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, although from time to time I include events of interest 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 and/or unsubscribe by dropping a note to hapgood@pobox.com.   If you can whitelist the list please do; mailers sometimes think it is spam.  Adding http://bostonsciencelectures.com to your contacts list might work.

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.  The list goes on vacation at the ends of June and December.

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.  Speakers change their topic.  Errors are introduced at every stage of the process.   I correct those I find out about, which of course introduces yet another source of change.  I strongly urge you to doublecheck the "Details" link before you head out, not that that guarantees anything.

Blue boxes represent all 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: 21.0046

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



February 20-23.  "Scratch."   Design your own simple video game or animation using the block-based programming language Scratch.   MIT Museum.   Details.

Thursday, February 22

9:30-3:30p.  "Building Robots that Use Data."   A workshop.   MIT Museum.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

10a.   "Data Communication & Visualization."   MIT Museum.   Details.

11:30a.  "Sperm Navigation in Complex Environments."   Sarah Olson.   Harvard:  Cruft 309.   Details, Abstract.

11:45a.  "Generating Energy from Thin Air."   Karthish Manthiram.   MIT:  E52-164.   Details, Abstract.

Noon.  "Sleep Better Tonight."   Zan Barry.   MIT:  66-144.   Details.

Noon.  "Treatment of Prescription Opioid Dependence."   Roger D. Weiss.   McLean Hospital:  Service Building, Pierce Hall.   Details.

12:30p.  "Covert Consciousness and Civil Rights: Rethinking Old Presumptions about Brain Injury."   Joseph Fins.   HMS:  Tosteson Medical Education Center 250, 260 Longwood Avenue.   Details.*

2p.  "Big Bang Data."   A Gallery Tour.   MIT Museum.   Details.

2:50p.  "Building Knowledge Bases for Natural Language Understanding."   Derry Wijaya.   Tufts:  Halligan 102.   Details, Abstract.

CANCELLED.   3p.  "Modern Methods for Neural Signal Processing."   Adam Charles.   MIT:  34-401A.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "A Neural Circuit for Economic Decisions."   Camillo Padoa-Schioppa.   MIT:  46-3002.   Details.

4p.  "Human-Centric Machine Learning: Enabling Machine Learning for High-Stakes Decision-Making."   Hima Lakkaraju.   Harvard:  Maxwell Dworkin G115.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "Learning from Language."   Jacob Andreas.   MIT:  32-G449.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "Re-Engineering Photoprotection to Improve Crop Productivity."   Kasia Glowacka.   MIT:  32-141.   Details.

4p.  "Semiconductor Quantum Technologies for Secure Communications and Scalable Quantum Networks."   Dirk Englund.   Harvard:  Pierce 209.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "The Virtual Observatory is Very Much Real."   Pepi Fabbiano.   Center for Astrophysics:  Phillips Auditorium.   Details.

4:30p.  "Agricultural Strategies and Environmental Change in the Ancient Eastern Mediterranean."   John M. Marston.   Harvard:  Tozzer 203.   Details, Abstract.

4:30p.  "The Edge of the Petri Dish: Wizards and Prophets."   Charles C. Mann..   MIT:  E51-095.   Details, Abstract.

5p.  "ICTs for Refugees and Displaced Persons."   Carleen Maitland.   MIT:  56-114.   Details, Abstract.

5p.  "Information and Communication Technology for Refugees and Displaced Persons."   Carleen Maitland.   MIT:  56-114.   Details, Abstract.

6p.  "From Cloaking to One-Way Propagation: Applications of Metamaterials at Radio-Frequencies."   Andrea Alù.   Lincoln Labs:  Cafeteria, 3 Forbes Rd, Lexington.   Details, Abstract.

6p.  "Manufacturing the Future of Biofabrication."   Dean Kamen.   Tufts:  Cohen Auditorium.   Details.

6p.  "The Changing Landscape of Plate Tectonics."   W. Jason Morgan.   Harvard:  Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford St.   Details.   This event will be live-streamed on the Harvard Museums of Science & Culture Facebook page.   A recording will be available approximately three weeks after the lecture.

7p.  "EPIC - Death by a Thousand Clicks."   Bruce Price.   BWH:  Bornstein Amphitheater, 45 Francis Street.   Details.

Friday, February 23

8:30a.  "From Mud to Mountains - Microbes as the Storytellers of Earth History."   Dave Johnston.   Harvard:  Museum Building, Room 375, 24 Oxford St.   Details.

