Selected Lectures on Science and Engineering
in the Boston Area


This URL calls the correct files: bostonsciencelectures.com

The main purpose of this effort is to convey a sense of the driving issues in contemporary science and technology, although from time to time I include events outside this focus -- such as DIY workshops -- that seem likely to be of interest to the technical community.

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.  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.   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: 19.2146

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



April 17 - 26.  "Cambridge Science Festival."   Details.

Monday, April 20

1 - 4p.  "Mathternoon @ the MIT Museum."   A Cambridge Science Festival event.   MIT Museum, 265 Massachusetts.   Details.

9a.  "Brain-Wide Neural Dynamics Underlying Looming-Evoked Escapes and Spontaneous Exploration."   Timothy Dunn.   Harvard:  Yenching Auditorium, 2 Divinity Ave.   Details.

11:30 - 1p.  "Designing Adaptive Prediction Markets."   Rafael Frongillo.   Harvard:  Maxwell Dworkin 119.   Details, Abstract.

Noon.  "How Much Energy do Building Energy Codes Really Save? Evidence from California."   Arik Levinson.   HKS:  Belfer Bldg, Bell Hall, 79 JFK St.   Details.

12:10p.  "Ornamentals Gone Wild: How Horticulture Contributed to Invasion of the Callery Pear Tree."   Theresa Culley.   Arnold Arboretum:  Weld Hill Lecture Hall, 1300 Centre St.   Details.

2p.  "Lightbox Navigations: KCR."   Ivan Sigal.   Lightbox Gallery, Level 5, Harvard Art Music, 32 Quincy St.   Details.

6:50p.  "CCD Image Processing."   Neil Fleming.   Second session of an Amateur Telescope Makers of Boston event.   Chelmsford Center for the Arts, 1A North Road, Chelmsford, MA.   Details, Abstract.

6:30 - 8:30p.   "Eating Bottles, Drinking Clouds, and Texting Your Evening Meal."   Dave Edwards.   Café ArtScience and Le Laboratoire Cambridge, 650 East Kendall St.   Details, Tickets.

Tuesday, April 21

11:30 - 3p.  "Undergraduate Research Conference."   Kendall Square Marriott.   Details, Register.

Noon.  "Casting Light on Antimatter: Fundamental Physics with the ALPHA Antihydrogen Trap."   Makoto C. Fujiwara.   MIT:  26-414.   Details, Abstract.

Noon.   "Classes of Defense for Computer Systems."   A Berkman Luncheon.   Josephine Wolff.   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.  "How Does The Brain Generate Behavioral Sequences?"   Michael Long.   Brandeis:  Gerstenzang 121.   Details.

12:30p.  "Pluto Strikes Back!"   Scott J. Kenyon.   MIT:  54-517.   Details.

12:30p.  "Signal Sensing and Processing by Bacteria. An E. coli view of the world."   Mark Goulian.   HMS:  NRB 1031 (200 Longwood).   Details.*

1 - 4p.  "What Will They Print Up Next?"   MIT Museum. Details.

3 - 7p.  "Maternal Care or Neuronal Despair? What Parenting Looks Like in the Brain."   A symposium.   Harvard:  Northwest B-101.   Details.

5p.  "The Smartest Targets for the World."   Bjorn Lomborg.   Harvard Geological Museum, 24 Oxford St.   Details, Abstract.

6 - 9p.   "Boston Quantified Self Show & Tell."   A meetup.   Microsoft NERD, One Memorial Dr.   Details, RSVP.

6p.  "Manufacturing Across Scales - Carbon Nanotube Sensors."   Christofer Hierold.   swissnex Boston, 420 Broadway, Cambridge.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

6:30p.  "J-Walt's Spontaneous Fantasia."   Museum of Science, Charles Hayden Planetarium.   Details.

6:30p.  "Smart Grid Energy and Cybersecurity."   Jeffrey Hahn.   Northeastern:  442 Curry Center, 360 Huntington.   Details.   Abstract.

7p.  "Why 60 Minutes? 5,000 Years of Tradition & Science."   Robert Coolman.   Cafe Artscience, 650 Kendall St, Cambridge.   Details, RSVP.

7:30 - 10p.  "The Story Collider: Gravity."   A panel disucussion.   Oberon, 2 Arrow St, Harvard Square, Cambridge.   Details.

Wednesday, April 22

2p.  "Dr. Can-Do Science Experiments."   Boston Public Library: Faneuil Branch, 419 Faneuil Street, Brighton.   Details.

10 - 4p.   "Dive Into Ocean Science."   MIT Museum.   Details.

