Listen up! Where to find lectures in New York City

Get schooled outside of the classroom.

Just because you’re not in school doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a good lecture. Here are venues and series around the city that cater to curious minds.


Think Olio

This outfit lives up to its name. Olio means a miscellaneous collection of art or literature, and Think Olio specializes in interdisciplinary lectures and workshops on religion, food, science and more that are held in coffee shops, bookstores and galleries and led by professors, authors and other experts in their fields. Upcoming classes include Getting Published: The Business of Travel Photography (Sept. 23, $15).


Nerd Nite

The nerdtacular lecture series is back for its 10th season, with entertaining and informative presentations from the likes of neuroscientists, chiropractors and writers. After kicking off last week, Nerd Nite can be found next at the Brooklyn Historical Society for a night of speed dating and lectures on the city’s Consolidation of 1898 and the birth of its tabloids (Sept. 24, $15) and at (Le) Poisson Rouge for its Eighth Annual Nerd Nite Nerdtacular (Oct. 23, $15). 


Raising the Bar

Since launching in April 2014 in New York City with a night of 50 free lectures in 50 bars that drew thousands, the group, which aims to bring knowledge outside the classroom, has gone on to throw similar stunts in Hong Kong, London, San Francisco and New York again in June. Follow online to see when it’s back in NYC. 


Brooklyn Brainery

Any topic is fair game with this Brooklyn business, which is focused on crowdsourced, affordable education. If not free, classes are typically cheaper than a craft cocktail and cover an assortment of interests in food, science, history, language and more. Upcoming classes cover the histories of gin (Sept. 28, $14) and Scotch whisky (Oct. 8, $14). 190 Underhill Ave., Prospect Heights


The Explorers Club

You don’t have to be a member of this professional society, which is devoted to scientific exploration, to enjoy some of its events, including its lecture series. Reservations are on a first-come, first-serve basis. Upcoming lectures that are open to the public include Rhino Wars — Rise of the Insurgency with Damien Mander (Sept. 23, $20/free for members). 46 E. 70th St., 212-628-8383


92nd Street Y

The venerable Upper East Side institution holds events almost every night of the week, including plenty of lectures and conversations with authors, historians and more on a variety of topics. Upcoming events include a survey of the Jewish influence on the creation of superheroes with comic book art historian Arlen Schumer (Sept. 24, from $25). 1395 Lexington Ave., 212-415-5500


CUNY Graduate Center

The research college offers an extensive public programming schedule, with free lectures regularly offered. Upcoming events include Mourning Lincoln in New York City (Oct. 1). 365 Fifth Ave., 212-817-7000


Museum of the City of New York

The museum organizes lectures tied to its current exhibitions as part of its public programs. Upcoming events include Gateway to Freedom: The Hidden History of the Underground Railroad with historians Eric Foner and Martha Hodes (Sept. 30, $16, $12 students/seniors, free for members). 1220 Fifth Ave., 212-534-1672


New York Public Library

The library hosts a variety of public programming from its various locations. Upcoming lectures include Climate Shock: The Economic Consequences of a Hotter Planet with economist and author Gernot Wagner (Sept. 21, free), at the Mid-Manhattan Library, and Women in Islam: Human Rights and Social Justice Lecture (Oct. 13, free), at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. Registration required.


New-York Historical Society

Top writers and historians regularly speak at the museum as part of several speakers and lecture series. Upcoming speakers include professor and historian Douglas Brinkley on the Nixon Tapes (Sept. 24, $38/$24 members) and Robert A. Caro on Robert Moses (Oct. 13, sold out). 170 Central Park W., 212-873-3400

Meredith Deliso