About the Author:

David J. Skorton is the 13th Secretary of the Smithsonian. A board-certified cardiologist whose specialty is congenital heart disease and cardiac imaging, Skorton is also an avid jazz musician and a passionate supporter of the arts and humanities.


A planet in peril

We are only beginning to understand the interwoven complexity of life on Earth. The unraveling of a single thread–the extinction of a species, the emergence of a pandemic–can have a devastating effect. Dr. Skorton spoke with Dr. Suzan Murray about the Smithsonian Global Health Program and its work to keep Earth’s rich tapestry intact. Continue reading A planet in peril


“The Art of the Qur’an”: Opening the door to understanding

Visitors to the Sackler Gallery of Art this month will have a rare opportunity to see some of the most beautiful and precious religious manuscripts ever created. At a time when cultural differences can provoke division and conflict, “The Art of the Qu’ran” opens the door to understanding. I urge you to see this stunning exhibition–the culmination of years of research, diplomacy and serendipity–and recommend it to others. Continue reading “The Art of the Qur’an”: Opening the door to understanding

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Our History, Our Culture

With the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture this month, the Smithsonian gains a valuable and vital asset, essential to discovering, understanding and sharing the past, present, and future of America. Creating the museum was a huge undertaking, and no one knows this better than Lonnie Bunch, noted scholar and founding director. I spoke with Lonnie to learn about the achievements and ambitions of the newest member of our museum family. Continue reading Our History, Our Culture

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