Noon.  "3D Printed Bionic Nanomaterials."   Michael McAlpine.   MIT:  34-401.   Details.

Noon.  "Privacy: The Core Driving Feature of New Technology Services."   Auren Hoffman, CEO, LiveRamp.   HLS WCC 2012.   Details.

Noon.  "Using MEG to Decipher Functional Connectivity Abnormalities in Autism, and Map the Normal Development of Resting State Networks."   Tal Kenet.   Martinos Center:  Room 2204, 149 13th St, Charlestown Navy Yard.   Details, Abstract.

2:30p.  "Latest Results about the Hubble Ultra-Deep Field Images."   Rogier Windhorst.   MIT:  37-212.   Details.

4p.  "Boredom, Arousal, and Neural Networks."   Joshua Trachtenberg.   Brandeis:  Gerstenzang 121.   Details.

6 - 8p.  "How Behavior Analysis Can Help Shelter Dogs."   Terri Bright.   Tufts:  Braker 001, 8 Upper Campus Rd, Medford.   Details, Abstract.

6:30p.  "The Hidden Forest."   Susan Goldhor.   Arnold Arboretum, Hunnewell Building.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

7p.  "Evolution and Environmental Toxins."   Emily Monosson.   Belmont Public Library, 336 Concord Ave, Belmont.   Details.

Thursday, April 23

8 - 5p.  "Art, Technology, Psyche."   A celebration.   Arts@ 29 Garden.   Details, RSVP.

Noon.   "Does Cognitive Decline Predict Older Adults' bias Toward Out-Groups?"   Anne Krendl.   Brandeis:  Shapiro Campus Center.   Details, Abstract.

3:30p.  "It Takes MOXIE to Send People to Mars."   Michael Hecht.   BU:  725 Commonwealth Room 502.   Details.

4p.  "Modelling Human Brain Development in 3D Culture."   Jürgen Knoblich.   MIT:  32-141.   Details.

4p.  "The Praise for Quantum Field Theory."   Alexander Polyakov.   MIT:  10-250.   Details, Abstract.

6p.  "Islands: Natural Laboratories of Evolution."   Jonathan B. Losos.   Harvard:  Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford St.   Details, Abstract.

6p.   "Black (W)hole."   Central Square Theater, 450 Massachusetts Ave, Central Square.   Details.

6:30p.  "Build a Laser Tag Omniwheel Robot #1."   Joe McDermott.   Einstein's Workshop, 25 Adams St, Burlington.   Details.

7p.  "Luminous Seas."   Brian Skerry.   New England Aquarium:  Simons IMAX Theater.   Details, Abstract, Registration.


April 24 - 25.  "Farming, Food, and the Future."   MIT Sustainability Summit 2015.   MIT:  McDermott Court.   Details, abstract.

April 24 - 26.  "Hacking Medicine."   MIT Media Lab.   Details, Registration.

Friday, April 24

11 - 2p.  "Behind the Beaker, Beyond the Machines: The Exciting World of Cancer Research at MIT."   MIT:  76-100.   Details, Abstract.

12:30p.  "Data: A Love Story: How Data Science, and a great deal of tinkering, created the biggest dating site in the U.S."   Christian Rudder.   Harvard:  Dworkin G115, 33 Oxford St.   Details.

6p.  "Your Baby's Brain."   Lindsey Powell.   MIT:  46-3002, 43 Vassar St.   Details, Abstract.

7p.  "Birth of a Theorem: A Mathematical Adventure."   Cédric Villani.   Harvard Book Store, 1256 Massachusetts Ave.   Details.

7p.  "Neurobiology and Music."   A performance collaborative.   Broad Institute, 415 Main Street, Cambridge.   Details, Abstract.


April 25 - 26.   "The Second International Workshop on Mammalian Synthetic Biology."   MIT:  26-100.   Details, Abstract.

Saturday, April 25

9:30 - 2p.  "Science Fest for Young Ones."   Museum of Science.   Details, Abstract.

9 - 12:30p.  "Engineering and Physical Biology (EPB) Symposium."   Harvard:  Northwest B101, 52 Oxford St.   Details.

9 - Noon.   "Members' Tours."   Arnold Arboreteum.   Details, Abstract.

Sunday, April 26

7 - 9a.   "Spring Bird Walk."   Boston Nature Center, 500 Walk Hill St.   Details.

Monday, April 27

8:30 - 5p.  "Internal Models of Sensorimotor and Cognitive Function."   A symposium.   MIT:   46-3002.   Details, Registration.

