Selected Lectures on Science and Engineering
in the Boston Area


This URL calls the correct files: bostonsciencelectures.com

The main purpose of this list is to convey a sense of the driving issues in contemporary science and technology through a schedule of talks in this area about these issues.   From time to time I include events outside this focus that seem likely to be of interest to the technical community.

Caveats: The list is not remotely comprehensive and selection criteria are subjective.  I tend to list events that offer a physical speaker and accommodate physical attendance, though unusually interesting webinars might slip in.  Courses, exhibits, and networking 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.  Important details change at the last minute;  some events have limited seating and get sold out;  there are many steps in this process and each step has an error rate.  For all of these reasons I strongly urge you to doublecheck the "Details" link before you head out.

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

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: 4.1327

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



Wednesday, March 4

9:30a.  "Positive Psychological Interventions for Patients with Affective Disorders: The Hype and Hope of Happiness."   Jeffrey Huffman.   McLean Hospital, 115 Mill St., de Marneffe 218, Belmont.   Details.

Noon.  "The Missing Link? An Archaeological Perspective on Homo heidelbergensis."   Michael Chazan.   Harvard:  Tozzer 203.   Details.

Noon.  "The Policeman at the Elbow: The Neuroscience of Addiction, Self-Control, and Criminal Responsibility."   A panel discussion.   HLS:  Wasserstein 3019.   Details, Abstract.

2p.  "The Pharmacology of Social Bonding: Implications for Novel Therapeutic Strategies to Improve Social Cognition."   Larry Young.   BU:  L-110.   Details.

2:30p.  "The Challenge of Radiation for Deep Space Exploration."   Kathy Held.   MIT:  37-212.   Details.

4p.  "Capturing Experience."   Yingxi Lin.   Brandeis:  Gerztenzang 121.   Details.

4p.  "Hydromechanical Challenges (and Opportunities) During Geologic Carbon Storage."   Joshua White.   MIT:  1-131.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "Stability, Control and Estimation in Cyber-Physical Systems: Challenges, Opportunities and Future Decisions."   Kenneth Loparo.   BU:  8 St. Mary's, Photonics Building 210.   Details, Abstract.

5 - 7p.  "The Future of Medicine, Science, and Technology."   A symposium.   HMS:  New Research Building, 77 Avenue Louis Pasteur.   Details, RSVP.*

5:30p.  "Cell Mechanics and Human Diseases."   Ming Dao.   Harvard:  Maxwell Dworkin Lounge.  Details, Abstract.

6p.  "Diverse Brains."   Morton Ann Gernsbacher.   Gernsbacher's Lab.   MIT:  Singleton Auditorium (46-3002).   Details, Abstract .

7p.  "3D Printing: Making the Future."   Jennifer A. Lewis.   Harvard Science Center C.   Details, Abstract.

7p.  "Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World."   Bruce Schneier.   Harvard Book Store, 1256 Massachusetts Ave.   Details, Abstract.

7p.  "Wild Orchids of New England."   Bill Brumback.   Cambridge Public Library, 449 Broadway, Cambridge.   Details, Abstract.

Thursday, March 5

8a.   "Genetics, Genes and Pathways in IBD."   Ramnik Xavier.   Beth Israel DMC, Sherman Auditorium, East Campus.   Details.

8:30a.  "Rethinking the Response to Emerging Microbes: Vaccines and Therapeutics in the Ebola Era."   A forum.   HMS:  The Joseph B. Martin Conference Center, New Research Building, 77 Avenue Louis Pasteur.   Details, RSVP.

10a.  "The Integration of Information into Memory Networks of the Brain."   Marc Coutanche.   MIT:  46-3189.   Details.

Noon.  "Polymicrobial Interactions in Wound Infections."   Kendra Rumbaugh.   Forsyth Institute, 245 First St, Cambridge.   Details.

Noon.  "The Risks and Consequences of Nuclear Weapons."   Scott Kemp and David Wright.   MIT:  1-135.   Details, RSVP.

Noon.  "The Role of the Medial Temporal Lobes in Future-Oriented Thought: Evidence from amnesia."   Mieke H. Verfaellie.   Brandeis:  Lurias, Hassenfeld Conference Center.   Details.

2p.  "Synaptic and Cellular Diversity of Primate Prefrontal Pathways Involved in Cognition."   Maria Medalla.   BU:  L-1008.   Details.

