The Nutshell Studies and the Mother of Modern Forensics

When: Friday, June 26, 2020
Doors at 6:00pm, event at 7:00pm

General Admission: $19
Student / Ages 65+: $10
VIP** (guaranteed seating): $25
Supporter**: $39

General Admission: $20
Student / Ages 65+: $13

All tickets: Ages 21+ or minor with adult

Food and Drink: Beer, wine, & sodas, as well as pizza and snacks like candy bars and mixed nuts.

Science on Tap is a science lecture series where you can sit back, enjoy a pint, and laugh while you learn. Listen to experts talk about the science in your neighborhood and around the world. You don’t have to be a science geek to have fun—all you need is a thirst for knowledge!

Frances Glessner Lee was supposed to spend her life as an heiress and socialite. Born in 1878 into a wealthy Chicago family, she was never meant to have a career, let alone one steeped in death and depravity. Yet she developed a fascination with the investigation of violent crimes and made it her life’s work. She is best known for creating the Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death, a series of dollhouses with macabre details: an overturned chair, a blood-spattered comforter, bodies splayed out on the floor or draped over chairs, and all clothed in hand-sewn garments, some of which Lee lovingly knit with sewing pins. These miniatures were used to train law enforcement officers to investigate violent crimes, and her methods are still used today.

At this Science on Tap, Lee’s official biographer Bruce Goldfarb will talk about his book 18 Tiny Deaths: The Untold Story of Frances Glessner Lee and the Invention of Modern Forensics. He will delve into Lee’s journey from a grandmother without a college degree to being a pioneer in the scientific study of unexpected death. Learn how she used the traditional “women’s work” such as sewing to improve the male-dominated profession of police work, and how she revolutionized forensic investigation.

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We at Science on Tap are committed to offering educational opportunities to adults who want to learn. If the ticket price is a hardship for you, please write to us at and we’re happy to provide reduced-price tickets to those who request them. Please click here for more information on our ticket prices.

*A note on advance ticket sales: There is an additional fee for purchase, but this ticket guarantees a seat at the event start time of 7:00pm. In the event of a sold-out show, tickets not redeemed by 7:10pm may be released. Advance ticket sales end at 12:00am the night before the show.

**A note on ticket levels: VIP tickets guarantee front center seating that stays available through entire show — meaning you can arrive late and your seat will be waiting for you. Supporter tickets get VIP benefits (guaranteed seating) plus a voluntary upcharge to help support ASL interpretation services and other event production expenses.