9:30-3:30p.  "Let's Do Science: Using Crowd-Sourced Data."   A workshop.   MIT Museum.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

10a.   "The Internet and Machine Learning."   MIT Museum.   Details.

11a.  "Closing the Loop on Data Analysis."   Eugene Wu.   MIT:  32-D463.   Details, Abstract.

Noon.  "From Hospital to Community: Addressing the Overdose Crisis."   Sarah E. Wakeman.   MGH:  Museum of Medical History, 2 North Grove St.   Details, Registration.

2p.  "Big Bang Data."   A Gallery Tour.   MIT Museum.   Details.

2p.  "Generating Poetry."   A workshop.   Northeastern:  433 Curry Student Center.   Details, RSVP.   To RSVP, email Sarah Connell at sa.connell[at]northeastern[dot]edu.

3p.  "Soft Wearable Robots for Everyday Wear."   Conor Walsh.   Harvard:  Maxwell Dworkin G115.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "New Frontiers for Wave Manipulation Using Metamaterials."   Andrea Alu.   Harvard:  Pierce 209.   Details, Abstract.

5p.  "Architectures of the Oculomotor: Body Motility, Ocular Processes, and the Perception of the Built Environment."   Athina Papadopoulou.   MIT:  7-429.   Details, Abstract.

8p.  "Sounding the Cloud."   The present and future of the cloud, imagined musically.   ICA:    Details, Abstract.

Saturday, February 24

9a.  "The Rise & Fall of Pluto: How Science Progresses."   Jane Luu.   Lincoln Laboratory cafeteria.   Details, Registration.   This event will be repeated at 10a.   Please register accordingly.   Adults must present a valid government-issued photo I.D.

10-5p.  "Big Physics, Big Questions."   A conference.   District Hall, 75 Northern Avenue.   Details, Abstract, Tickets.

1p.  "Citizen Science."   A workshop.   MIT Museum.   Details.

1p.  "Woody Plant Basics."   Catherine Chamberlain.   Arnold Arboretum:  Hunnewell Bldg.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

Sunday, February 25

1p.  "Tree Spotter Training."   Suzanne Mrozak, Tree Spotter Volunteer Coordinator, and Danny Schissler.   Arnold Arboretum:  Hunnewell Bldg.   Details.


February 26-March 2.  "AI and Beyond: The integration of artificial and human intelligence."   Royal Sonesta, Cambridge.   Details.

February 26-27.  "Here Be Dragons."   This event will convene explorers, innovators, artists, scientists, and storytellers to identify the uncharted territories that still exist in ocean exploration and storytelling.   MIT:  Media Lab E14.   Details, Abstract.   This event will be live streamed.

Monday, February 26

Noon.  "Efficient Computation in the Brain - Using Computational Principles to Study Behavior, Representation and Mechanism."   Xuexin Wei.   MIT:  46-3002.   Details, Abstract.

Noon.  "Hurricane Variability and Change."   Gabriel Vecchi.   Harvard:  Haller Hall, 24 Oxford St.   Details, Abstract.

Noon.  "Machine Learning for Understanding the Dynamics of Cell Populations."   Jie Liu.   Brandeis:  Volen 101.   Details, Abstract.

12:15p.  "Vaccine Criticism in France: Scientific Credibility and the Fragmentation of Social Movements."   Jeremy Ward.   Harvard:  Pierce 100F.   Details.   RSVP via online form by Wednesday at 5pm the week before.

2:30p.  "Machine Learning from Schools about Energy Efficiency."   Mar Reguant.   Harvard:  Littauer M-16.   Details.

4p.  "Activity-Based Proteomics - Protein and Ligand Discovery on a Global Scale."   Benjamin Cravatt.   MIT:  4-270.   Details.

4p.  "Provably Secure Machine Learning."   Jacob Steinhardt.   MIT:  32-G449.  Details, Abstract.

6p.  "Blockchain & Cryptocurrency in Healthcare."   A Meetup.   Cambridge Innovation Center, 11th Floor, 1 Broadway.   Details, Abstract.

Tuesday, February 27

11a.  "A Neural Basis for Sexually Divergent Fear Expression."   Rebecca Shansky.   McLean Hospital:  de Marneffe 132, 115 Mill St., Belmont.   Details.