4p.  "Cognition and Sexual Selection: How the brain biases mate choice."   Michael J. Ryan.   Ryan lab.   Harvard:  Biolabs Bldg, Main Lecture Hall.   Details.

4p.  "Exploration and Description in the Digital Humanities: Words, Maps, and Models."   Zephyr Frank.   Harvard:  Robonson Basement Conf Rm.  Details.

4p.  "Improving Interfaces through Data Mining."   Eytan Adar.   Harvard:  Maxwell Dworkin G115.   Details, Abstract.

4:30p.  "Race for the Double Helix."   Film Screening and Discussion.   Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, 24 Quincy Street.   Details, Registration.

6p.  "The Revolution in Plant Evolution."   Pamela Soltis.   Harvard Museum of Natural History, Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford.   Details, Abstract.

7p.  "Future Crimes: Everything Is Connected, Everyone Is Vulnerable, and What We Can Do About It."   Marc Goodman.   Harvard Book Store, 1256 Massachusetts Ave.   Details, Abstract.

Friday, March 6

Noon.  "A Physicist Looks at the Brain."   Andrea Gabrielli.   BU:  Metcalf 352.   Details.

2p.  "Sniffing Out Dark Matter at the LHC."   Philip Harris, CERN.   MIT:  26-414.   Details, Abstract.

3p.  "Energy Revolution: The Physics and the Promise of Efficient Technology."   Mara Prentiss.   Harvard Book Store, 1256 Massachusetts Ave.   Details, Abstract.

4 - 6p.  "Making Movement: A Neuronal Basis for Motor Coordination."   Ariel Levine.   MIT: 46-3002.   Details.

6:30 - 9p.  "Cannabis Genetics & Testing."   Michael Kahn.   Microsoft NERD, One Memorial Drive.   Details, Registration.

Saturday, March 7

9:30 - Noon.  "Biodiversity in the Avian World."   Allison Shultz and Maude Baldwin.   Harvard Museum of Natural History, 26 Oxford St.   Details, Abstract.

11-4p.  "Girls Day."   Make, Create, Fabricate.   MIT Museum, 265 Massachusetts Ave.   Details.

1-3p.  "Airzookas."   Experiment with air toroids and fog rings.   Terry Murray.   Parts and Crafts, 577 Somerville Ave.   Details, Abstract.

1 - 6p.  "Biohacking."   Hands on Genetic Engineering.   A Meetup.   BOSSLab, 339r Summer St, Somerville.   Details, FAQ.

Monday, March 9

Noon.  "Reading and the Brain: A Workshop."   Joanna Christodoulou.   Harvard School of Education:  Longfellow Hall 320, 13 Appian Way.   Details, RSVP.

Noon.  "System Architecture and Bitcoin: The Opportunities and Challenges."   Sascha Boehme.   A webinar.   Details, Registration.

12:10p.  "Hydraulic Limits to Tree Height."   Nathan Phillips.   Arnold Arboretum, 1300 Centre St.   Details.

1p.  "Vortex Knots in Fluids and Superfluids."   Dustin Kleckner.   Brandeis:  Gerztenzang 121.   Details, Abstract.

5p.  "From Sand Castles To Urban Modeling: A Physicist's Naive Thoughts on Construction and Cities."   Henri Van Damme.   MIT:  1-190.   Details, Abstract.

7p.  "Convergent Evolution: Charles Darwin, Alfred Russel Wallace, and the discovery of natural selection."   Andrew Berry and Janet Browne.   The Burren, Davis Sq.   Details.

Tuesday, March 10

10a.  "Navigating through Emotional and Social Memory Space in the Human Brain."   Daniela Schiller.   Schiller lab.   MIT:  46-3310.  Details, Abstract.

11a.  "Development and Applications of CRISPR-Cas9 for Genome Editing."   Feng Zhang.   McLean Hospital:  de Marneffe 132.   Details.

Noon.  "Deep Learning: Present, Challenges and Future."   Kyunghyun Cho.   Tufts:  Halligan 102.   Details.

12:30p.   "Distributed and Digital Disaster Response."   A Berkman Luncheon.   Willow Brugh.   Webcast details.   Podcast details.   RSVP required for lunch.   Harvard: Berkman Center for the Internet and Society, 23 Everett St, 2nd Flr.   Details, RSVP, Summary.

