Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County Announces First Fridays Connected: L.A. at the Intersections

Live music and discussion series begins Friday, February 5, with a deep dive into the theme “Solace In Science” and performance by Vagabon

Los Angeles, CA (January 25, 2021) — The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (NHM) is connecting homebound audiences to timely discussions and music with this season’s virtual First Fridays Connected: L.A. at the Intersections.

On Friday, February 5, groove at home with KCRW resident DJ Novena Carmel and prepare a special cocktail presented by Elle Nucci. Then, dive into a lively live stream discussion around Solace in Science, moderated by neuroscientist and science communicator Dr. Yewande Pearse, host of dublab’s monthly podcast Sound Science, with panelists Ninez A. Ponce, MPP, PhD, Professor at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, Director of the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, and Principal Investigator for the California Health Interview Survey; and Edward C. Jones-López, MD, MSc, Assistant Professor and Infectious Diseases Specialist at Keck Medicine of USC.

What are the lessons learned from 2020 and how do we move forward and heal? The global pandemic revealed no clearer truths—socioeconomic disparities in health, employment, and education are widespread within our communities, and human connection and culture are vital to our survival. Science can save the day. How can we ensure all communities find hope and solace in science?

After the discussions, enjoy a dreamy indie rock and electronic pop performance by Vagabon, moniker of Cameroonian singer/songwriter Laetitia Tamkodance.

An exclusive preview for NHMLAC members – watch the preshow Secrets from the Vault with Dr. Yewande Pearse, as she asks Lindsay Walker, NHMLAC Collections Manager of Invertebrate Paleontology, about the museum’s collections and details hidden in plain sight. To become a Member, visit NHMLAC.ORG/join and support our current educational mission, research, and community outreach.

This event is FREE, reservations are required. Only one reservation per household is needed. For more information and to RSVP, visit

Returning for another season is First Fridays media sponsor KCRW.

First Fridays: L.A. at the Intersections

Solace in Science
Friday, February 5, 2021
Free RSVP:


10 Minute Cocktail: Elle Nucci – 6:05 pm
Elle Nucci, owner of EN Events, presents the special 10 Minute Cocktail SANTA MONICA BLVD, with vodka, Japanese chilis, pineapple juice, lime juice, and Tajín.

KCRW Resident DJ: Novena Carmel – 6:15 pm
With music royalty in her blood, Novena Carmel is an eclectic and energetic Bay Area born, LA-based DJ, singer, host, and curator known to lure a crowd and turn the party out. As a DJ, her love for music shines through in her wide range of selection, big smile and dance moves. In addition to L.A residencies, Novena has played at Amoeba Records, dublab radio and as a resident at the Stones Throw summer pool party.


Secrets from the Vault – 5:30 pm (Members-only)
Join neuroscientist and science communicator, Dr. Yewande Pearse, as she asks NHMLAC’s Invertebrate Paleontology Collections Manager, Lindsay Walker, about the museum’s collections. Each month features a different expert to uncover the big mysteries, strange oddities, and untold stories from the museum.

Solace in Science – 6:45 pm
With Ninez A. Ponce, MPP, PhD and Edward C. Jones-López, MD, MSc, moderated by Dr. Yewande Pearse

What are the lessons learned from 2020 and how do we move forward and heal? The global pandemic revealed no clearer two truths—socioeconomic disparities in health, employment and education are widespread within our communities, and human connection and culture are vital to our survival. How have disadvantaged communities been disproportionately affected? With a vaccine for COVID-19 coming, how do we ensure that those disparities don’t roll over as it rolls out? In moving forward meaningful action, we must heal beyond COVID-19 and do it together. How can scientific research provide solace? Might science offer a new opportunity to mend ongoing health disparities in the future? Science showed us how to stay safe through social distancing, inspiring outdoor and online culture that became vital to maintaining human connection and our mental health.

Ninez A. Ponce, MPP, PhD is Professor in the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, Director of the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, and Principal Investigator for the California Health Interview Survey. Her research contributes to the elimination of racial/ethnic/social disparities in health. In 2019, Dr. Ponce and her team received the AcademyHealth Impact award for their contributions to population health measurement to inform public policies.

Edward C. Jones-López, MD, MSc works at Keck School of Medicine of USC. He is a multicultural, multilingual physician-scientist trained in infectious diseases and epidemiology with over 25 years of experience in translational research, clinical care, and teaching in several countries (US, Mexico, France, Angola, Thailand, and Brazil). He has dedicated his academic career to better understanding and controlling tuberculosis and improving global health.

Moderator Dr. Yewande Pearse is a neuroscientist and science communicator. She gained her Ph.D. from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s College London, and is a Postdoctoral Fellow at The Lundquist Institute at Harbor-UCLA. Dr. Pearse hosts a monthly radio show and podcast called Sound Science on Los Angeles’s legendary Dublab radio, and is host of Inside Biotech, a podcast from Biotech Connection Los Angeles. As an advocate for science accessibility, Yewande has spoken at various events at the intersection of science and culture, has appeared as a guest expert in several videos for the meditation app Headspace, and written for TEDMED and Massive Science.


Vagabon – 7:30pm

“Break the rules you think you are bound by.”  That’s the recurring sentiment Lætitia Tamko carried with her through the writing and recording of her second album under the Vagabon moniker. Tamko’s self-titled Nonesuch Records debut finds her in a state of creative expansion, leaning fully into some of the experimental instincts she flirted with on the previous album. This time around, she’s throwing genre to the wind. Vagabon is a vibrant  culmination of influences, emotional landscapes, and moods; a colorful and masterful statement by an artist and producer stepping into her own.

UPCOMING FIRST FRIDAYS DATES (full schedules to be announced):

For this season’s First Fridays Connected 2021, NHM explores Los Angeles at the Intersections, a celebration of science and culture. Neighborhood murals reflecting this city’s state of mind, climate activism across all communities, the transforming habitats of humans and animals, and cuisines of the city as L.A.’s cultural signifiers, show that the ties that connect the city together are strongest at the intersections.

Friday, March 5, 2021: Home x Habitats
Friday, April 2, 2021: Climate Crisis
Friday, May 7, 2021: Culture x Cuisine
Friday, June 4, 2021: Murals of Los Angeles

#FirstFridays | #NHMLA
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About the Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County
The Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County (NHMLAC) include the Natural History Museum in Exposition Park, La Brea Tar Pits in Hancock Park, and the William S. Hart Museum in Newhall. They operate under the collective vision to inspire wonder, discovery, and responsibility for our natural and cultural worlds. The museums hold one of the world’s most extensive and valuable collections of natural and cultural history—more than 35 million objects. Using these collections for groundbreaking scientific and historical research, the museums also incorporate them into on- and offsite nature and culture exploration in L.A. neighborhoods, and a slate of community science programs—creating indoor-outdoor visitor experiences that explore the past, present, and future. Visit NHMLAC.ORG for adventure, education, and entertainment opportunities.