Selected Lectures on Science and Engineering
in the Boston Area

This URL calls the correct files:

The purpose of this list is to convey a sense of the driving issues in contemporary science and technology by showing what people are talking about, although from time to time I include events outside this focus -- such as Hackathons, DIY workshops, and events for young people.

It can be accessed in two ways: as a website and a mailing list.  The website carries events for the next month (roughly).  I add to it several times a week.  The mailing list goes out once a week, usually Sunday nights, and carries events for the next eight days.  You can subscribe here.  And unsubscribe here.

Caveats: The list is not remotely comprehensive and selection criteria are subjective.  I tend to include events that offer a physical speaker and accommodate physical attendance, though unusually interesting webinars might slip in.  Continuing or ongoing events (like exhibits or courses) and meetups with no special focus are not well handled.  Activity falls considerably over the summer and winter holidays.

Most critically:  This is a volatile landscape.  Many events are announced at the last minute.   (Some of these get posted to the website, but not many make the weekly mailing.)   It is common for dates and locales to change.   I strongly urge you to doublecheck the "Details" link before you head out, not that that guarantees anything.

Blue boxes represent events advertised as child-friendly; yellow boxes, multi-day events.  I occasionally link to the site of the speaker's lab.  Researchers often see these sites as their preferred medium of communication with the public and put a lot of work into them.  They can carry exceptionally well-posed statements of current issues.

If you see an event that you think I should know about but is not on the website please let me know.  Ditto if you know of a site I ought to be monitoring but does not appear on my list of sources.

I would appreciate your mentioning this list to people with compatible interests.

-- Fred Hapgood

Last update: 24.2040

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Selected Groups, Clubs, Societies, & Meetups
Selected New England Museums
DIY-focused organizations & resources

August 24 - 28.   "A 5-day Exploration of Extreme Weather & Climate."   Various locations.   Details.

Friday, August 26

10:30a.  "Outlook Towards a Commercial Fusion Reactor."   Guenter Janeschitz.   MIT:  NW17-218.   Details, Abstract.

Saturday, August 27

9 - 4:30p.  "Conserving Bumble Bees."   Rich Hatfield.   Arnold Arboretum, Hunnewell Bldg.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

10 - 2p.  "Mushrooms for Beginners."   Garden in the Woods, Framingham MA.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

Noon - 4p.  "3-D Printing and Design."   A workshop.   MIT Museum, 165 Massachusetts Ave.   Details.

Sunday, August 28

Noon - 4p.  "Kinetic Sculpture."   A workshop.   MIT Museum, 165 Massachusetts Ave.   Details.

1p.  "Saving Monarch Butterflies."   Jose Luis Alverez.   Forests for Monarchs.   Arnold Arboretum, Valley Road.   Details, Abstract.

Monday, August 29

Noon.  "Blueprints for Smell: Defining the Architecture of the Necklace Olfactory System."   Taralyn Tan.   HMS:  Goldenson 122, 220 Longwood.   Details.*

1p.  "A New Approach to Distribution Testing."   Daniel Kane.   Harvard:  Maxwell Dworkin 123.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "How to Explain Optical Rotation to Kids on the Basis of the Electronic Structure of Real Molecules."   Bart Kahr.   Kahr Group.   Brandeis:  Geller Conference Room, Hassenfeld.   Details.

Tuesday, August 30

10a.  "Mindfulness in Relation to Stress, Intrusive Thinking, Sleep Quality, and Memory."   A dissertation seminar.   Nicholas Brisbon.   Brandeis:  Geller Conference Room, Hassenfeld.   Details.

12:30p.  "New Insights into Proteasome Function: From Protein Degradation to Neurodegenerative Disease."   Alfred Goldberg.   Brandeis:  Gerstenzang 121.   Details.

6:30p.  "Open House - Project Night."   BosLab, 339R Summer St, Somerville.   Details, Abstract.

Wednesday, August 31

6p.  "META Presentation and VR for PTSD."   John Werner and Andrea Webb.   Cambridge Innovation Center - Venture Cafe, One Broadway, 5th Floor, Cambridge.   Details, Abstract, Reservations.

Thursday, September 1

9:30a.  "High-Precision Temporal Records of Magmatism, Sedimentation, and Faulting at Evolving Plate Boundaries."   A dissertation seminar.   Michael Eddy.   MIT:  54-915.   Details.

10 - 2:30p.  "Native Woody Plant Materials."   Dan Jaffe.   Garden in The Woods, Framingham.   Details.

Noon.  "Historical GIS and Digital Humanities based on Virtual Kyoto."   Keiji Yano.   Harvard:  CGIS South S354.   Details.

Friday, September 2

3p.  "The Mammalian Cortex as a Self-Organizing Complex System: Multi-Scale Homeostatic Approaches to Criticality via Dynamical Balance of Inhibition against Excitation."   A dissertation seminar.   Tony Ng.   Brandeis:  Volen 201.   Details.