12:30p.  "For Whom the Bells Toll: Networked circadian clocks in the brain."   Erik Herzog.   Brandeis:  Gerstenzang 121.   Details.

3p.  "Walking Grains, Rolling Colloids, Swimming Droplets … How Universal Are Transitions to Collective Motion in Active Matter?"   Olivier Dauchot.   Youtube Channel.   Harvard:  Lyman 425.   Details, Abstract.

5p.  "Homo Sapiens 2.0: Genetic Enhancement, Ethics, and the Future of Humanity."   Jamie Metzl.   Brandeis:  Gerstenzang 121.   Details.

6p.  "Decade of Discovery."   Celebrating 10 years of groundbreaking science on stage.   Central Square Theater, 450 Massachusetts Ave.   Details, Tickets.

6p.  "High-Tech Med: The newest wave of medical innovation."   A panel discussion.   Follow events live on #HMSminimed.   HMS:  Joseph B. Martin Conference Center, 77 Avenue Louis Pasteur.   Details, Registration.

6 - 8p.  "Is There Still Room for Gluten?  Separating Science from Supposition."   Alessio Fasano.   Russell Museum of Medical History, 2 North Grove Street.   Details.

6p.  "North America's Shale Gas Resources: Energy and Environmental Perspectives."   John H. Shaw.   Harvard:  Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford Street.   Details.

6 - 8:30p.   "SCIENCE with/in/sight."   Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, 500 Main Street, Cambridge.   Details, Registration.

7:30p.  "The Reintroduction of the American Burying Beetle to Nantucket Island."   Andrew Mckenna-Foster.   Harvard:  Museum of Comparative Zoology 101, 26 Oxford St.   Details, Abstract.

Wednesday, March 11

11a.  "Toward Robots That Learn From Everyday People."   Sonia Chernova.   Harvard:  60 Oxford St, Room 330.   Details, Abstract.

Noon - 6p.  "Polymer Day."   A Poster Contest and Symposium.   MIT:  50-140, 54-100.   Details.

4p.  "For Whom the Bells Toll: Networked circadian clocks in the brain."   Erik Herzog.   Brandeis:  Gerztenzang 121.   Details.

Thursday, March 12

2p.  "A Brief History of Time in Chemistry."   Gregoriy Yablonsky.   Brandeis:  Gerstenzang 122.   Details.

4p.  "Interaction as Manipulation."   Anca Dragan.   MIT:  Stata Center (32-G449).   Details.

6 - 9p.  "Juvenile Justice & the Adolescent Brain: Is Healthy Neurodevelopment a Civil Right?."   A symposium.   HMS:  Joseph B. Martin Conference Center, 77 Avenue Louis Pasteur.   Details, RSVP.

6p.  "Volcanic Winter, Population Bottlenecks, and Human Evolution."   Stanley H. Ambrose.   Harvard:   Peabody Museum.   Details.

8p.  "Dark Energy and Cosmic Sound."   Daniel Eisenstein.   Harvard-Smithsonian:  Phillips Auditorium, 60 Garden.   Details, Abstract.


March 13 - 14.  "Big Data Hackathon."   Hack/Reduce, 275 Third St, Cambridge.   Details, Registration.

Friday, March 13

9:30a.  "DigiCamp 2015."   An unconference on technology in libraries.   Simmons College, Lefavour Hall, Kotzen Room, 2 Avenue Louis Pasteur.   Details.

Noon.   "Measuring Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide from Space: Early results from the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2)."   David Crisp.   Harvard:  Pierce 100F.   Details.

12:30p.  "Billions and Billions of Molecules: Exploring Chemical Space."   Alan Aspuru-Guzik.   Harvard:  Maxwell Dworkin G115.   Details, Abstract.

3p.  "The Future of Violence: Robots and Germs, Hackers and Drones—Confronting A New Age of Threat."   Gabriella Blum.   Harvard Book Store, 1256 Massachusetts Ave.   Details, abstracts.

5 - 8p.  "Nautical Night."   MIT Museum, 265 Massachusetts Ave.   Details, Abstract.


March 14 - 15.  "The Intel® IoT Roadshow Hackathon."   Greentown Labs, 28 Dane St, Somerville.   Details, Registration.

Saturday, March 14

PI Day.  PI Day this year is special.  But you knew that.  .

