Mullen

The skateboarding legends will be at the American History Museum this weekend to talk about innovation in their sport

Exhibit Specialist Stoy Popovich is building a traditional Greenland Kayak for an upcoming exhibition at the National Museum of Natural History

How to Build a Greenland Kayak from Scratch

A Smithsonian builder takes on the challenge of crafting a kayak following a 4,000-year-old tradition


Unlock the Science and Ethics of the Human Genome in a New Exhibit at the Natural History Museum

The new exhibition celebrated 60 years of genetic research and makes it accessible to large audiences

Learn what it takes to fly this Saturday at an aircraft show at the Udvar-Hazy Center.

Events June 14-16: Free Drawing, an Aircraft Show and Signing About Art

This weekend, learn how to draw, see 50 vintage, military and recreational planes and discover art in American sign language

Baltimore’s waste-to-energy station creates energy by incinerating waste. Learn about whether or not this process is right for DC in a talk at the Anacostia Community Center on Tuesday.

Events June 11-13: Waste-to-energy, Teenage History Stars and the World’s Best Nature Photos

This week, learn about an alternative way to save energy, see the work of National History Day contestants and see nature like you've never seen it before


Swimming Champion and Actress Esther Williams Dies, Her Legacy Lives on at the Smithsonian

A 2008 donation to the National Museum of American History of the glamorous star's enormous scrapbooks are filled with mementos of her career

Learn about Central American ceramics on Sunday in a pottery festival at the American Indian Museum.

Events June 7-9: A Chinese Action Film, Craft Day and Central American Pottery

This weekend, solve a 1920s Shanghai mystery, learn to make crafts from the experts and discover Central America's past through its ceramics

From May 17 to July 4, 1863, Ulysses S. Grant and the Union Army placed the city of Vicksburg, MS under siege to defeat Confederate troops. Hear the play-by-play of this turning point in the Civil War in a talk by best-selling author Jeff Shaara on Wednesday.

Events June 4-6: The Middle Passage, the Battle of Vicksburg and Whales

This week, hear stories of the slave trade, learn about one of the Civil War's most pivotal battles and discover Smithsonian's whale collection


What's new at the Smithsonian in June

Artist Andy Paiko spins glass into a variety of shapes and objects. Hear him speak about his process and see glass spinning in action on Sunday at the Renwick Gallery.

Events May 31-June 2: Tunes and Brews, A Day in Space and Glass Art

This weekend, listen to local bands, meet Buzz Aldrin and learn about the art of glass sculpture

Your Ticket to the Universe, a new book by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory’s Kimberly Arcane and Megan Watzke, features arresting images of the cosmos captured by the Hubble, Chandra and Spitzer space telescopes.

Look Up! Venus, Jupiter and Mercury Conjoin this Evening

Kimberly Arcand and Megan Watzke, authors of "Your Ticket to the Universe," point out a few wonders of the cosmos

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