Explorers Club St. Louis encourages scientific exploration and field research

Published in St. Louis Mag

NOVEMBER 16, 2021

7:00 AM

When the members are not exploring, they’re often learning from fellow explorers, such as Peter Diamandis, named one of Fortune’s “World’s 50 Greatest Leaders.”

On a recent Tuesday night, members of the Explorers Club St. Louis gathered at The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis in Clayton to hear from Peter Diamandis, one of the “World’s 50 Greatest Leaders” according to Fortune magazine. Diamandis, who holds degrees in molecular genetics and aerospace engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a medical degree from Harvard, founded the X Prize Foundation, a nonprofit that encourages technological developments to benefit humanity through public competitions.

The innovator embodies the spirit of the Explorers Club St. Louis, says co-chair Cindy Peters, noting that its members “want to advance some field research or scientific exploration to preserve the notion of exploring and finding new horizons.”

Read More: Jeannette Cooperman’s feature “Falling in Love With the World” about the Explorers Club

“I think the world is constantly evolving,” says Peters. “In order to do that, to be clear and present, you need to be aware of what has been and you need to be aware of the possibilities that are still out there.”

The organization was founded in New York City in 1904 and now has chapters around the globe. The St. Louis chapter—which includes members from across Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas, and Iowa—began in 1988 and currently has about 45 members and 30 friends who don’t yet qualify for membership but can attend the programs.

Cindy Peters, Lotsie Holton

Peters grew up traveling and learning about other cultures, so joining the club was a natural decision. “My parents had a sense of adventure and took us all over the world,” she says. “We visited places that were not well-traveled in those days: all over Asia, Australia, Fiji, Tahiti.”

Peters later participated in an expedition to Mount Everest and was behind the political lines in Myanmar. It was through these trips that she qualified to join the Explorers Club. The application process ensures that members have had some sort of exploration or scientific experience.

“There’s a difference between adventure travel and an adventure explorer,” she says. Members of the group have observed lowland gorillas and elephants in the wild.

Dr. Sherman Silber

The group convenes for dinner meetings from September through May. They might visit the Endangered Wolf Center for one meeting or the Lewis and Clark Boat House and Museum for another. When they’re not exploring, they are often listening to lectures from fellow explorers, such as Diamandis. They’ve learned about polar bears, Mars, and watched the solar eclipse together.

“There’s a distinction between the exploring that we all think of and being an Explorer Club member,” says Peters. “If you traveled the Dalmatian Coast, which is wonderful, but not done something of a scientific nature and exploration nature, it’s not really considered exploring. I think of myself when I go places as being a traveler, but I also think of myself as an Explorers Club member who is there to explore.”


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The Explorers Club Saint Louis
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One US Bank Plaza
St. Louis, MO 63101