Noon.  "Randomness and Structure in Neural Representations for Learning."   Ashok Litwin-Kumar.   Harvard:  Northwest B-103.   Details.

12:15p.  "The Edge of the Petri Dish: Wizards and Prophets."   Charles C. Mann.   Tufts:  Behrakis Auditorium, 150 Harrison Ave., Boston.   Details.

12:30p.  "Sedimentary and Erosional Processes."   Mathieu Lapotre.   MIT:  54-517.   Details.

1p.  "Machine Learning Everywhere: Build Your Ladder to AI."   A webinar.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

1:30p.  "Encoding Environmental Illumination within the Mammalian Retina."   Michael Do.   Boston University School of Medicine: Department of Physiology and Biophysics, 700 Albany Street.   Details.

2p.  "The Internet Possessed: The Programs Optimizing Our Communication from the ARPANET to the Internet."   Fenwick McKelvey.   Northeasterm:  Curry Student Center 346, 360 Huntington Ave.   Details, Abstract.

3p.  "Safe Learning in Robotics."   Claire Tomlin.   MIT:  32-141.   Details, Abstract.

3:30p.  "True Measurements…False Discoveries."   Tiziano Camporesi.   BU:  SCI 109.  Details, Abstract.

4p.  "Epigenetic Regulators of Metabolism and Cancer."   Ronald Evans.   MIT:  32-123.   Details.

4p.  "Immunoprophylaxis and Immunotherapy Therapy for HPV Associated Cancers: progress and challenges."   Ian Frazier.   Broad Institute Auditorium.   Details.

4p.  "Negotiating with New Technology: Shaping the Third Digital Revolution."   Joel Cutcher-Gershenfeld and Neil Gershenfeld.   HLS:  Pound 102.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "Simulating Milky Way-like Galaxies with Realistic Satellite Populations."   Andrew Wetzel.   MIT:  37-252.   Details, Abstract.

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

4p.  "The Physics, Biology, and Technology of Resonance Energy Transfer."   Philip Nelson.   Brandeis:  Abelson 131.   Details, Abstract.

6p.  "As the Seas Rise, Can We Restore Our Coastal Habitats?"   Steven Handel.   Harvard:  Geological Lecture Hall.   Details, Abstract.   This event will be livestreamed.   A recording of this program will be available approximately three weeks after the lecture.

6p.  "Convergence in Biomedicine."   Phillip Sharp.   MIT:  E51-335.   Details, Abstract.

7p.  "Big Chicken."   Maryn McKenna.   Harvard Book Store, 1256 Massachusetts Ave.   Details.

7p.  "Engineering Challenges and Opportunities Faced by Community Media Today."   NewTV, 23 Needham St., Newton Highlands.   Details.

7p.  "Grizzly Man."   A Coolidge Science on Science Presentation.   Steven Schlozman will discuss the issues raised by the movie.   Coolidge Theater, 290 Harvard St.   Details.

Wednesday, February 28

9-4p.  "InterMediate Word."   Harvard Ed Portal.     Details.   You must be a member of the Harvard Ed Portal, live in Allston-Brighton, or be the parent/guardian of a student who attends the Gardner Pilot Academy to attend this course.

9a.  "Shortening the Diagnostic Journey for Children with Rare Diseases."   UMass Club, 1 Beacon Street, 32nd Floor.   Details, Abstract.

11:30a.  "Rare Disease Day."   A conference.   UMass Club:  1 Beacon St, 32nd floor.   Details, Abstract.

Noon.  "The Dynamics of the Southern Ocean."   Edward Dorridge.   MIT:  54-915.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "Using CRISPR/Cas9 and Live Imaging to Model Stem Cell Organization and Dynamics."   Ru Gunawardane.   HMS:  C Building 114.   Details.

6p.   "PyData February Project Night."   O'Reilly Media, 2 Avenue De Lafayette, Boston.   Details.

6-10p.  "VR in Education."   A forum.   Alley Cambridge, 10 Ware St.   Details, Registration.

7p.  "Biosafety in a World without Walls."   Todd Kuiken.   BosLab:  339R Summer St, Somerville.   Details, Abstract.

Thursday, March 1

8:30-11:30a.  "The Future of Energy."   A Startup Exchange Workshop.   MIT:  E90-1200.   Details.

9a.  "How Much does Stellar Activity Matter in the First Few Myr?"   Ilsedore Cleeves.   Harvard:  Northwest 425, 52 Oxford St.   Details.

