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Lights Off: Nightlife at Cal Academy

Yesterday marked Charles Darwin’s 200th birthday, and the California Academy of Sciences knew just how to celebrate—the launch of a weekly after-hours party (going down every Thursday night) to attract a hip, young crowd, with the promise of shorter lines, zero baby strollers and, of course, lots of alcohol. Welcome to Evolve 2009.

Beer or cocktail in hand, visitors socialized and bonded over the museum’s interactive exhibits—and were, along the way, challenged to think about the effects of human actions on our environment. Lots of staff members were available to answer questions, an informal lecture on the young Darwin by Oxford professor Keith Thomson was on offer and rumor has it that there was a snake being passed around. Half science, half nightlife, the evening would not have been complete without live entertainment. DJ Fluid and J-Boogie spun break beats with a mix of deep electro house to get people moving. At first it seemed a little like a class trip, but as the hours passed, the mood relaxed and the night began to feel more like a party. An interesting mix of young and old, last night’s audience lent a fresh vibe to the educational arena. Off to a good start, this weekly celebration is on track to becoming a staple of after-hours museum culture in Golden Gate Park, proving that science can be served up with style.