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 to it here.  And unsubscribe here.   If you can whitelist the list please do; mailers sometimes think it is spam.

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.  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 for adults.  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: 21.1945

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



October 20 - 22.  "Hacking Hemophilia 2017."   Royal Sonesta Boston Hotel.   Details.

Sunday, October 22

10:30a.  "Seed Dispersal."   Nancy Sableski, Manager, Children's Education.   Arnold Arboretum:  Hunnewell Bldg.   Details, Registration.

Noon.  "3D Printing and Design."   MIT Museum.   Details.

6p.  "Reports on the AES Convention."   Alvin Foster and Nick Noiseux.   BU:  Life Science & Engineering Bldg, 24 Cummington Mall, Room 103.   Details.

Monday, October 23

8 - 4p.  "The Future of Signal Processing."   A symposium.   MIT:  Samberg Conference Center, Floor 7, 50 Memorial Drive.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

8:30 - 4p.  "Drugging Transcription."   A conference.   Broad Institute Auditorium.   Details.

Noon.   "Earth’s Cores: Variation Across the Length-Scales."   Jessica Irving.   Harvard:  Geological Museum 102.   Details, Abstract.

Noon.  "Juno at Jupiter: The First Year."   Yohai Kaspi.   MIT:  54-923.   Details, Abstract.

12:15p.  "Learning and Relearning Movement."   Amy Bastian.   Boston Children's Hospital:  Enders Bldg, Folkman Auditorium, 300 Longwood.   Details.

1p.  "Safety Nets: Rescue and Revival for Endangered Born-Digital Records."   Jefferson Bailey.   MIT:  E53-212.   Details, Abstract.

1 - 5:30p.  "The Center for Cancer Evolution Kickoff Symposium."   HMS:  Jimmy Fund Auditorium.   Details.*

1p.  "The Effect of Shifting Global Health & Climate Change Policies on Malaria Eradication."   A panel discussion.   HSPH:  Kresge G1, 665 Huntington Ave.   Details, RSVP.*

4p.  "Life is Sweet! Glycomics and Glycoproteomics Providing New Biological Insights."   Stuart Haslam.   MIT:  4-270.   Details, Abstract.

5:30p.  "What to Do with Biomass Waste in India?"   Sonal Thengane.   MIT:  2-105.   Details, Abstract.

6p.  "Storytelling in VR within an Expanding Universe."   Jason Parks and Emir Cerman.   Cambridge Innovation Center, One Broadway, 5th Floor, Cambridge.   Details, Abstract.

6:30p.  "Tapping into the Fountain of Youth: Does the key to reversing the aging process circulate within us?"   Lee Rubin.   The Burren, 247 Elm Street, Somerville.   Details.

7p.  "Be as a Tree Planted by the Waters: The Magic of Roots, Leaves, and Everything in Between."   Hope Jahren.   Arnold Arboretum:  Hunnewell Bldg.   Details, Abstract, Registration.   Submit your questions online.

Tuesday, October 24

8:30 - 12:30p.  "Real-world Machine Learning Stories."   Microsoft NERD, One Memorial Drive.   Details, Abstract, RSVP.

9:30a.  "Why Do Solid Tumors Contain Soft Cells?"   Josef Kaes.   HSPH:  1-1302, 665 Huntington Ave.   Details.*

10:30a.  "Detectability of Nonlinear Historical Forcings and their Fingerprints on the Climate System."   Justin Bandoro.   MIT:  54-915.   Details, Abstract.

11a.  "Visualize Your Data on an Interactive Map."   Anna E. Kijas.   BC:  O'Neill Library, Digital Studio, Room 205.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

Noon.  "Herbivory through the Ages: Revealing Effects of Climate on Insect Herbivory with Herbarium Specimens."   Emily Meineke.   Herbarium:  Seminar Room 125, 22 Divinity.   Details, Abstract.

2p.  "Introduction to GIS and Mapping."   MIT:  14N-132.   Details, Abstract.

2p.  "Matrix, Mechanics, and Morphogenesis."   Andrew Putnam.   Harvard:  60 Oxford St, Room 330.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "Astrophysical Signatures of Black Hole Mergers."   Manuela Campanelli.   MIT:  37-252.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "Cell-Based Origami: Folding tissues across length scales."   Adam Martin.   MIT:  32-123.   Details.

