Selected Lectures on Science and Engineering
in the Boston Area


This URL calls the correct files: bostonsciencelectures.com

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: 01/2143

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



Friday, December 2

3:15p.  "Trail Detectives' Club."   Boston Nature Center, 500 Walk Hill St, Mattapan.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

9 - Noon.  "Algorithms, Law and Society: Building Rights for a Digital Era."   A workshop.   HLS:  Wasserstein 3016.   Details, Abstract, RSVP.

10:30a.  "Rethinking Large-Scale Consensus through Blockchains."   Rafael Pass.   MIT:  32-G882.   Details, Abstract.

1p.  "Computational Modeling of Nanoconfined Fluids: Big Surprises Come in (Very) Small Packages."   Jerry Wang.   MIT:  32-141.   Details, Abstract.

6:30p.  "What's So Special About the Universe? Multiverse Theory and Catholic Theology."   Stephen Barr.   MIT:  4-163.   Details, Registration.

8p.  "Telescope Training Night."   Museum of Science, Technology Learning Center.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

Saturday, December 3

10 - Noon.  "Science on Saturday - Physics."   MIT:  Kresge Auditorium.   Details.

10:30.  "Winter Backyard Birding."   Boston Nature Center, 500 Walk Hill St, Mattapan.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

7 - 7:30p.  "The Future of People."   A conference.   MIT:  Media Lab. 75 Amherst St.   Details, Registration.

8 - 8p.  "Web 1.0 Conference."   MIT:  E14, 4rd flr Atrium.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

9:30 - 12:30p.  "Investigating the Science of Avian Coloration through Observational Drawing."   Allison Shultz and Erica Beade.   Harvard Museum of Natural History.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

10 - 5p.  "Bird Taxidermy."   Mickey Alice Kwapis.   Harvard Museum of Natural History.   Details, Abstract, Registration.   Must be age 18+ to participate.

10a.  "Science on Saturday - Physics."   Explore Physics with MIT's Women In Physics.   MIT:  Kresge Auditorium.   Details.

Noon - 4p.  "Paper Circuits."   Jie Qi.   MIT Museum, 265 Massachusetts Ave.   Details.

1p.  "Travels Through Two Ice Ages."   James Lawford Anderson.   Arnold Arboretum:  Hunnewell Bldg.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

Sunday, December 4

10 - 5p.  "Bird Taxidermy."   Mickey Alice Kwapis.   Harvard Museum of Natural History.   Details, Abstract, Registration.   Must be age 18+ to participate.

Noon - 4p.  "Paper Circuits."   Jie Qi.   MIT Museum, 265 Massachusetts Ave.   Details.

1p.  "City Gardening with New England Natives."   David Falk.   Garden in the Woods, Framingham.   Details, Abstract. .

Monday, December 5

7:30 - 10a.  "The Human Microbiome: is it the panacea for cancer, autoimmune and inflammatory disease?"   James. J. Collins.   Foley Hoag, 155 Seaport Blvd., Seaport West, Boston.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

9:30a.  "Digital Humanities and Libraries: New Models of Collaboration."   Bob Scott, Head, Digital Humanities Center, Columbia University.   Harvard:  Lamont Forum.   Details, Abstract.   If you do not have a Harvard ID, please email Angela Dressen at: adressen@itatti.harvard.edu to be added to the guest list.

Noon.  "Atmospheric Waves and Turbulence."   Tiffany Shaw.   MIT:  54-923.   Details, Abstract.

2:30p.  "Will Ad Blocking Break the Internet?"   Benjamin Shiller.   MIT:  E52-432.   Details.

4p.  "Economic Conditions and Mortality: Evidence from 200 Years of Data."   David Cutler.   Harvard Center for Population Studies, 9 Bow St.   Details.

