How to inflame a young man’s passions

Hey! Remember that seven year old blogger who writes about paleozoic creatures? He’s going to be eight, and he knows what he wants for his birthday: A trip to the Field Museum at the University of Chicago. Friends and family are trying to raise money so he can go.

Wait a minute…I haven’t been to the Field Museum, either, despite having been to Chicago several times in the last few years. What’s wrong with me? I should be telling you to pay for my trip!

No, I’ll be altruistic: contribute to the young man’s dreams and inspire him to be a scientist when he grows up. I’ll just try to get their on my own — I’m a big boy now, I have an income and everything.

(Also on Sb)


  1. says

    How about we make a fund to get the BOTH of them there, so they can see it together? I’m sure it’d be a trip to have PZ there alongside him…

  2. julietdefarge says

    When you do go, please give us your opinion of the evolution dioramas. I’ve seen them through several incarnations, starting in the 1960s.

  3. says

    The Field Museum is OK, but it’s not the Museum of Science and Industry. If you started driving I-90 you could just pick us up as you make your way down there (you’re going, right?). I’m by the fiberglass cow. You can sit on the stool, and have your picture taken with her while you’re here.

  4. says


    I’m by the fiberglass cow.

    Cool! My wife and I were there last spring. For her birthday, she wanted to go to The House on the Rock, and the Forevertron. We spent a week in the area with the express intent of taking pictures by all the large fiberglass statutes. We even visited FAST out in Sparta to see the graveyard of dead fiberglass molds.

    Bessie was a highlight.

  5. says

    I don’t think it’s much for Paleozoic life, if he wants that.

    Pretty good Egypt display the last time I went, and quite good overall. Then there’s a pretty good evolution section, but that’s heavy on dinosaurs, and mostly other later life.

    Glen Davidson

  6. says

    They can also get tickets from the Chicago Public Libraries for free, with a little luck and planning! Each branch allows you to check out day/family passes for MOST of the major museums around Chicago – my husband and I have been able to go to the MoCA, the Field Museum, and MoSI for free due to the service (which has been great since we wouldn’t have had the funds to do so otherwise – admission fees are expensive!).

    If they’re in the Chicago area or know someone who is, have them call around about a week or so before the trip to various libraries (it’s a really popular service and passes are checked out more than they are checked in). Voila! Free museum passes.

    We’ll wave hello on our way to the Adler. :) Peace!

  7. daveau says

    I would love to go to the Field Museum with you. My treat. Give me a call next time you’re coming to town.

    The Field Museum is part of the Chicago Park District. It is not run by, nor is it near the University of Chicago. It does have close ties with U of C and the University of Illinois at Chicago, though.

  8. RFW says

    Newly discovered law of physics: there is a repulsive force between ailurophiles and cephalopodophiles.

  9. Azkyroth says

    Why don’t you and his family go together? He’d probably be happy about meeting a celebrity biologist.

  10. Nerdette says

    Indeed, as mentioned, the Field is not affiliated with UChicago, though throughout the year you will see many UChicago researchers and students touring and working behind the scenes. Last I checked Tiktaalik was still on display, which is worth the trip alone IMO.

  11. mothra says

    Of course PZ hasn’t been to the Field Museum- they exhibit only dead squid. I’ll bet he has visited the Shedd Aquarium where there are live squid.

  12. dpi1 says

    I visited the Field Museum a couple years ago. They had the Darwin exhibit then, not sure if it’s still there. The best place I’ve been to for dinosaurs is by far the Children’s Museum in Indianapolis, Indiana. Lots of fun hands on stuff.

  13. badandfierce says

    The Field is my favorite place on earth (well, that I can get to regularly, anyway). I’m a bit biased, since my grandfather did taxonomy there and my high school donated the beginning of the animal collection. Only bit of loyalty I have for the place…

    It’s definitely our best museum. Science and Industry has lately turned to the walk-in Wikipedia model of museums, with a bunch of illuminated signs instead of actual specimens, and the Planetarium just isn’t a whole day’s worth. The zoo and aquarium are excellent but small, and kind of a different category. The Field had a few years’ flirtation with unfortunate dumbing-down, but that’s being fixed. I could stay in the Evolving Planet exhibit all day. The special exhibits aren’t usually really worth it (Wiki-museum problem again, lots of signs, no actual items, might as well stay home and read about stuff), but between Evolving Planet and the ancient wing of taxidermied critters, it’s full of wonders without end. (They can’t move those guys. They’ll disintegrate. The narwhals are actually cracking, poor guys. So see it while they’re still in one piece!)

  14. zelkwin says

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU PZ! You just made my day! (I’m the emailer of the same name)