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.)   Dates and locales change.   Sometimes speakers change their topic.   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: 19.2248

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

February 10 - 20.  "The 42nd Boston Science Fiction Film Festival."   Somerville Theater.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

February 16 - 20.  "AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting."   Hynes Convention Center.   Details.

February 19 - 25.   The Museum of Science celebrates National Engineers Week with "... a variety of Design Challenges plus an exciting array of additional fun, hands-on engineering-themed programming throughout our Exhibit Halls".   Museum of Science.   Details.

February 20 - 25.  "Fab Fest."   The MIT Museum celebrates National Engineers week with hands-on activities, workshops, and tours.   This year's theme is Assembly Required.   Details, Abstracts, Registration.

Monday, February 20

10 - 1p.  "How to Build a Better Mousetrap."   MIT Museum.   Details.

Noon.  "The KINGS of Africa’s Digital Economy."   Eric Osiakwan.   Harvard:  Berkman Klein Center, 2nd flr, 23 Everett St.   Details, RSVP.   This event will be webcast.

Tuesday, February 21

9:30a.  "Distinct Timescales of Information Processing across Cortex."   Caroline Runyan.   MIT:  46-3002.   Details, Abstract.

11a.  "Mitochondrial Alterations in the Prefrontal Cortex of Schizophrenia Subjects."   Jill R. Glausier.   McLean:  deMarneffe 132.   Details.

Noon.  "A Few New Perspectives on Humanity and Earth’s Climate."   David Archer.   MIT:  54-923.   Details, Abstract.

Noon.  "Ethnophytotechnology: Harnessing the Drug Discovery Potential of Ethnobotany with Biotechnology."   John De La Parra.   Harvard:  Herbarium Seminar Room, 22 Divinity Ave.   Details.

Noon.   "Internet Designers as Policy-Makers."   Sandra Braman.   HLS:  Wasserstein B010.   Details, RSVP.   This event will be webcast.

12:30p.  "Bayesian Poisson Tensor Decomposition for International Relations."   Hanna Wallach.   Northeastern,:  Network Science Institute, 177 Huntington Ave.   Details, Abstract.

12:30p.  "Next Steps in Planetary Exploration: Lucy and Psyche."   Richard Binzel and Ben Weiss.   MIT:  54-517.   Details, Abstract.

1:30p.  "Downwind of the Flames: Investigating the Impact of Wildfires on U.S. Air Quality."   Emily Fischer.   Harvard:  Pierce 100F.   Details.

2p.  "Extreme Crowdsourcing: From Balloons to Ethics."   Iyad Rahwan.   MIT:  32-G449.   Details, Abstract.

2:30p.  "Architecture Support for Scripting the Cloud."   Vijay Reddi.   Harvard:  Pierce 209.   Details, Abstract.

2:30p.  "The New Relationship between Inflation and Gravitational Waves."   Tomohiro Fujita.   Tufts:  574 Boston Ave, Room 310, Medford.   Details, Abstract.

3p.  "Information Processing in the Olfactory System."   David Zwicker.   Harvard:  Lyman 425.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "Antisocial Computing: Explaining and Predicting Negative Behavior Online."   Justin Cheng.   MIT:  32-D463.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "Ban the Box, Criminal Records, and Statistical Discrimination: A Field Experiment."   Amanda Agan.   MIT:  E62-650.   Details.

4p.  "Tracing the Cosmic Shutdown of Star Formation in Massive Galaxies."   Kate Whitaker.   MIT:  37-252.   Details, Abstract.

5p.  "Internet Technology and Privacy."   A forum.   Location TBA.   Details, Registration.

5p.  "Life Changing Bacon: Transgression as Desire in Contemporary American Tastes."   Brad Weiss.   Tufts:  48 Professors Row, CHAT Seminar Room.   Details.

6p.  "The New World of Coffee and Cacao."   Matthew Block.   BU:  808 Commonwealth Ave, Room 117.   Details, Abstract.

6:30p.  "'sea2shore: The Renewable Link' project aka offshore Block Island Wind Farm."   Kathryn "Kat" Cox-Arslan, Director, Transmission Commercial Services, National Grid.   National Grid, Valley A&B, 40 Sylvan Rd.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

6:30p.  "Toward an Urban Ecology."   Kate Orff.   Harvard:  Gund Hall, Piper Auditorium.   Details, Abstract.

