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, 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.  Continuing or ongoing events and meetups with no special focus are not well handled.  Activity falls considerably over the summer and winter holidays.  The list goes on vacation in the last weeks of June and December and the first weeks of July and January.

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: 01.2306

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

Wednesday, December 2

Noon.  "Chromosome Structure, Transcription and Cancer: pick two out of three."   Arjun Raj.   HMS:  NRB 350.   Details.*

3p.  "Modeling the Physics and Performance Issues in Advanced Battery Technologies."   Emily Ryan.   BU:  Hariri Institute for Computing, Room 180.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "Aging, White Matter Integrity and Dementia in Adults with Down Syndrome: Neurobiological Mechanisms."   Elizabeth Head.   Harvard Institutes of Medicine, Bray Room, 77 Avenue Louis Pasteur.   Details.*

4p.  "Beyond The Fictitious Average Brain: Beginning Steps Toward Studying the Individual."   Randy Buckner.   MIT:  46-3002.   Details.

4p.  "Causal Inference and Explanation to Improve Human Health."   Samantha Kleinberg.   MIT:  32-D463.   Details.

4p.  "I, Robot: Blurring the lines between Mind, Body and Robotics."   Ralph Etienne-Cummings.   BU:  8 St. Mary's, PHO 205.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "Understanding the Molecular Basis of Long Term Memory."   Margaret Stratton.   Brandeis:  Gerstenzang 121.   Details.

4:30p.  "The Neurobiology of Sex, Gender, and Parenting."   Catherine Dulac.   Harvard:  Yenching Auditorium, 2 Divinity Ave.   Details.

6 - 9p.  "Birdly."   Max Rheiner.   Le Laboratoire, 650 Kendall St.   Details, RSVP.

6p.  "Three Ways to Live the High Life: Andean, Tibetan, and East African."   Cynthia Beall.   Harvard:  Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford St.   Details.

7p.  "Food Security in the Face of a Changing Climate."   MIT:  32-123.   This event will be webcast.   Details.

Thursday, December 3

Noon.  "Learning and Memory Interactions in Adolescence."   Juliet Davidow.   Harvard:  WJH 765.   Details, Abstract.

Noon.  "Using Pollen Analysis for Monitoring Ancient and Modern Environments."   Guy Robinson.   Tufts:  Rabb Room, Lincoln Filene Center.   Details.

12:30p.  "Control of Gene Expression Programs."   Rick Young.   HMS:  C Bldg, Cannon Rm.   Details.*

2:50p.  "Mathematics of Big Data: Unifying Spreadsheets, Databases, Matrices, and Graphs."   Jeremy Kepner.   Tufts:  Halligan 102.   Details, Abstract.

3 - 5p.  "2D, 3D, and Multispectral Imaging for Cultural Heritage Collections."   A panel discussion.   Harvard:  Tsai Auditorium, CGIS South, 1730 Cambridge.   Details.

4p.  "Dynamic Properties of Neural Circuits for Vision."   Martin Usrey.   MIT:  46-3002.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "Interactive Information Theory."   Gillat Kol.   MIT:  32-G575.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "Intertwined Geophysical and Ecological Processes in the Evolution of the Himalayan Flora."   Maharah Pandit.   Harvard:    Details.

4p.  "Learning and Efficiency in Games with Dynamic Population."   Eva Tardos.   Background viewing.   Harvard:  Maxwell Dworkin G115.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "Manufacturing Insect-scale Machines."   Pratheev Sreetharan.   MIT:  10-250.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "Probing and Programming Biomolecular Machines."   Mark Bathe.   MIT:  32-141.   Details.

4:30p.  "Technology for Brain Stimulation."   Nicholas Schiff.   MIT:  E25-111.   Details, Abstract.

4:30p.  "Plugged-In Patients: Brain-Computer Interfaces."   Phillipp Kellmeyer and Leigh Hochberg.   HMS:  Armenise Building, D Amphitheatre.   Details.*

5:30p.  "Intergenerational Trauma and the Science of Suffering."   A panel discussion.   Tufts:  Barnum Hall.   Details, Abstract.

6p.  "Continuous Data Management for Hadoop and Spark – On-Premise or in the Cloud."   Scott Rudenstein.   Liquid Art House, 100 Arlington Street.   Details, Abstract.