4p.  "Hybrid Films in Emerging Technologies: Understanding Relationships among Molecular Structure, Processing, and Function."   Reiner Dauskardt.   Harvard:  Maxwell Dworkin  Details, Abstract.

4p.  "Novel Approaches for Detecting and Treating Autism."   Karen J.Parker.   MIT:  46-3002.   Details, Abstract.

6p.  "Big Data 101."   Sandy Pentland.   MIT Museum.   Details.

6p.  "Pizza with a Scientist: Scott Hughes and Gravitational Waves."   MIT:  37-252.   Details, Abstract.

6:30p.  "Engineering New Art Forms."   Toots Zynsky.   MIT:  10-250.   Details.

7p.  "The Future of our Past, A Vision for Boston Archaeology."   Jon Bagley.   Old State House, 206 Washington Street.   Details, Abstract, Registration.


October 25-27.   "Connected Health Conference."   Seaport World Trade Center.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

Wednesday, October 25

10 - 4p.  "Technical Innovations in Electron, X-ray, and Ion Beam Microscopy Applications for Both Materials and Life Sciences."   A conference.   MIT:  6-104.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

Noon.  "Digital and People Power: Fuel for vaccine coverage."   Subhash Chandir.   HSPH:  Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, 641 Huntington Avenue.   Details.*   WebEx available.

Noon.  "Impacts of Health IT on Health Care Costs and Quality: The Role of Information and Patient Sharing."   Hilal Atasoy.   HBS:  Cotting House Conference Room.   Details, Abstract.

Noon.  "Jomon Food Diversity, Climate Change and Long-term Sustainability: Lessons from Prehistoric Japan."   Junko Habu.   Harvard:  Tozzer 203.   Details, Abstract.

Noon.  "Pharmacologic Management of Acute Pain and the Prescription Opioid Epidemic."   Richard Harold.   Tufts:  Merritt Auditorium.   Details.

1p.  "Why You Don’t Know Your Carbon Footprint."   Ory Zik.   HSPH:  FXB Building, 651 Huntington Ave.   Details, Abstract, Registration.*

3p.  "Collaborative TEI."   BC:  O'Neil Library, Room 205.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

3:30p.  "The Future of Cities."   A Panel discussion.   Harvard:  Longfellow Hall, Askwith Lecture Room.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "Algorand: Scaling Byzantine Agreements for Cryptocurrencies."   Yossi Gilad.   MIT:  32-G449.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "Geometric Deep Learning: Going Beyond Euclidean Data."   Michael Bronstein.   MIT:  32-G882.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "Learning as Statistical Inference: Neural and Computational Mechanisms for Normative Learning."   Matthew Nassar.   Harvard:  WJH Basement Auditorium.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "Topology Optimization of Cellular Materials: Designing for Manufacture and Nonlinear Properties."   Josephine Carstensen.   MIT:  1-131.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "Visual Attention as a Window into Understanding Brain Development in Autism and Fragile X Syndrome."   Susan Rivera.   MIT:  46-3002.   Details, Abstract.

4:45p.  "The Future of Energy: Certain Uncertainties."   Norman R. Augustine.   MIT:  E14-674.   Details, Abstract.

6:30p.  "What Mathematicians Reveal about Gerrymandering."   Justin Solomon.   Belmont Media Center, 9 Lexington St, Belmont.   Details, Abstract.

7p.  "Here Comes the Sun: Harnessing the power of renewable energy."   HMS:  Armenise Amphitheater, 200 Longwood Ave.   Details.

7p.  "Sketching Big Data."   Jelani Nelson.   Harvard Science Center C.   Details, Abstract.


October 26 - 28.  "Boston Book Festival."   Copley Square.   Details.

Thursday, October 26

2:50p.  "A Brief History on the Last 20 years of Educational Data Mining: A Personal Perspective."   Neil Heffernan.   Tufts:  Halligan 102.   Details, Abstract.

3-8:30p.  "FoodBev Connect 2017."   A conference.   One Broadway, 5th Floor, Cambridge.   Details.

3p.  "Managing Your Online Scholarly Identity."   BC:  O'Neil Library, Room 205.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

4p.  "Bringing Bioelectricity to Light."   Adam E. Cohen.   MIT:  32-141.   Details.

4p.  "Genomics of Parallel Adaptations and Speciation in Repeated Species Flocks of Cichlid Fishes."   Axel Meyer.   Harvard:  BioLabs 1080.   Details.