7p.  "Pursuing Sustainability along Crowded Coastlines."   Stephen Scyphers.   Northeastern:  Marine Science Center. Morphy Bunker.   Details, Abstract.

Wednesday, February 22

10a.  "Probabilistic Methods for Human Genetics and Disease Circuitry."   Yue Li.   MIT:  32-G449.   Details.

11:30p.  "Accelerating Precision Cancer Medicine through Clinical Computational Oncology."   Eliezer Van Allen.   MIT:  32-G575.   Details, Abstract.

Noon.  "Efficacious Objects and Improvisational Practice: The Affordances of 'Ornaments' in Banda, Ghana."   Ann Stahl.   Harvard:  Tozzer 203.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "Quantifying Tradeoffs Between Fairness and Accuracy in Online Learning."   Aaron Roth.   MIT:  32-G575.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "Sophos - Forward Secure Searchable Encryption."   Raphael Bost.   MIT:  32-G882.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "Why are There No Short-Circuits in Microvascular Networks?"   Marcus Roper.   Harvard:  Pierce 209.   Details, Abstract.

4:30p.  "Poverty Traps, Resilience, and Coupled Human-Natural Systems."   Christopher B. Barrett.   Harvard Science Center A, 1 Oxford St.   Details.

7p.  "Nature's Temples: Complex Old Growth Forests."   Joan Maloof.   Arnold Arboretum:  Hunnewell Bldg.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

7p.  "Saving Sea Turtles: Preventing Extinction."   A film followed by a panel discussion.   New England Aquarium, Simons IMAX Theater.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

7p.  "The Wild West of Data-Driven Design."   Alex Engel.   American Twine Bldg, 222 Third St, #4000, Cambridge.   Details.

Thursday, February 23

7:45a.  "Learning from the Past to Understand the Future of Ocean Ecosystems."   Chris Bowler.   Harvard Club, Washington Room, 374 Commonwealth.   Details.

10a.  "Developing Therapeutic Hypotheses in Neurodegeneration."   Will Chen.   HMS:  Warren Alpert 563.   Details.*

11a.  "Crossing the Second Translational Research Valley of Death-A Lesson from Tumor Classification in the Molecular Era."   David Louis.   MIT:  1-190.   Details.

Noon.  "Deep Learning 101."   Andrew Beam.   HMS:  Countway Library, 5th flr, 10 Shattuck St.   Details, Abstract.

Noon.  "TMS for the Treatment of Depression: 8-Year Experience."   Oscar G. Morales.   McLean Hospital:  Service Building, Pierce Hall.   Details.

12:30p.  "Adventures in the RNA World, Past, Present and Future."   Daniel Herschlag.   HMS:  C-114.   Details.   Non-harvard affiliated guests please email to confirm attendance.

1 - 5:30p.  "New Insights in ALS Research."   A conference.   HMS:  Armenise Amphitheater, 210 Longwood.   Details.*

3p.  "Towards a Better Understanding of Non-Convex Methods in Machine Learning."   Tengyu Ma.   MIT:  34-401A.   Details, Abstract.

3:30p.  "Playing Newton: Learning Equations of Motion from Data."   Ilya Nemenman.   Brandeis:  Abelson 229.   Details.

4p.  "Night and Day: Why is air quality in the San Joaquin Valley so persistently bad?"   Christopher Cappa.   MIT:  48-316.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "Quantum Gas in a Box."   Zoran Hadzibabic.   Hadzibabic-Smith Group.   MIT:  10-250.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "Safe Machine Learning."   Philip Thomas.   Harvard:  Maxwell Dworkin G115.   Details.

4p.  "Search for High-Performance Earth-Abundant Thin-Film Photovoltaic Materials."   David Mitzi.   MIT:  6-104.   Details.

4p.  "Why Poorly Known Taxa are Critical to Understanding Animal Evolution."   Casey Dunn.   Dunn Lab.   Harvard:  BioLabs Main Lecture Hall.   Details, Abstract.

5p.  "Meeting Future Food Needs: The Global Food System Under Climate Change."   Shenggen Fan.   Harvard Science Center D.   Details.

6p.  "Deep Learning and Apache Spark."   A Meetup.   Anchor Room 121, 50 Milk St, Boston.   Details, Abstract, RSVP.