6:30 - 9p.  "Python Project Night."   Microsoft NERD, One Memorial Drive.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

7p.  "Birdly: Conception and Creation of a Full Body Immersive Experience."   Max Rheiner.   Swissnex Boston:  420 Broadway, Cambridge.   Details, Abstract.

7p.  "The effects of Electromagnetic Weapons on the Critical Infrastructures."   William A. Radasky.   Verizon Technology Center, 60 Sylvan Road, Waltham.   Details, Abstract.

7p.  "The Social Network of Germs: What is the microbiome and why we need computers to understand it."   Daniel Segre.   The Loved Child, 173 Belmont St, Belmont.   Details, Abstract, RSVP.

Friday, December 4

11a.  "Grand Challenges in Phylogenomics."   Tandy Warnow.   MIT:  32D-463.   Details, Abstract.

Noon.  "Privacy & Europe: Debating the 'Right to be Forgotten,'Trans-Atlantic Data Flows, and the World's Toughest New Privacy Laws."   Peter Fleisher, Global Privacy Counsel, Google. .   HLS:  Wasserstein 2009.   Details, RSVP, Abstract.

12:30p.  "The Nature of Rocky Exoplanets Via Study of White Dwarfs."   Benjamin Zuckerman.   MIT:  54-517.   Details, Abstract.

1p.  "Materials Data in the 21st Century: From Mishmash to Moneyball."   Bryce Meredig.   Harvard:  Maxwell Dworkin G115.   Details, Abstract.

2p.  "Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age."   Sherry Turkle.   MIT:  20 Chimneys, 3rd floor Student Center.   Details, RSVP.

3p.  "Cloud Storage Space vs. Download Time for Large Files."   Emina Soljanin.   BU:  8 St. Mary’s Street, PHO 210.   Details.

4p.  "Mechanisms that Transform Sensory Information into Behavior."   Lisa Stowers.   MIT:  46-3002.   Details.

Saturday, December 5

10a.  "Nuclear Science and Engineering."   MIT:  Kresge Auditorium, 48 Massachusetts Ave.   Details.

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

2p.  "Capturing Fur, Feathers, and Scales with Pencil and Paper."   Erica Beade.   Harvard Museum of Natural History.   Details, Registration.

9 - 12:30p.  "Introduction to Winter Tree Identification."   Kyle Stephens.   First of two sessions.   Arnold Arboretum, Hunnewell Bldg.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

Noon.   "Molecular Biology 101."   A course.   Raphael Laurenceau and Angela Kaczmarczyk.   BOSSLab, 339r Summer St, Somerville.   Details, Abstract, RSVP.

Noon - 5p.  "Taxidermy 101."   Mickey Alice Kwapis.   Harvard Museum of Natural History, 26 Oxford St.   Details, Tickets.

2p.  "Science of the Magical."   Matt Kaplan.   Harvard:  Geological Museum, Haller Hall.   Details.

Sunday, December 6

1p.  "Animal Adaptations."   Boston Nature Center, 500 Walk Hill St. Mattapan.   Details.

Noon 5p.  "Taxidermy 101: Sunday Section."   Mickey Alice Kwapis.   Harvard Museum of Natural History, 26 Oxford St.   Details, Registration.

Monday, December 7

7p.  "Luke Skywalker Can't Read: And Other Geeky Truths."   Ryan Britt.   Harvard Book Store, 1256 Massachusetts Ave.   Details, Abstract.

7p.  "The Blob."   Ferris Jabr will discuss the science behind the 1919 Boston Molasses Disaster.   Coolidge Corner Theater.   Details.

7p.  "Top Chef Tasting Notes."   A conversation.   Harvard Science Center C.   Details.

Tuesday, December 8

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

10:30 - 1p.  "Integrative Neuronal Systems."   A conference and poster session.   MIT:  43-3002.   Details, Registration.

Noon.  "Multimodal Imaging and Social Cognition in Autism Spectrum Disorders."   Jean Frazier.   Childrens Hospital:  Center for Life Science Building, 12th Floor Conference Room, 3 Blackfan Circle.   Details.