6 - 9p.  "The Well-Tempered City: What Modern Science, Ancient Civilizations, and Human Nature Teach Us About the Future of Urban Life."   A panel discussion.   HMS:  Martin Center, Rotunda Room, 77 Avenue Louis Pasteur.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

7p.  "Ball of Fire."   A Coolidge Theater Science on Screen presentation.   Ben Zimmer will discuss techniques used by scholars to hunt for slang and neologisms at the time of the film and today.   Coolidge Corner Theater:  290 Harvard St.   Details, Abstract.

Tuesday, December 6

12:30a.  "How Plants Get Around."   Elizabeth Farnsworth.   Garden in the Woods, 180 Hemingway Rd, Framingham.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "Proteostasis Function and Disfunction: the delicate art of mantaining a healty proteome."   Judith Frydman.   MIT:  32-123.   Details.

4p.  "The Fastest Road to Finding Life Beyond Earth."   Jonathine Lunine.   MIT:  37-252.   Details.

5 - 7:30p.  "Transparency in Music – Powered by Blockchain."   A panel discussion.   MIT:  32-123.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

6:30p.  "Eyewire: citizen-science gaming to map neurons."   Will Silversmith.   BosLab, 339R Summer St, Somerville.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

6:30p.  "Fossils of New York State."   Tom Rich.   Harvard:  Geological Museum, Haller Hall.   Details.

7p.  "CBT Treatment for Hoarding Disorder."   Jordana Muroff.   McLean Hospital:  de Marneffe 132.   Details.

Wednesday, December 7

10:30a.  "Early Explorers."   Boston Nature Center, 500 Walk Hill St, Mattapan.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

9 - Noon.  "Intro to COMSOL Multiphysics."   A workshop demonstrating a proprietary physics simulator.   COMSOL, 100 District Ave, Burlington.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

Noon.  "Characterizing the Maternal Immune Environment during Pregnancy: Implications for autism spectrum disorders."   A webinar.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

12:30p.  "Clinical Trial Data Sharing and Reproducibility."   A forum.   HMS:  TMEC Walter Amphitheater, 260 Longwood Ave.   Details.*

4p.  "Progression in Alzheimer's Disease."   Bradley Hyman.   MIT:  46-3310.   Details.

4p.  "Rethinking the American Diet: Optimally Unifying Environmental and Nutritional Science."   Gidon Eshel.   Harvard:  Sheerr Room, Fay House, 10 Garden St.   Details, Abstract.

5p.  "Adding Fuel to the Fire: Borderline Personality Disorder and Substance Use Problems."   Rocco A. Iannucci.   A webinar.   Details, Abstract, Registration.   This webinar will be archived here.

Thursday, December 8

10 - 3p.  "Meadows 1 2 3."   Kathy Connelly.   Garden in the Woods, 180 Hemingway Rd, Framingham.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

Noon.  "Modifiable Risk Factors and Prevention in Late-Life Depression."   Olivia I. Okereke.   McLean Hospital, Service Building, Pierce Hall.   Details.

2:50p.  "Methods for Identifying Combinations of Driver Mutations in Cancer."   Max Leiserson.   Tufts:  Halligan 102.   Details, Abstract.

3p.  "Improving Learning Experience in MOOCs with Educational Content Linking."   Shang-Wen (Daniel) Li.   MIT:  32-G449.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "Extracting the Universe from the Wave Function."   Sean Carroll.   MIT:  10-250.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "Strategies for Measuring Quality: Learning From Across the Globe."   A panel.   HMS:  Cannon Room, Building C114, 240 Longwood Ave.   Details, Registration.

6p.  "Building the First Microprocessor that Communicates using Light."   Miloš A. Popović.   MIT:  Lincoln Lab, Forbes Rd, Lexington.   Details.

6p.  "Understanding Human Variation: Then and Now."   Maryellen Ruvolo.   Harvard Museum of Natural History, Geological Lecture Hall.   Details, Abstract.

7p.  "Music Math."   Dennis Miller and Hubert Ho.   MIT:  Bartos Theater.   Details, Abstract, RSVP.