6 - 9p.  "Re-Inventing Bone Surgery."   Philippe Cattin.   swissnex Boston, 420 Broadway.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

6p.  "Sacred Nation: Chinese Museums and the Legacy of Empire."   Magnus Fiskesjö.   Harvard:  Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford St.   Details, Abstract.

6:30p.  "Attention Disruption Disorder."   Michael Rock.   Harvard:  Gund Hall, Piper Auditorium.   Details, Abstract.

6:30p.  "Patterning your Diet: The science of weight loss."   Megan McCrory.   The Burren, 247 Elm, Somerville.   Details.

7p.  "This Land."   Laura McPhee and Taylor Perron.   List Visual Arts Center, 20 Ames St, Cambridge.   Details, Abstract, RSVP.

February 24 - 26.  "Sex on the Margins: Navigating Religious, Social, and Natural Scientific Models of Sex Differences."   A Conference.   BU, 745 Commonwealth Ave.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

Friday, February 24

11a.  "Interpretable and Scalable Deep Learning."   Jimmy Ba.   MIT:  32-G449.   Details, Abstract.

Noon.  "Computer Vision for Connectomics."   Toufiq Parag.   Harvard:  Maxwell Dworkin G115.   Details, Abstract.

12:30 - 4p.  "Global Food + 2017 Symposium."   Harvard:  CGIS South S010.   Details, Abstract.

12:45p.  "The Interplay of Genes and Environment in Complex Disease Susceptibility."   Josee Dupuis.   BUSM:  L-210.   Details.

4:15p.  "New Worlds, New Discoveries: A major leap in the search for life beyond our solar system."   Michael Gillon and Julien de Wit.   MIT:  54-100.   Details, Abstract.

7p.  "Whiplash: How to Survive Our Faster Future."   Joi Ito and Jeff Howe.   Harvard Book Store.   Details, Abstract.

Saturday, February 25

9 - 12:30p.  "A Mini-Symposium presented by The Harvard Program in Biophysics."   Harvard:  Dudley House, Lehman Hall, Graduate Common Room.   Details.

9:30 - 12:30p.  "Introduction to BeeKeeping."   Bill Perkins, Boston Area Beekeepers Association.   Boston Nature Center:    Details, Abstract, Registration.

1p.  "Tree Architecture."   Andrew Gapinski.   Arnold Arboretum:  Hunnewell Bldg.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

Sunday, February 26

Noon.  "Kinetic Sculptures."   MIT Museum.   Details.

1p.  "Natural Papermaking."   Boston Nature Center, 500 Walk Hill Rdd, :    Details, Abstract, Registration.

1p.  "Tree Spotters."   Citizen Science Training Session.   Arnold Arboretum, Hunnewell Bldg.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

6p.  "The 2017 Consumer Electronics Show Report."   Ken Wacks and Alvin Foster.   BU:  Life Science & Engineering Bldg 103, 24 Cummington Mall.   Details, Abstract.

Monday, February 27

12:10p.  "My Adventures with Charles Darwin."   Karen James.   Arnold Arboretum, Weld Hill Lecture Hall.   Details.

12:30p.  "The 21st Century Cures Act: Implications for Research and Drug Development."   A forum.   Details, Abstract.   This event will be webcast.

3p.  "Introduction to Text Manipulation and Visualization."   Vika Zafrin.   BU:  Mugar Library, Estrin Room, 771 Commonwealth Ave.   Details, Abstract, Registration.   This event will repeat on 2/28 at 10 AM.

4:15p.  "Bodies of Lenin: Biochemistry of communist futures."   Alexei Yurchak.   Harvard:  Tozzer 203.   Details, Abstract.

5p.  "The Frontiers of Tsunami Hydrodynamics."   Costas Synolakis.   MIT:  1-190.   Details, Abstract.

6p.  "From Practice Room to Lecture Hall: How Science Learning and Music Learning Connect."   Logan McCarty.   Harvard Ed Portal, 224 Western Ave.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

7p.  "Course 0: Science, Religion, and Astronomy."   Aaron Adair.   MIT:  4-270.   Details.

February 28 - March 1.  "COMSOL Multiphysics Intensive Training."   A course in a proprietary physics simulator.   COMSOL, Inc., 100 District Avenue, Burlington.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

Tuesday, February 28

11a.  "Deep Learning for Robot Navigation and Perception."   Wolfram Burgard.   MIT:  32-G449.   Details, Abstract.

