After Dark: Evidence

Thursday, September 22, 2022 • 6:00–10:00 p.m.

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Adults Only (18+)

Note: Free for members and donors—only a membership card and ID required for entry. The Tactile Dome is currently closed.

Is seeing believing? Data and observation begin to tell scientific stories, but it takes a keen interpreter to make sense of the evidence at hand. Tonight, get curious about how we know what we know. Join us for the opening of the temporary exhibition Einstein Was Right, which explores how Lick Observatory proved Einstein’s theory of relativity using a total solar eclipse. And commemorate the day the world was saved from nuclear annihilation thanks to a good understanding of bad data.

Photo: One of two lenses made for the 15-foot Einstein cameras used at the 1922 eclipse in Wallal, Australia. © UC Regents.

Gravity Fails?!
With Zeke Kossover

7:00, 8:00, and 9:00 p.m.
Gallery 2

Join Exploratorium educator Zeke Kossover to find out what’s going on with gravity when you drop a cup of water, toss a spring into the air, or throw an aquarium full of (plastic) fish. Use what you learn to figure out some of gravity’s mysteries that connect the moon, a buzzer-beating three-pointer, and Albert Einstein!


The Dirty Development of Hunters Point
With Dr. Ahimsa Porter Sumchai

7:30 p.m.
Osher Gallery 1, Kanbar Forum

Hear how Dr. Ahimsa Porter Sumchai is using data to study the health consequences of chemical contamination in San Francisco’s Hunters Point neighborhood. Hunters Point lies adjacent to a decommissioned naval shipyard, once a major US site for radiological research. Dr. Sumchai’s community biomonitoring program offers screenings to people living and working in the vicinity to determine exposure to toxic chemicals. The program is establishing a toxic registry and virtual “window” on exposures to chemicals released during the dirty development of the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard.

Dr. Ahimsa Porter Sumchai is the founder, Medical Director, and Principal Investigator of the Hunters Point Community Biomonitoring Program. She was honored as 2021 Alumna of the Year by the UCSF Medical Alumni Association Board of Directors.


Einstein Was Right!
With Tony Misch and Jeffrey Crelinsten

8:00 p.m.
Fisher Bay Observatory Gallery 6

Discover the Exploratorium’s new temporary exhibition Einstein Was Right­, with curator Tony Misch and historian and author Jeffrey Crelinsten. In a conversation that touches on the challenges of observation, the rigors of science, and the meaning of proof, they’ll discuss Lick Observatory’s decade-long campaign to test the general theory of relativity—and the delicate measurement only possible during the brief moments of total solar eclipse.

Tony Misch began a 25-year career in astronomy at Mount Wilson Observatory before moving to University of California’s Lick Observatory in 1987, where he spent 20 years as a Resident Support Astronomer. In 2008, he founded the Lick Observatory Historical Collections Project, which he continues to direct.

Jeffrey Crelinsten is a science historian and writer with over 30 years’ experience popularizing science. His book Einstein’s Jury: The Race to Test Relativity was published by Princeton University Press in 2006.


Petrov Day, or the Day the World Almost Ended
With Jord Liu

8:30 p.m.
Osher Gallery 1, Kanbar Forum

What are the consequences of trusting technology? Celebrate Petrov Day—the day that nuclear war was quietly averted by one Soviet officer—with Exploratorium Exhibit Developer Jord Liu. Join her for an interactive presentation about the history of technology and the ways the world has been, is, and might in the future be, on fire. Petrov Day reminds us of our responsibility to think critically and create responsibly.

Jord Liu is a theater maker, musician, and creative technologist whose work centers collaborative engagement with art.


DJ Vex One
From Hip Hop for Change

6:30–7:45 and 8:15–9:30 p.m.
Bechtel Gallery 3

Get ready to dance your way through the night as DJ Vex One from Hip Hop for Change sets the vibe and keeps the party moving!

Hip Hop for Change is an Oakland-based nonprofit that uses grassroots activism to educate people about socioeconomic injustices and advocate solutions through hip-hop culture.

Food and drinks will be available to purchase and enjoy in our Seaglass Restaurant during After Dark. Please note that there is no drinking or eating allowed elsewhere in the museum at this time.

Curious about what to expect during your visit? Check out our current safety protocols and guidelines.