4p.  "Materials and Devices for Efficient Solar and Thermal Energy Utilization."   Gang Chen.   Harvard:  Pierce 209.   Details.

Saturday, September 3

Noon - 4p.  "Kinetic Sculpture."   A workshop.   MIT Museum, 165 Massachusetts Ave.   Details.

Sunday, September 4

Noon - 4p.  "Kinetic Sculpture."   A workshop.   MIT Museum, 165 Massachusetts Ave.   Details.

Tuesday, September 6

1p.  "From Seed to Tree."   Dana Greenhouse Staff.   Arnold Arboretum, Bonsai and Penjing Pavilion.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

4p.  "Active Materials: Applying the soft materials paradigm to biology."   Aparna Baskaran.   Brandeis:  Abelson 131.   Details, Abstract.

Wednesday, September 7

9:30a.  "Exploring Variation in Psychotic Illness: From Big Data to Deep Data."   Justin T. Baker.   McLean Hospital:  de Marneffe 218.   Details.

4p.  "Battling Blood in the Streets: How Can Neuroscience Promote Public Health and Support Public Policy to Prevent Community Violence?"   A forum.   HLS:  Wasserstein 1010, 1585 Massachusetts Ave.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "Using the Visual System to Quantitatively Evaluate Cortical Function in Rett Syndrome and Tuberous Sclerosis Complex."   Charles A. Nelson.   MIT:  46-3002.   Details, Abstract.

Thursday, September 8

4p.  "How the Mouse Got its Stripes."   Hopi Hoekstra.   Harvard:  BioLabs Main Lecture Hall.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "Regulation and Function of Neurogenesis in the Adult Hippocampus."   Fred Gage.   MIT:  46-3002.   Details.

Friday, September 9

4p.  "Tradeoffs between Fast Growth and Adaptability Shape Microbial Phenotypes."   Markus Basan.   Harvard:  Pierce 209.   Details, Abstract.

Saturday, September 10

Noon - 4p.  "App Inventor."   Develop your own app for a smartphone or tablet.   MIT Museum, 165 Massachusetts Ave.   Details.

Sunday, September 11

11a.  "Nahant Coastal BioBlitz."   A Citizen Science initiative focused on documenting Nahant’s marine life.   Details and updates will be posted on the following website.   Details, Registration.

Noon - 4p.  "3D Printing and Design."   A workshop.   MIT Museum, 165 Massachusetts Ave.   Details.

Monday, September 12

Noon.  "Single-Molecule Epigenomics: Towards Cracking the 'Histone Code'."   Efat Shema.   Brandeis:  Risenstiel 118.   Details.

September 13 - 15.  "IEEE High Performance Extreme Computing Conference."   Westin Hotel, Waltham, MA   Details.

Tuesday, September 13

8 - 3p.  "A Primer on Complex Trait Genetics: Principles for the Beginning Investigator."   MGH:  Simches 3.110.   Details.

11a.  "High Times for Drugs: Epigenetic Imprint, Legacy, and the Brain."   Yasmin Hurd.   McLean:  Service Building - Pierce Hall.   Details.

Noon.  "American Plants for American Gardens."   The Early History of Ecological Restoration,   Laura Jane Martin.   Harvard Herbaria Seminar Room, 22 Divinity.   Details.

Noon.  "Investigating Crossover Control during Mammalian Meiosis."   Paula Cohen.   Cohen lab.   HMS:  NYB 350.   Details.*

1p.  "The Path Traveled: Forget the Stats."   Yasmin Hurd.   McLean:  Service Building - Pierce Hall.   Details.

4p.  "A New Era of Compact Objects."   Feryal Ozel.   MIT:  36-428.   Details.

4p.  "Brown and Biege Fat: Biology and Novel Pathways of Thermogeneis."   Bruce Spiegelman.   Spiegelman lab.   MIT:  32-123.   Details.

6:15p.  "Technologies, Tools, and Processes for Animatronic and Electronic Toy Development."   A forum.   Hasbro, Inc., 1027 Newport Ave, Pawtucket, RI.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

6:30p.  "How Restorative Development Can Address Climate Change."   William Moomaw.   Belmont Media Center, 9 Lexington St, Belmont.   Details, Abstract.

6:30p.  "Social Robots, Intelligent Devices and their UX Challenges."   Blade Kotelly and Todd Reily.   Constant Contact, 1601 Trapelo Rd, Waltham.   Details.

7p.  "Annual Collecting Show and Tell Night." Boston Mineral Club.   Harvard:  Geological Lecture Hall,m 24 Oxford St.   Details.

Wednesday, September 14

4p.   "Blockstack: A Global Naming and Storage System Secured by Blockchains."   Muneeb Ali.   MIT:  32-G882.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "Common Causes of Treatment Resistance and Possible Solutions."   Christopher Palmer.   A webinar.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

4p.  "Neurobiology and Genetics of Fear and PTSD: From Mice to (Wo)Man."   Kerry J. Ressler.   Harvard:  William James 1 (Basement Auditorium).   Details, Abstract.