10:30a.  "Spring into Health."   Rhoda Kubrick, Arboretum Docent.   Arnold Arboretum, Hunnewell Bldg.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

Sunday, March 15

Noon.  "The Chestnut Hill Pumping Engines."   Waterworks Museum, 2450 Beacon St.   Details.

Monday, March 16

4:30p.  "Helping Different Kinds of Minds Succeed."   Temple Grandin.   MIT:  Media Lab, E14-674.   Details, Abstract.

7p.  "Arsenic and Old Lace."   A National Evening of Science on Screen.   Deborah Blum will address the chemistry issues.   Coolidge Corner, 290 Harvard St.   Details.

Tuesday, March 17

4p.  "Manufacturing, Actuation, Sensing, and Control for Robotic Insects."   Robert J. Wood .   Brandeis:  Abelson 131.   Details.

6:30p.  "Looking for Signatures of Life on Mars."   Roger Summons.   Biomarkers.   Belmont Media Center, 9 Lexington St.   Details, Abstract.

6:30 - 8:30p.  "Mobility and Your Personal Cloud."   A panel discussion.   Constant Contact, Great Room, 1601 Trapelo Road, Waltham.   Details, Registration, Abstract.

7p.  "Decoding the World's Most Poisonous Mushrooms."   Anne Pringle.   Cafe Artscience, 650 Kendall St, Cambridge.   Details, Registration.

Wednesday, March 18

12:30p.  "The Orchard Ecosystem."   Michael Phillips.   Wellesley College:  Science Center 277.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

1 - 5p.  "Enhancing Learning and Memory: Current Status."   A symposium.   BU School of Education, 2 Silber Way, Room 130.   Details.

6:30p.  "Linux Soup XV."   Christoph Doerbeck.   MIT:  E51-315.   Details.

Thursday, March 19

4p.  "Regenerative Medicine."   Alan Russell.   Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Meltzer Auditorium, 243 Charles St.   Details.

Friday, March 20

11a.  "Microrobotic Platforms in Bioengineering and Translational Medicine."   Mahmut Sakar.   BU:  110 Cummington St 245.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "The Dynamic Brain."   Charles Gilbert.   MIT:  46-3002, 43 Vassar St.   Details.


March 21 - 22.   Libre Planet 2015.   An annual conference for free software enthusiasts.   MIT:  Stata Center.   Details, Registration.

Monday, March 23

4p.  "Computer Vision that is Changing Our Lives."   Amnon Shashua.   MIT:  46-3002.   Details.

7p.  "China, Biodiversity, and the Global Environment."   Peter Raven.   Arnold Arboretum, Hunnewell Bldg.   Details, Register.

7p.  "Music and the Brain."   Stan Strickland and Aniruddh Patel.   MIT:  List Visual Arts Center, Bartos Theatre.   Details.

7p.  "Shrinks: The Untold Story of Psychiatry."   Jeffrey A. Lieberman.   Harvard Book Store, 1256 Massachusetts Ave.   Details, Abstract.

Tuesday, March 24

1p.  "Breakthrough in Antibiotics Resistance."   Kim Lewis.   Belmont Media Center, 9 Lexington St.   Details, Abstract.

5p.  "Functional Imaging of Single Cells in the Living Eye."   David R. Williams.   New England College of Optometry, 424 Beacon Street, Boston.   Details, Abstract, RSVP.

6p.  "Neural Mechanisms of Social Bonding: Implications for Novel Therapies for Autism."   Larry Young.   Harvard:  Northwest B103, 52 Oxford.   Details, Abstract.

Thursday, March 26

9a - 4:30p.  "Climate Change and the Future of Plant Life."   A symposium.   Microsoft NERD, One Memorial Drive.   Details, Register.


March 27 - 29.  "Hacking iCorruption."   A HackaThon.   Harvard: Safra Center for Ethics, 124 Mount Auburn, Suite 520N, and MIT Media Lab, E14, 3rd flr Atrium.   Details, Registration.

Friday, March 27

7p.  "Climate Shock: The Economic Consequences of a Hotter Planet."   Gernot Wagner and Martin Weitzman.   Harvard Book Store, 1256 Massachusetts Ave.   Details, Abstract.



*Admission to buildings in Harvard's medical area often (but, confusingly, not always) 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, that have sponsors with whom they have no experience, and who are unsure if their ID will guarantee access, might want to email the contact 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 appear (to me) willing to accept the unaffiliated.

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