Florida Museum Curator of Latin American Art and Architecture Susan Milbrath, pictured with a copy of the Codex Borgia in front of a replica of the Aztec calendar stone in the Dickinson Hall courtyard, will discuss “The Maya Calendar: Cosmology and the End of the World” at the museum’s next Science Café Nov. 27 at the Warehouse Restaurant and Lounge.
© Florida Museum photo by Kristen Grace

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Find out more about Maya astronomy and what the Maya actually wrote about Dec. 21 at the next “Science Café” on Nov. 27.

The final “Science Café” in the fall 2012 series will be held from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 27 at the Warehouse Restaurant and Lounge, located at 502 S. Main St. Guest speaker Susan Milbrath, Florida Museum curator of Latin America art and archaeology, will discuss “The Maya Calendar: Cosmology and the End of the World.”

“I am doing this to counter some things that have been presented in a scientific way in popular culture,” Milbrath said. “The Maya didn’t see Dec. 21 as the day the world comes to an end, and their calendar extended far into the future. The audience should walk away from the cafe discussion being impressed by the Maya calendar and astronomy.”

This is the second year of the program in which community members and guest speakers gather at local restaurants or the museum to discuss contemporary science issues over refreshments.

“It provides a nice format for attendees to discuss science topics that are timely,” said Betty Dunckel, director of the Florida Museum’s Center for Science Learning. “For example, Dr. Milbrath’s long-term research has focused on the Mesoamerican worldview and links between astronomy and seasonal ceremonies. The program is an opportunity to explore whether the Maya calendar pointed to the end of the world, or instead other prophecies.”

A new “Science Café” series is planned for the spring semester.

To help plan for these free programs, please RSVP at least one week in advance of the café date with your name and the number attending by emailing aerickson@flmnh.ufl.edu or calling Amanda Harvey, 352-273-2062.

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Source: Amanda Harvey, 352-273-2062
Writer: Kate Schofield, kschofield@flmnh.ufl.edu
Media contact: Paul Ramey, 352-273-2054, pramey@flmnh.ufl.edu