4p.  "Emergence of Cognition from Action."   Gyorgy Buzsaki.   MIT:  46-3002.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "Nanoscale Thermal Imaging: Glimpse into Dissipation in Quantum Systems Down to Atomic Scale."   Eli Zeldov.   MIT:  10-250.   Details.

4p.  "Tipping Points and Transformation in Coupled Human-Ocean Systems."   Anne Salomon.   Northeastern University:  Marine Science Center, Murphy Bunker, 430 Nahant Road, Nahant.   Details, Abstract.

6p.  "Designing for a Neurodiverse World."   A forum.   MIT:  3-270.   Details, Abstract.


March 2-3.  "MIT Energy Conference: Transformational Technologies."   Boston Marriott Cambridge.   Details, Registration.

Friday, March 2

8:30a.  "Wasp Yeast Beer: microbial wrangling with insects for industrially relevant yeasts."   Anne Madden.   Harvard:  24 Oxford St, Room 375.   Details.

12:30p.  "Data Science Toward Understanding Human Learning and Improving Educational Practice."   Ken Koedinger.   Harvard:  MD G115, 33 Oxford St.   Details, Abstract.

2p.  "High-Dimensional Computing as a Nanoscalable Paradigm."   Abbas Rahimi.   BU:  8 St. Mary's St., PHO 210.   Details.

4p.  "Neural Correlates of Orienting Behaviors and Latent Action Biases."   Rachel Wilson.   MIT:  46-3002.   Details.

4p.  "The Trans-Amazon Drilling Project."   Paul A. Baker and Sherilyn C. Fritz.   MIT:  54-915.   Details, Abstract.

Saturday, March 3

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

Sunday, March 4

1p.  "Cabinet of Curiosities Workshop."   Harvard Museum of Natural History.   Details.

2p.  "Growing a Contemporary Arboretum."   Philippe de Spoelberch.   Arnold Arboretum:  Weld Hill Research Bldg.   Details, Abstract, Registration.


March 5-8.  "International Conference on Complex Networks."   Northeastern University:  East Village, 291 St. Boltoph Street.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

March 5-6.  "VR and Healthcare."   A symposium.   HMS:  Martin Conference Center.   Details. Abstract, Registration.

Monday, March 5

8:30-5:30p.  "Women in Data Science (WiDS) Conference."   Microsoft NERD Center, One Memorial Drive.   Details, Abstract.

Noon.  "Modeling Embodied Cognition in Robots and Humans."   Garrett Katz.   Brandeis:  Volen 101.   Details, Abstract.

Noon.  "Randomness and Structure in Neural Representations for Learning."   Ashok Litwin-Kumar.   MIT:  46-3002.   Details.

12:10p.  "Improving the Drought Tolerance of Crop and Timber Species: physiological and evolutionary perspectives."   Sean Gleason.   Arnold Arboretum:  Weld Hill.   Details.

12:15p.  "Governing the Future: Cancer Viruses and the Growth of American Biomedicine."   Robin Scheffler.   Harvard:  Pierce 100F.   Details.

4p.  "Computational Sensorimotor Learning."   Pulkit Agrawal.   MIT:  32-G449.   Details, Abstract.

6p.  "Wild Diagnosis: Human Health and the Animal Kingdom."   Barbara Natterson-Horowitz.   Harvard:  Geological Lecture Hall.   Details, Abstract.   This event will be livestreamed.   A recording of this program will be available approximately three weeks after the lecture.

7p.  "Asteroid Futures: Decades, Centuries, Millennia."   Martin Elvis.   Cafe Art Science, 650 East Kendall St.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

Tuesday, March 6

11a.  "Failure to ‘Prime’ the Dopamine Pump in Autism: Lessons from Flies and Mice."   Aurelio Galli.   McLean:  de Marneffe 132.   Details.

Noon.   "The Developmental Neuromechanics of Vocal Communication."   Asif Ghazanfar.   Harvard:  Northwest 243.   Details, Abstract.

Noon.  "The Human Brain as a Mosaic: Somatic Mutation in Autism Spectrum Disorder, Aging, and Neurodegeneration."   Rachel Rodin.   HMS:  Goldenson 122, 220 Longwood Avenue.  Details.*

12:30p.  "Uncovering New Regulatory Codes during Development: genome activation and post-transcriptional regulation."   Antonio Giraldez.   Brandeis:  Gerstenzang 121.   Details.

