New York Thought: Smart Things to Do in NYC This Week

Real love, real science, and fictitious capital highlight our picks for the best smart things to do in NYC this week.

Monday, June 26

In 1994, a book that purported to show that IQ is inherited and that African Americans don’t receive much of it became a national sensation. Its sloppy research was soon debunked, but not before The Bell Curve was able exert influence on public policies still being felt today. “Speaking of Science” at the New York Society for Ethical Culture revisits the book along with larger questions, as relevant as ever, about the misuse of science.

Author Caroline Boyle-Turner and Associate Curator for Oceanic Art at the Met Maia Nuku discuss Gauguin’s less-well-known later years in Atuona, on the island of Hiva Oa in the Marquesas. Albertine.

Tuesday, June 27

Catch Symphony Space’s bi-monthly Uptown Showdown debate series as two teams of comedians, including John Fugelsang, square off on whether it’s nature or nurture that make us who we are.

The Great Recession is nearly a decade in the rear view mirror but the financial realm it threatened to reveal remains mostly opaque. Find author Cédric Durand in conversation at Albertine on his new book, Fictitious Capital: How Finance Is Appropriating Our Future, and the relationships between debt, power, and society.

The pen is mightier than the sword at Weaponizing Words, which examines the art of letter writing as an act of activism. Diane di Prima (b. 1934) provides a flash point. Nowadays.

Drone warfare has changed the face of war for the United States. Get an insider’s viewpoint from Brett Velicovich, author of a new book on his harrowing experiences in drone warfare, at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. Arrive early to see the exhibit Drones: Is the Sky the Limit?

Wednesday, June 28

Go beyond the news and challenge stereotypes at Who Is Muslim?, a panel discussion with Muslim-American men and women. Brooklyn Historical Society.

For artistic cross-pollination, Jazz Age Paris is hard to beat. Cultural critic Charles A. Riley II gives an illustrated lecture on the era, taking in some overlooked artists, and some amazing experiments in form, as revealed by his just-released book Free as Gods: How the Jazz Age Reinvented Modernism. New York Public Library – Mid-Manhattan Library.

Thursday, June 29

From The Bell Curve to today’s alternative facts about climate change and clean coal, there is plenty of charlatanry in the world of science. Test your skills at distinguishing between fake news and real at an Atlas Obscura salon with legit representatives of scientific disciplines (it may be harder than you think: at the last get together, there was only one person who got them all correct). Union Hall.

In celebration of the release of meditation teacher Sharon Salzberg’s new book Real Love: The Art of Mindful Connection, catch a conversation on creativity and the resonance of love. On the other side will be Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Rosanne Cash. Rubin Museum of Art.

Find our picks for the weekend here.

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