4p.  "SESAME: Opening a Source of Light in the Middle East."   Eliezer Rabinovic.   MIT:  10-250.   Details.

4p.  "The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Structure."   Lise Getoor.   Harvard:  Maxwell Dworkin G115.   Details, Abstract.

4:30p.  "Markets, Morals, and Medicine."   Michael Sandel.   HMS:  Carl W. Walter Amphitheater.   Details, Registration.

5p.  "Cloud Policy: Anatomy of a Regulatory Crisis."   Jennifer Holt.   MIT:  56-114.   Details, Abstract.

7p.  "A Brief History of Environmental Successes."   Susan Soloman.   New England Aquarium:  Simons IMAX Theater.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

7p.  "Data Provenance: From Theory to Practice."   Margo Seltzer.   MIT:  32-G449.   Details, Abstract.

Friday, October 27

9 - 5p.  "Contagion: Exploring Modern Epidemics."   A symposium.   Harvard:  Knafel Center, 10 Garden St.   Details.

Noon.  "Global and Regional Modeling of Biogeochemical Cycles."   Yan Feng.   Harvard:  Pierce 100F.   Details, Abstract.

12:30p.  "Reinforcement Learning for Healthcare."   Finale Doshi-Velez.   Harvard:  Maxwell Dworkin G115.   Details, Abstract.

1 - 4:40p.  "Wikipedia Edit-a-thon: Exploring Open Access."   MIT:  14N-132.   Details, Abstract.

4:30p.  "Markets, Morals, and Medicine."   Michael J. Sandel.   HMS:  Carl W. Walter Amphitheater.   Details, Abstract, Registration..

4:30p.  "The Formation, Evolution, and History of the Terrestrial Planets and Other Small Bodies."   Ben Weiss.   MIT:  54-915.   Details.

5p.  "Now for a Look at the Weather Where You Are."   Dana Tomlin.   MIT:  7-429.   Details, Abstract.

5p.  "The Dawn of Quantum Networks."   Ronald Hanson.   Harvard:  Pierce 209.   Details, Abstract.

Saturday, October 28

2p.  "Capturing Skeletons with Pencil and Paper."   Erica Beade.   Harvard Museum of Natural History.   Details, Abstract, Registration.


October 30 - November 3.  "AI and Beyond: The integration of artificial and human intelligence."   Royal Sonesta, Cambridge.   Details, Registration.

October 30 - November 1.  sp; "Cancer Immunotherapy Today and Tomorrow."   A credit-bearing education course.   HMS:  Joseph B. Martin Center.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

Tuesday, October 31

9:30a.  "Short Stories in Genomics and Environmental Health."   Bernardo Lemos.   HSPH:  1-1302.   Details.

10a.  "Vision System Designer's Dilemma - Build vs Buy."   Darren Bessette.   A webcast.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

11a.  "The Dexterity Network: Deep Learning to Plan Robust Robot Grasps using Datasets of Synthetic Point Clouds, Analytic Grasp Metrics, and 3D Object Models."   Jeff Mahler.   MIT:  32-G449.   Details, Abstract.

Noon.  "Precision Medicine and Clinical Informatics."   Isaac Kohane.   HMS:  Countway Library, Lahey Room.   Details.

2p.  "Nanoscale Approaches for Therapeutic Immune Modulation."   Ashish Kulkarni.   Harvard:  60 Oxford St, Rm 330.   Details, Abstract.

Wednesday, November 1

Noon.  "Unlocking the Elusive Mind: The role of protein biomarkers in understanding neurodegenerative disease."   A webinar.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

7p.  "What Genes Cannot Tell: The role of epigenetics in determining who we are."   HMS:  Armenise Amphitheater, 200 Longwood Ave.   Details.

Thursday, November 2

8 - 5p.  "Advanced Cyber Security Center Annual Conference."   Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, 600 Atlantic Avenue.   Details, Abstract, Tickets.

10a.  "Non-Communicable Diseases and Maternal Health Around the Globe."   A panel discussion and a live webcast.   HSPH:  Kresge, Leadership Studio.   Details.

Noon.  "The Physics of Intrinsically Disordered Proteins: how do polymers work in living systems?"   Loren Hough.   Harvard:  Northwest B-103.   Details, Abstract.

Noon.  "What's New on the Science and Policy of Solar Geoengineering?"   David Keith.   Harvard:  MCZ, Room 440, 26 Oxford St.   Details, Abstract, RSVP.