11a.  "Rare Disease Day: Patient Involvement in Resarch"   Massachusetts State House.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

12:30p.  "Robotics and Wearables."   Joseph Paradiso and Jonathan Rossiter.   An Interactive Workshop.   MIT:  E52, 6th floor, Samberg Conference Center.   Details, Tickets.

1p.  "Hydroelectric Power and Indigenous Health in the North."   Elsie Sunderland.   Harvard Global Health Institute, 42 Church St.   Details.

2:30p.  "AI and Machine Learning."   Andrei Barbu and Sean O heigeartaigh.   A discussion.   MIT:  E52, 6th flr, Samberg Conference Center.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

2:30p.  "Biomedical Insights."   Steven Monroe Lipkin and Winston Yan.   A discussion.   MIT:  E52, 6th flr, Samberg Conference Center.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

2:30p.  "Dissipation During Inflation."   Marco Peloso.   MIT:  6C-442.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "Bacterial Quorum Sensing and Its Control."   Bonnie Bassler.   MIT:  32-123.   Details.

4p.  "The Physics and Astrophysics of Merging Neutron-Star Binaries."   Luciano Rezzolla.   MIT:  37-252.   Details, Abstract.

4:30p.  "Sensitive Periods in Affective Development: Nonlinear maturation of fear learning."   Francis Lee.   Harvard:  BioLabs 1080.   Details, Registration.

6 - 9p.  "Creating a European Research Infrastructure to Decode the Human Brain."   Christoph Ebell.   swissnex Boston, 420 Broadway, Cambridge.   Details.

6p.  "Giving Voice: Mobile Communication, Disability, and Inequality."   Meryl Alper.   The MIT Press Bookstore, 301 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

6 - 8p.  "Motorcars brought to you by Parts and Crafts."   Fabville, 81 Highland Avenue, Somerville.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

6p.  "Quantum Computers and Philosophy of Science."   Paola Cappellaro and Brad Skow.   MIT Museum.   Details.

6p.  "The Opioid Epidemic: What Happens Next and Who Will Decide?"   Jonathan Garlick:  Tisch College, Dewick Cafeteria Conference Room, 25 Latin Way.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

Wednesday, March 1

9:30a.  "Descartes in the 21st Century: Using Neuroscience, Psychological Science and Transdiagnostic Approaches to Reconcile Mind-Body Dualism in Psychopathology."   Kristen Ellard.   McLean Hospital:  de Marneffe 218.   Details.

4p.  "Bacterial Quorum Sensing and Its Control."   Bonnie Bassler.   Harvard:  TBD.   Details.

6p.  "PyData Presentation Night."   O'Reilly Media, 2 Avenue De Lafayette, Boston.   Details.   Please bring state-issued ID.

6:30p.  "The Art and Science of Growing Native Plants from Seed: Why, When, and How."   Randi Eckel.   Cambridge Public Library.   Details, Abstract.

Thursday, March 2

5:15p.  "Using Data to Predict Fate: Future Insight or Folly?"   A Forum & Panel discussion.   Harvard:  William James Hall B1.   Details.

6p.  "Tiny Conspiracies: Cell-to-Cell Communication in Bacteria."   Bonnie Bassler.   Harvard:  Geological Lecture Hall.   Details, Abstract.

7p.  "The Inkblots: Hermann Rorschach, His Iconic Test, and the Power of Seeing."   Damion Searls.   Harvard Book Store.   Details, Abstract.

Friday, March 3

8:30a.  "The Role of the Microbiome in HIV Acquisition and Disease Progression."   Doug Kwon.   Harvard:  24 Oxford St, Room 310.   Details.

12:30p.  "Socially Assistive Robotics: Creating Robots That Care."   Maja Mataric.   Harvard:  Maxwell Dworkin G115, 33 Oxford St.   Details, Abstract.

Saturday, March 4

10:30a.  "Exploring Science Together: Minerals!"   Harvard Museum of Natural History.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

Sunday, March 5

1p.  "Tree Spotters."   Citizen Science Training Session.   Arnold Arboretum, Hunnewell Bldg.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

Monday, March 6

3p.  "Starting and Managing a Digital Project."   Vika Zafrin.   BU:  Mugar Library, Estrin Room, 771 Commonwealth Ave.   Details, Abstract, Registration.   This event will repeat on 3/7 at 10 AM.