5:30p.  "Software Reliability: Tools and Algorithms."   Lance Fiondella.   Lincoln Lab, 3 Forbes Rd, Lexington.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

Thursday, September 15

Noon.   "Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People."   Mahzarin Banaji.   McLean:  Service Building, Pierce Hall.   Details.

4p.  "The Developmental Neuromechanics of Vocal Communication."   Asif Ghazanfar.   MIT:  46-3002.   Details.

Friday, September 16

Noon.  "Environmental and Energy Applications of Graphene Oxide Nanoarchitectures."   Chad Vecitis.   Harvard:  Maxwell Dworkin G115.   Details, Abstract.

1:30p - 3:30p.  "Wrangling Data into Maps."   Jeff Blossum.   Harvard:  Northwest B129, 52 Oxford.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

September 17 - 18.   "Wild Weather Weekend."   Museum of Science.   Details.

Saturday, September 17

Noon.   "Building with Biology at BosLab."   BosLab, 339R Summer St, Somerville.   Details, Abstract.

Noon - 4p.  "Data Sculpture."   A workshop.   Rahul Bhargava.   MIT Museum, 165 Massachusetts Ave.   Details.

6p.  "Living in the Future: Where Science Fiction Meets Science Reality."   A forum.   MIT Museum, 265 Massacuhsetts Ave.   Details.

Sunday, September 18

12:30p.  "Tree Spotters."   A Citizen Science Training Event.   Arnold Arboretum, Hunnewell Bldg.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

Noon - 4p.  "Paper Circuits."   A workshop.   MIT Museum, 165 Massachusetts Ave.   Details.

Monday, September 19

7p.  "Water—and Climate—Solutions in Plain Sight."   Judith D. Schwartz.   Arnold Arboretum, Hunnewell Bldg.   Details, Abstract.

Tuesday, September 20

8:15a.  "Mechanotherapeutics: From Drugs to Wearables."   A symposium.   HMS:  Joseph B. Martin Conference Center, 77 Avenue Louis Pasteur.   Details, Registration.*

11a.  "Probing Circuits for Addiction and Anxiety."   Thomas Kash.   McLean Hospital:  de Marneffe 132.   Details.

4p.  "Improving Student Understanding of Quantum Mechanics."   Chandralekha Singh.   Brandeis:  Abelson 131.   Details, Abstract.

6:30p.  "Introduction to Botany."   First of Eight Sessions.   K. N. Gandhi.   Harvard University Herbarium.   Details.

Wednesday, September 21

9:30a.  "What Can Realtime Monitoring Tell Us About Suicidal Thinking?"   Evan Kleiman.   McLean Hospital:  de Marneffe 218.   Details.

6:30p.  "Transposition Cyphers in Historic Context."   Bill Ricker.   MIT:  E51-315.   Details, Abstract.

September 22 - 23.  "Functional and Medical Foods for Chronic Diseases: Bioactive Compounds and Biomarkers."   HMS:  Joseph b. Martin Conference Center.   Details, Abstract, Registration.*

Thursday September 22

Noon.  "Stress, Stressful Life Events and Addictions: A Complex Conundrum."   Kathleen T. Brady.   McLean Hospital:  Service Bldg, Pierce Hall.   Details.

12:30p.  "Mass Spectrometry - its Roles in Structural Biology and Drug Discovery."   Dame Carol Robinson.   HMS:  Cannon Room, C-114.   Details.   Non-Harvard Affiliated guests considering attending please email

4p.  "Colloquium on Brain & Cognition."   Erin Schuman.   Schuman Dept.   MIT:  46-3002.   Details.

Saturday September 24

8a.  "Fall Bird Walk."   Bob Mayer, Arboretum Docent.   Arnold Arboretum, choice of locations.   Details.   This event will repeat on October 8.

9:30 - Noon.  "The Art of Drawing Birds."   Erica Beade.   Harvard Museum of Natural History.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

Noon - 4p.  "Kinetic Sculpture."   A workshop.   MIT Museum, 165 Massachusetts Ave.   Details.

Sunday, September 25

Noon - 4p.  "Chain Reaction."   A workshop.   MIT Museum, 165 Massachusetts Ave.   Details.

5p.  "Go Behind the Scenes at the Theater of Electricity."   Museum of Science, Theater of Electricity.   Details.

*Admission to buildings in Harvard's medical area often requires ID issued by a "Harvard Medical School Affiliate".  A list of these institutions can be consulted here.  Persons interested in events in the medical area that are not explicitly public, do not invite registration, have sponsors with whom they have no experience, and who are unsure if their ID will guarantee access, might want to email the person cited in the details page and ask.  Inquiries directed at the HMS Dept of Genetics should be emailed to (or call 617-432- 7666) at least one day before the event.  Inquiries pertaining to events at Harvard's New Research Building should be directed to Karen Barry at  Events in the medical area that do not carry an asterisk have announced explicitly that they are open to the general public.