4p.  "Convection in Cool Stars, as Revealed through Stellar Brightness Variations."   Fabienne Bastien.   MIT:  37-252.   Details, Abstract.

6p.  "Tangible Things of American Astronomy, or What Does a Computer Have in Common with a Teapot?"   Sara Schechner.   Visit website for event details: chsi.harvard.edu.     Details, Abstract.   This event will be livestramed.

7p.  "There Is More Than Enough Renewable Energy."   Mara Prentiss.   Belmont Library (Assembly Room), 336 Concord Ave, Belmont.   Details.

Thursday, March 8

2p.  "Nanotechnology and Materials Science using Protein Nanofibrils."   Raffaele Mezzenga.   Wyss Institute:  CLS 5th Floor, Rm. 521, 3 Blackfan Circle.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "Evolution of Bacteria within Individual Human Microbiomes."   Tami Lieberman.   Harvard:  26 Oxford St., Room 440.   Details.

4p.  "Genomic Conflicts and the Origins of Species."   Nitin Phadnis.   Harvard:  BioLabs 1080.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "Unconscious Bias…in Cosmology."   Lucia Verde.   MIT:  10-250.   Details, Abstract.

Friday, March 9

9a.  "Microsoft Excel Practice Session for Beginner and Intermediate Users."   Harvard Ed Portal, 224 Western Ave, Allston.     Details, Abstract.

Saturday, March 10

8-6p.  "Beyond the Cradle 2018: Envisioning a New Space Age."   Details, Abstract.   This event will be livestreamed.

9a.  "Arboretum for Educators."   Spring Phenology.   Arnold Arboretum:  Hunnewell Bldg.   Details, Registration.

9:30a.  "Sketching Mammals."   Erica Beade.   Harvard Museum of Natural History.   Details, Abstract, Registrations.

1p.  "Plants and Their Ecosystems."   Catherine Chamberlain.   Arnold Arboretum:  Hunnewell.   Details, Registration.

Sunday, March 11

10:30a.  "Tree Spotter Training."   Suzanne Mrozak, Tree Spotter Volunteer Coordinator and Danny Schissler.   Arnold Arboretum:  Hunnewell.   Details, Register.

Monday, March 12

7p.  "No Sex? No Problem! Asexual Propagation of Plants."   Sean Halloran.   Arnold Arboretum:  Hunnewell.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

Tuesday, March 13

7p.  "Projecting Climate Change into the Future: What We Know and How Well We Know It."   Daniel Cziczo.   MIT:  54-915.   Details, Abstract.

7p.  "Understanding What Makes Clouds (And Why You Should Care)."   Dan Cziczo.   MIT:  54-915.   Details, Abstract.

Wednesday, March 14

Noon.  "Reproducibility in Crisis: Sample quality and the importance of early and ongoing analysis."   John P.A. Ioannidis and Gregor Witte.   A webinar.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

Thursday, March 15

2:30p.  "Tree Architecture."   Andrew Gapinski.   Arnold Arboretum:  Hunnewell.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

4p.  "Towards Personalized Medicine Using Gut Microbiome and Clinical Data."   Eran Segal.   MIT:  32-141.   Details.

Sunday, March 18

1p.  "Conifers in Winter."   Robbie Apfel, Arboretum Docent.   Arnold Arboretum:  Bussey Station.   Details.

Monday, March 19

Noon.  "Deconstructing the Hippocampal Circuits that Control Emotional Behavior."   Mazen Kheirbek.   BU:  CILSE Room 101, 610 Commonwealth Avenue.   Details.

6p.  "Ancient Egypt in Africa."   Laurel Bestock.   Harvard:  Geological Lecture Hall.   Details, Abstract.   This event will be livestreamed on the Harvard Museums of Science & Culture Facebook page.

Tuesday, March 20

6p.  "Modern Humans’ Earliest Artwork and Music: New European Discoveries"   Randall White.   Harvard:  Geological Lecture Hall.   Details.

Wednesday, March 21

4p.  "Development of Targeted Therapeutics for Autism Spectrum Disorders."   Randall L. Carpenter.   MIT:  46-3002.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "Adaptive Adversarial Learning for a Diverse Visual World."   Judy Hoffman.   MIT:  32-G449.   Details, Abstract.



*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 Longwood medical area that do not carry an asterisk have announced explicitly that they are open to the general public.

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