Noon.  "High Dimensional Brains."   Stefano Fusi.   BU:  2 Cummington Mall 109.   Details.

Noon.   "Low-Carbon Leapfrogging and Globalization: How China Developed its Solar PV Industry."   Christian Binz.   HKS:  Belfer Bldg, Bell Hall.   Details.

12:10p.  "Urban Nature / Human Nature."   Peter Del Tredici.   Arnold Arboretum.   Details.

1p.  "Towards Universal Syntactic Processing of Natural Language."   Slav Petrov.   MIT:  32-G449.   Details, Abstract.

4:15p.  "Incorporations: Capitalism and Collectivity."   Martin Hull.   Harvard:  Tozzer 203.   Details.

7p.  "Faces, Genes, Patterns, Stories."   Alberta Chu and Murray O. Robinson.   MIT:  Bartos Theater, E15.   Details, Registration.

Tuesday, April 28

12:30p.   "Intellectual Privacy."   A Berkman Luncheon.   Neil Richards.   Webcast details.   Podcast details.   RSVP required for lunch.   Harvard: Details, RSVP, Summary.

3p.  "Coupling DNA Reactions and Diffusion for Self-Assembling Complex Structures and Patterns."   Rebecca Schulman.   Harvard:  Lyman 425.   Details, Abstract.

3p.  "How can We Make Progress in Psychiatric Research?"   Stephan Heckers.   MIT:  46-3002.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "Building Newborn Minds in Virtual Worlds."   Justin Wood.   MIT:  46-3189.   Details.

4p.  "Dark Matter Dynamics."   Tom Abel.   MIT:  37-252.   Details, Abstracts.

4p.  "Sculpting Neuronal Connections: The logic and mechanisms of axon growth and pruning."   Marc Tessier-Lavigne.   MIT:  32-123.   Details.

6p.  "The Dog Catacombs of Annubis."   Paul Nicholson.   Harvard:  Yenching Auditorium, 2 Divinity Ave.   Details, Abstract.

7-8:30p.   "Healthy Places in the Transition Century."   Ann Forsyth.   Arnold Arboretum, Hunnewell Building.   Details, Abstract.

Wednesday, April 29

9:30a.  "Early Identification of Autism: A Cognitive Neuroscience Perspective."   Charles A. Nelson.   McLean Hospital:  Imaging Conference Center, 2nd flr.   Details.

Noon.  "Massive Migration from the Steppe is a Source for Indo-European Languages in Europe."   David Reich.   Harvard:  Tozzer 203.   Details.

4p.  "Deciphering the Evolution of a Cancer, One Cell at a Time."   Itai Yanai.   Harvard:  Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Sheerr Room, Fay House, 10 Garden Street.   Details.

6:30 - 8:30p.   "Eating Bottles, Drinking Clouds, and Texting Your Evening Meal."   David Edwards.   Café ArtScience and Le Laboratoire Cambridge, 650 East Kendall Street.   Details, Abstract, Tickets.

7p.  "Celebrating Right Whales: The Trials and Triumphs of a Species on the Edge."   Amy Knowlton.   New England Aquarium, Simons IMAX Theater.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

Thursday, April 30

11a.  "How Convicts, Mutineers and Sun Worshippers Shaped Genetic Eye Research in Australia."   David Mackey.   Boston Children's Hospital:   Center for Life Sciences, 12th Floor Conference Room, 3 Blackfan Circle.   Details.

4p.  "Bringing Together Physics, Biology, and Medicine to Hit HIV Where it Hurts."   Arup Chakraborty.   MIT:  10-250.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "The First Seconds of Episodic Memory, and the Years Thereafter."   Yadin Dudai.   MIT:  46-3002.   Details.

4:15p.  "The Memory Factory."   Elizabeth F. Loftus.   Harvard:  Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Knafel Center, 10 Garden Street.   Details.

4:30p.   "Self-Tuning Neurons and Brain Stability."   Gina Turrigiano.   Brandeis:  Rapaporte Treasure Hall, Goldfarb Library.   Details, Abstract.

7p.  "Computing on Encrypted Data."   Vinod Vaikuntanathan.   MIT:  32-G449.   Details, Abstract.

7:30p.  "NASA Programs in Materials Science – Telescience on the ISS."   Douglas Matson.   Hyatt Regency Cambridge.   Details, Registration.

Friday, May 1

3p.  "Social Learning and Coordination in Networks."   Ali Jababaie.   BU:  8 St. Mary's 210.   Details, Abstract.


May 2 - 3.   "Urban and Suburban Carbon Farming to Reverse Global Warming."   A conference.   Harvard Science Center.   Details, Registration.