1 - 5p.  "Mobile and Electronic Health."   A symposium.   BU:  Hiebert Lounge, 72 E Concord St, 14th flr.   Details, Abstract.

2:50p.  "Building the Instant Internet with Machine Learning."   David Lerner.   Tufts:  Halligan 102.   Details.

4p.  "The Ecology of Collective Behavior."   Deborah Gordon.   Harvard:  BioLabs 1080.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "Wiring Up a Circuit to Perform Computations: development of direction selectivity."   Marla Feller.   MIT:  46-3002.   Details.

5p.  "Network Science: From the Online World to Cancer Genomics."   Jennifer Chayes.   Harvard:  Askwith Hall.   Details, Abstract.

5p.  "Just Machine Learning."   Tina EliAssi-Rad.   Harvard:  Boylston Hall 110.   Details, Abstract.

7p.  "Invisible Chefs."   Roberto Kolter.   Harvard Ed Portal, 224 Western Ave., Allston.   Details, Abstract.


November 3 - 5 .  "MIT Energy Hackathon."   MIT:  10-250.   Details, Registration.

Friday, November 3

4p.  "Controlling Topological Nanomaterials."   Judy Cha.   Harvard:  Pierce 209.   Details, Abstract.

Saturday, November 4

2p.  "Capturing Birds of Prey with Pencil and Paper."   Erica Beade.   Harvard Museum of Natural History.   Details.

9:30a.  "Drawing Birds in Colored Pencil."   Erica Beade.   Harvard Museum of Natural History.   Details.


November 6 - 9.  "Emtech."   A conference.   MIT:  Media Lab.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

Monday, November 6

6p.  "The David Rockefeller Beetle Collection."   Brian D. Farrell.   Harvard Museum of Natural History, Geological Lecture Hall.   Details.

7p  "Office Space."   A Coolidge Science on Screen Presentation.   Wade Roush will discuss technological issues raised by the movie.   Details.

Tuesday, November 7

2p.  "Computational Ecosystems: Tech-enabled Communities to Advance Human Values at Scale."   Haoqi Zhang.   MIT:  32-G449.   Details, Abstract.

6p.  "Docs & Hackers."   Ankit Gupta and Amit Ghorawat.   PULSE @MassChallenge, 401 Park Drive, 8th Floor, Boston.   Details.

Wednesday, November 8

9 - 5p.  "Data Intensive Studies Center Fall Symposium."   Tufts:  Breed Memorial Hall, 51 Winthrop St, Medford.   Details.

1 - 5p.  "Ecological Gardening Symposium."   The Gardens at Elm Bank, Wellesley.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "Genetics and Epigenetics of Adaptation to The Environment."   Detlef Weigel.   Harvard:  BioLabs 1080.   Details, Abstract.

6p.  "Decoding Maya Hieroglyphs with 3D Technology."   Barbara Fash.   Harvard Museum of Natural History:  Geological Lecture Hall.   Details, Abstract.

6p.  "Room to Grow: Farming into the Future."   A panel discussion.   Le Laboratoire Cambridge, 650 East Kendall Street.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

Friday, November 10

8p.  "Telescope Tips from the Experts."   Museum of Science.   Details, Abstract.

Sunday, November 12

1 - 4p.  "Microbes Mini-Festival!"   Harvard Museum of Natural History.   Details, Abstract.

Wednesday, November 15

6p.  "Dance and Empathy."   Ilya Vidrin.   Le Laboratoire Cambridge, 650 Kendall St.   Details, Abstract, RSVP.

6p.  "Designing Life: Early Experiments in Synthetic Biology."   Sophia Roosth.   Harvard Science Center D.   Details, Abstract.

Thursday, November 16

5:45p.  "Using Machine Learning to Screen Small Molecules."   Gabriel Musso.   Broad Institute, 415 Main St.   Details, Abstract, RSVP.

7p.  "It's Time for a New Old Language."   Guy Steele.   MIT:  32-G449.   Details, Abstract.

Friday, November 17

2p.  "Digital Minds: Science fiction or near-future reality?"   Arlindo Oliveira.   MIT:  32-G882.   Details, Abstract.

2p.  "Machine Learning and AI for the Sciences —Towards Understanding."   Klaus-Robert Müller.   MIT:  46-3002.   Details, Abstract.

8p.  "Telescope Tips from the Experts."   Museum of Science.   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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