Noon.   "The State of Student Privacy."   A Berkman Luncheon.   A panel discussion.   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.  "Pathways to Exoplanet Formation: Insight into the Diversity of Observed Exoplanetary Systems."   Niraj Innamdar.   MIT:  54-517.   Details, Abstract.

12:30p.  "The Stable Brain: Homeostatic Control of Neural Function."   Graeme Davis.   Brandeis:  Gerstenzang 121.   Details.

3:30p.  "Exploring Global Warming with Climate Models of Various Complexity."   Syukuro “Suki” Manabe.   Harvard:  Maxwell Dworkin, Lessin Lecture Hall.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "Getting in Shape: how do microorganisms control their geometry?"   Ariel Amir.   Brandeis:  Abelson 131.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "Reconstructing the Formation Histories of Massive Galaxies."   Mariska Kriek.   MIT:  37-252.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "Self-Improving Microvascular Materials."   Aaron Esser-Kahn.   Wyss Institute:  3 Blackfan Circle, Room 521.   Details, Abstract.

5p.  "A Simple, One-Time, Inexpensive and Non-Toxic Intervention to Improve Cancer Survival."   Vikas P. Sukhatme.   MIT:  E51-345.   Details.  (Anyone interested should email Jennifer Grady at

5:30p.  "Dissecting Synaptic and Circuitry Mechanisms of Psychiatric Disorders."   Guoping Feng.   Harvard:  BioLabs 1080, 16 Divinity Ave.   Details.

6 - 8p.  "A Name for the Pain: The Story of Small-Fiber Polyneuropathy."   Anne Louise Oaklander.   MGH: Paul S. Russell Museum of Medical History and Innovation, 2 North Grove St.   Details, Registration.

6:30 - 9p.  "Design is More Than Lipstick on a Pig."   Traci Lepore.   IBM Research Center, 1 Rogers St, Cambridge.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

7p.  "A Beautiful Question: Finding Nature’s Deep Design."   Frank Wilczek.   Arnold Arboretum, Hunnewell Bldg.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

7p.  "Database of Dreams: The Lost Quest to Catalog Humanity."   Rebecca Lemov.   Harvard Coop.   Details.

7:30p.  "Role of Floral Traits in Mediating Disease Transmission."   Lynn S. Adler.   Harvard:  Museum of Comparative Zoology 101.   Details.

Wednesday, December 9

2p.  "MicroRNA-based Therapeutics in Cancer."   Frank Slack.   BU:  Keefer Auditorium E-111.   Details.

4p.  "Effects of Tropical Deforestation on Climate and Agriculture in Brazil."   Marcos Heil Costa.   BU:  CAS B36.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "How to Use Bitcoin to Play Decentralized Poker."   Ranjit Kumaresan.   MIT:  32-G882.   Details, Abstract.

4:30p.  "Sleep, Circadian Rhythms, Health and Performance."   Charles A. Czeisler.   MIT:  32-123.   Details, Abstract.

5p.  "Seeing the Invisible Ocean: Art at Technology's Cutting Edge."   Keith Ellenbogen and Allan Adams.   MIT:  6C-442.   Details, Abstract.

Thursday, December 10

8:30 - 2p.   "Issues and Innovations Involved in Transitioning to a Preventive Care Model."   A conference.   HMS:  Joseph B. Martin Conference Center, 77 Avenue Louis Pasteur.   Details, Registration.

Noon.  "Life after Sex: Evolutionary Consequences of Losing Sex."   Marc Johnson.   Harvard:  Herbaria Seminar, 22 Divinity Ave.   Details.

3p.  "Recent Progress in Autism Genetics."   Matthew State.   MIT:  46-3189.   Details.

4p.  "Establishing a Chemical Definition of Environmental Health."   Elizabeth Kujawinski.   MIT:  32-141.   Details.

4p.  "One, Two, Three, Many: Manipulating Quantum Systems One Atom at a Time."   Selim Jochim.   MIT:  10-250.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "The Effects of Early Psychosocial Deprivation on Brain-Behavioral Development."   Charles Nelson.   HSPH:  Kresge 708, 677 Huntington Ave.   Details.

6p.  "Subjective Data."   Nathalie Miebach and Ari Daniel.   Cambridge Innovation Center, 5th flr, Havana Rm.   Details, tickets.