Saturday, May 2

10:30a.  "Exploring Science Together: Plants!"   Harvard Museum of Natural History, 26 Oxford Street.   Details, Registration.

9 - 11:30a.  "Understanding Thyroid Nodules and Thyroid Cancer."   A forum.   Mass. Eye and Ear, 243 Charles St.   Details.

Monday, May 4

6p.  "Building Buoyancy: How Does Pond Scum Float?"   Judith Herzfeld.   SOLEA Restaurant & Tapas Bar, 388 Moody St, Waltham.   Details.


May 5 - 6.   "Understanding, Managing, and Reducing the Risks of Climate Change."   A symposium.   Geological Lecture Hall and the Arnold Arboretum.   Details.

Tuesday, May 5

2 - 5p.  "Genome Editing: From Bacteria to Therapy."   A symposium.   HMS:  Jimmy Fund Auditorium.   Details.*

4p.  "Heavy Element Synthesis in the Universe."   Enrico Ramirez-Ruiz.   MIT:  37-252.   Details.

6p.  "Teeth and Human Evolution."   Tanya M. Smith.   Harvard:  Peabody Museum, 11 Divinity Ave.   Details, Abstract.

6p.  "The Upright Thinkers: The Human Journey from Living In Trees to Understanding The Cosmos."   Leonard Mlodinow.   Brattle Theatre:  40 Brattle St.   Details, Abstract.

7p.  "Project Puffin: The Improbable Quest to Bring a Beloved Seabird Back to Egg Rock."   Stephen W. Kress and Derrick Z. Jackson.   New England Aquarium, Simons IMAX Theater.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

7:30p.  "Mineralogy of the Tilly Foster Iron Mine."   Ted Johnson.   Harvard:  Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford St.   Details, Abstract.

Wednesday, May 6

4p.  "DNA Damage, DNA Repair, and Human Health."   Leona D. Samson.   Harvard:  Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Sheerr Room, Fay House, 10 Garden Street.   Details, Abstract.

7p.  "Land Stewardship for Pollinator Conservation."   Kelly Gill, Pollinator Conservation Specialist, Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.   Cambridge Public Library, 449 Broadway, Cambridge.   Details, Abstract.

Thursday, May 7

Noon.  "Comment's Mysteries."   Joseph Reagle.   MIT Media Lab, 3rd floor.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "Ecology and Evolution of Bacterial Populations in the Wild."   Martin Polz.   MIT:  32-141.   Details.

4p.  "Towards Artificial Living Materials."   Michael Brenner.   MIT:  10-250.   Details, Abstract.

4:30p.  "Climate Change & Scientific Consensus."   Naomi Oreskes.   MIT:  E19-623.   Details.

5:30 - 8p.  "Pushing the Limits of Lifespan."   A conference.   The Broad Institute, 415 Main Street, Cambridge.   Details, Registration.

6p.  "The Half-Wild, Half-Captive Elephants of Burma."   Vicki Constantine Croke.   Harvard:  Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford Street.   Details.

7 - 9p.  "Alive Inside: Music As Medicine."   Takao Hensch and Gottfried Schlaug.   Museum of Science, Cahners Theater.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

Friday, May 8

3 - 5p.  "Student Symposium."   MIT:  46-3002.   Details.

7p.  "The Lost World of The Old Ones: Discoveries in the Ancient Southwest."   David Roberts.   Harvard Book Store, 1256 Massachusetts Ave.   Details, Abstract.

May 9 - 10.   Humanitarian Technology Festival MIT Media Lab, 75 Amherst St, Cambridge.   Details, Registration.

Saturday, May 9

2 - 4p.  "Science and Racism."   Museum of Science, Gordon Center.   Details.

Tuesday, May 12

3:30p.  "Self-Healing Polymers."   Jeffrey Moore.   Brandeis:  Gerstenzang 121.   Details.

Thursday, May 14

8 - 7:30p.  "Social Media for Nonprofits- Boston."   Microsoft NERD, One Memorial Drive.   Details.

9 - 1p.  "The Physics, Mathematics and Neuroscience of Cortical Function."   A symposium.   BU:  24 Cummington B01.   Details.

7p.  "The Soul of an Octopus."   Sy Montgomery.   New England Aquarium, Simons IMAX Theater.   Details.

Friday, May 15

8:30 - 4p.   "COMSOL Multiphysics simulation."   Demo of a proprietary physics simulation engine.   COMSOL, Inc., 1 New England Executive Park, Burlington.   Details.



*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 have announced explicitly that they are open to the general public.

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