7p.  "Urban Forests: A Natural History of Trees and People in the American Cityscape."   Jill Jonnes.   Arnold Arboretum:  Hunnewell Building.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

8p.  "The Story of WD 1145+017 – Destruction of an Exoplanet."   Andrew Vanderburg.   Center for Astrophysics, Phillips Auditorium, 60 Garden St.   Details, Abstract.

Friday, December 9

7p.  "Earth in Human Hands: Shaping Our Planet's Future."   David Grinspoon.   Harvard Book Store, 1256 Massachusetts Ave.   Details.


December 10 - 11.   "Computer Science Education Weekend."   Museum of Science:  Locations throughout the Museum.   Details.

Saturday, December 10

10:30a.  "Animal Adaptations."   Boston Nature Center, 500 Walk Hill Street, Mattapan.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

2p.  "Capturing Imaginary Animals with Pencil and Paper."   Harvard Museum of Natural History.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

10:30 - Noon.  "Hidden Diversity: Amphibian Adaptations."   Mara Laslo.   Marvard Museum of Natural History.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

Noon - 4p.  "App Inventor."   MIT Museum, 265 Massachusetts Ave.   Details.

Sunday, December 11

1p.  "Reptiles of the BNC."   Boston Nature Center, 500 Walk Hill Street, Mattapan.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

Noon - 4p.  "Scratch."   MIT Museum, 265 Massachusetts Ave.   Details.

Monday, December 12

3:30p.  "Breaking Through Exoplanetary Atmospheres."   Mercedes Lopez-Morales.   BU:  Room 502, 725 Commonwealth Avenue.   Details, Abstract.

6:30p.  "Linking Music, Reading, and Cognitive Function in the Developing Brain."   Nadine Gaab.   The Burren, 247 Elm St, Somerville.   Details, Abstract.


December 13 - 15.  "Computational Drug Development 2016."   A Conference.   Aloft Seaport Boston, 401-403 D St.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

Tuesday, December 13

8a.  "The Prescription Drug Abuse Epidemic: Finding Solutions with New Technologies in Formulation & Delivery Science."   A Forum.   MassBio, 300 Technology Square, Floor 8, Cambridge.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

10a.  "Characterizing and Modulating Brain Networks with Noninvasive Brain Stimulation."   Alvaro Pascual-Leone.   MIT:  46-3002.   Details.

4p.  "The Evolution of Exoplanets Orbiting Low-mass Stars."   Philip Muirhead.   MIT:  37-252.   Details, Abstract.

Wednesday, December 14

10:30a.  "Early Explorers."   Boston Nature Center, 500 Walk Hill St, Mattapan.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

Friday, December 16

3:15p.  "Trail Detectives' Club."   Boston Nature Center, 500 Walk Hill St, Mattapan.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

11:15a.  "Printing Proteins: Creating biomolecular models for teaching and research using desktop 3D printers."   Eduardo Beltrame.   Brandeis:  Rosenstiel 118.   Details.

Noon and 6p.  "The Third Tower: Solving the Mystery of WTC 7."   Richard Gage and Leroy Hulsey.   BSA Space, 290 Cobgress St. #200.   Details, Abstract.

Saturday, December 17

Noon - 4p.  "Data Sculptures."   MIT Museum, 265 Massachusetts Ave.   Details.

Sunday, December 18

Noon - 4p.  "Paper Circuits."   MIT Museum, 265 Massachusetts Ave.   Details.

Tuesday, December 20

6:30p.  "Astrophysics Knowns and Unknowns."   Priyamvada Natarajan.   Belmont Media Center, 9 Lexington, Belmont.   Details, Abstract.

Wednesday, December 21

6:30p.  "Microsoft Interop and Azure Clouds."   Dan Stolts.   MIT:  E51-315.   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 esexton@genetics.med.harvard.edu (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 kbarry6@partnes.org.  Events in the medical area that do not carry an asterisk have announced explicitly that they are open to the general public.

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