6p.  "Biology of Consciousness: William James to Richard Schultes and Beyond."   Brian D. Farrell and Davíd Carrasco.   Harvard:  Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford St.   Details.

6p.  "Tiny Conspiracies: Cell-to-Cell Communication in Bacteria."   Bonnie Bassler.   Harvard:  Geological Lecture Hall.   Details, Abstract.

7p.  "Scientific Consensus and Dissent."   Naomi Oreskes.   Arnold Arboretum, Hunnewell Bldg.   Details, Registration.

Tuesday, March 7

4p.  "Stellar Streams and the Milky Way's Dark Matter Halo."   Jo Bovy.   MIT:  37-252.   Details, Abstract.

6p.  "Higgs Boson and Neutrinos."   Markus Klute and Janet Conrad.   MIT Museum.   Details.

7p.  "American Mineral Heritage – the Harvard Collection."   Kevin Czaja.   Harvard:  Geological Museum, Haller Hall.   Details, Abstract.

Wednesday, March 8

All Day.   "MIT Disruption Timeline Conference."   MIT:  Media Lab.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

Noon.  "A High-Resolution Look at the Human Cell: Introducing the Human Cell Atlas."   A panel discussion.   A Webinar.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

4p.  "Temporal Programs in Neural Stem Cell Development and Aging."   Sally Temple.   MIT:  46-3002.   Details, Abstract.

7p.  "Next Generation Sequencing: Underlying Technology and Applications to Cancer."   John Methot.   Broad Institute Auditorium, 415 Main St.   Details, Abstract.

Thursday, March 9

4p.  "Does the Future of Fundamental Physics Lie in the Sky?"   Amanda Weltman.   MIT:  10-250.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "Miniaturized Devices for Biology and Medicine: From Ideas to Impact."   Samuel Sia.   MIT:  32-141.   Details.

Saturday, March 11

  "The Science of Weather."   Joe Venuti.   Lincoln Labs.  Details, Abstract, Registration.   Adults must present a valid government-issued photo I.D.

10 - 5p.  "New Scientist presents... The Quantum World."   A Masterclass.   Suffolk University Law School, 73 Tremont Street.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

Monday, March 13

4p.  "The Neurobiology of Social Behavior Circuits."   Catherine Dulac.   MIT:  46-3002.   Details.

Tuesday, March 14

2:30p.  "Real Time Quantum Cosmology."   Jean-Luc Lehners.   MIT:  6C-442.   Details, Abstract.

6p.  "Gravity Waves and Dark Matter."   Lisa Barsotti and Tracy Slatyer.   MIT Museum.   Details.

Wednesday, March 15

8:30 - 3:45p.  "COMSOL Day."   Demos of a proprietary physics simulation software. Le Meridien, 20 Sidney Street, Cambridge.   Details, Simulation, Registration.

6p.  "Tiny Cells, Global Impact: A Journey of Discovery with a Microbe from the Sea."   Sallie W. Chisholm.   Harvard:  Geological Lecture Hall.   Details, Abstract.

Thursday, March 16

7p.  "The Conservation of Devil Rays."   Daniel Fernardo.   New England Aquarium, Simons IMAX Theater.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

7:30p.  "The Glass Universe."   Dava Sobel.   Center for Astrophysics:  Philips Auditorium, 60 Garden St.   Details.

March 17 - 18.  "Brain Works."   Museum of Science.   Details, Abstract.

Monday, March 20

4p.  "Unmarring the Perceptron: Lessons in Cerebellar Computing from Fish and Flies."   Larry Abbott.   MIT:  46-3002.   Details.

Tuesday, March 21

4p.  "Dark Matter Substructure: Cosmological Treasure Trove or a Pandora's Box?"   Frank van den Bosch.   MIT:  37-252.   Details, Abstract.

5:30p.  "Driving Change: Autonomous & Electric Vehicles."   A panel discussion.   MIT:  32-123.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

Wednesday, March 22

4p.  "Imaging Infant Brain Development in Autism."   Joseph Piven.   MIT:  46-3002.   Details, Abstract.

Friday, March 24

12:10p.  "Natural History and the Nature of Ecological Communities."   Robert Ricklefs.   Arnold Arboretum, Weld Hill Lecture Hall.   Details.

12:45p.  "Obesity, Asthma, and the Microbiome."   Stephanie Shore.   BUSM:  L-210.   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 Longwood medical area that do not carry an asterisk have announced explicitly that they are open to the general public.