The Smithsonian Associates is the largest museum-based educational program in the world. They offer over 750 events in a calendar year: workshops, tours, lectures, performances, summer camps etc.
My educational guru, Susan Wise Bauer, will be lecturing there on December 5, about one of her books – The Story of Western Science. I have read the book and learned a lot from it. I highly recommend it. It will give you an overview of the scientific themes humanity grappled with over the centuries. The book also contains enough details about each important scientific manuscript to help you understand specific topics.
Her all-day lecture (with lunch break) at the Smithsonian it titled Reading the Great Books of Science. The cost to attend is $150 if you are not a Smithsonian Associate member.
I own this book because I think it makes for a great reference tome. But if your budget for traveling to DC or for reference books is short this year, I say get the book from your library, curl up with a cup of hot tea and count your blessings. Keep your $150 for an annual membership at your local zoo or science-technology center.
It would be fun though. And very, very fascinating, no doubt. Sigh. I live eight hours from DC and so my equation of time-space just does not allow for such jaunts. Sigh again.