8p.  "Type Ia Supernova Progenitors."   Stella Kafka.   Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden St, Phillips Auditorium.   Details, Abstract.

December 11 - 12.  "MoSAIC Fest: Math of Science, Art, Industry & Culture."   MIT Museum, 265 Massachusetts Ave.   Details.

Friday, December 11

9:15 - 2:30p.  "Reproductive Health and the Environment."   A symposium.   Northeastern:  Curry Student Center Ballroom.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

11:15a.  "Desperately Seeking New Therapies."   Mark Keating.   Brandeis:  Gerstenzang 121.   Details.

Noon.  "Associative Learning of Positive and Negative Social Cues: Both Require Oxytocin Signaling."   Han Kyoung Choe.   MIT:  46-6011.   Details, Abstract.

5 - 8p.  "Math of Science, Art, Industry & Culture."   MIT Museum, 265 Massachusetts Ave.   Details, Abstract.

Saturday, December 12

10a.  "Nature Story Hour."   Boston Nature Center, 500 Walk Hill St, Mattapan.   Details, Abstract.

9:30 - 8p.  "Boston VR Devs December Hackathon."   A Meetup.   Wayfair, Copley Place.   Details.

10 - 12:30p.  "The Changing Brain: An Insider’s Look."   Harvard Museum of Natural History.   Details, Registration.

Noon.   "The History of the Boston Water System."   Marcus Kempe, Museum Director.   Waterworks Museum, 2450 Beacon St.   Details.

Sunday, December 13

2p.  "Owl Prowl."   Boston Nature Center, 500 Walk Hill St, Mattapan.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

10:30a.  "There's a Fungus Among Us!"   Larry Millman.   Boston Nature Center, 500 Walk Hill St, Mattapan.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

Monday, December 14

Noon.  "Behavioral and Neural Mechanisms of Age Differences in Spatial Navigation."   Scott Moffat.   BU:  2 Cummington Mall, Room 109.   Details.

6:30 - 9p.  "A Journey into the Dark Web."   John Benjamin Brown, Akamai, and Will Lefevers.   Algonquin Club of Boston.   Details, Abstract, Tickets.

7p.  "Soap-Bubble Physics to Visualize and Count Individual Viral Pathogens."   M. Selim Ünlü and John H. Connor.   The Burren, Davis Square, 247 Elm St.   Details, Abstract.

Tuesday, December 15

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

Noon.  "Techno-Vernacular Creativity and STEAM."   Nettice Gaskins, STEAM Lab Director, Boston Arts Academy.   HLS:  Wasserstein 1023.   Details.   Event will be webcast at 12:00 pm.

4:30p.  "Nanomedicine, Public Health & Uncertainty."   Martin Philbert.   BU:  Hiebert Lounge, 72 East Concord St.   Live-Streaming Available During Event.   Details.

7p.  "Saving the Himalayas."   Maharaj K. Pandit.   Belmont Media Center, 9 Lexington Street, Belmont.   Details.

7p.  "Time in Time Again: Reconstructing the Geologic Past through Ancient Proteins."   Betül Kacar.   Kacar Lab.   Le Laboratoire Cambridge, 650 East Kendall Street.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

Wednesday, December 16

Noon.  "The Impact of New Technologies on Clinical Decision-Making in Health Care."   A webinar forum.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

6p.  "Simmetri & Archean."   A VR Meetup.   Cambridge Innovation Center - Venture Cafe, One Broadway, 5th Floor.   Details, Abstract Registration.

6:30p.  "Introduction to Ceph and Architectural Overview."   Federico Lucifredi.   MIT:  E51-335.   Details.

Thursday, December 17

4p.  "War and Human Nature in Modern America."   Deborah Weinstein.   HMS:  Minot Room, fifth floor, Countway Library of Medicine, 10 Shattuck Street, Boston.   Details.

Friday, December 18

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

11:15a.  "Epistasis and Promiscuity in Protein Evolution."   Mike Harms.   Harms lab.   Brandeis:  Gerstenzang 121.   Details.

Sunday, December 20

Noon.   "Water Quality and Public Health."   Marcus Kempe, Museum Director.   Waterworks Museum, 2450 Beacon St.   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 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.