Selected Lectures on Science and Engineering
in the Boston Area

This URL calls the correct files:

I suggest thinking of this list as a species of journalism.  Scan for topics of interest; when and if one is found, explore that interest first by looking at the abstract (if one is linked to the talk), the speaker's personal webpage, and the webpage of his laboratory or research group.  (Researchers often see these as their preferred medium of communication with the public and put a lot of work into them.)  If these do not exhaust your interest you might even consider attending the talk itself.  I do post lectures that have none of these resources and I sometimes include events of interest outside this focus -- such as Hackathons, DIY workshops, and events for young people.

The list 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   If you do not receive the list after subscribing that is probably because your mailer thinks the list is spam and is bouncing it.   If you can whitelist the list please do.   Adding to your contacts list might work.  If all else fails I invite you to send me an alternate email or resort to the website.

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, but 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 towards the ends of June and December.

In particular: 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 and lecture topics change.  Errors are introduced at every stage of the process.   I correct those I find out about, but of course sometimes my error-checking introduces a new set of errors.   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.  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: 20.2250

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

January 7 - February 1.  "Independent Activities Period."   Every January MIT hosts a wide range of activities.   They are intended for the MIT Community, defined as faculty, students, staff, and MIT alumni.   However, members of the general public have been known to attend noncredit events without incident.   Details.   YouTube Video

January 17-21.  "Reality Virtually Hackathon."   MIT:  Media Lab.   Details.

Tuesday, January 22

8:30-5:30p.  "Data Science at the Frontier of Discovery: Machine Learning in the Physical World."   A symposium.   Harvard Science Center B.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

10-Noon.   "Introduction to Stylometry Workshop."   Molly Nebiolo.   Northeastern University:  422 Snell Library.   Details, RSVP.   No previous experience is required but participants should bring their own laptops, if possible. This workshop is free and open to the public, but if you are not a member of the Northeastern community, please email Sarah Connell (sa.connell[at]northeastern[dot]edu) to RSVP.

Noon.  "Solar Observing IAP 2019."   Lee Duane and Michael Person.   MIT:  W20 Upper Plaza Area.   Details.

1-4p.  "Introduction to GIS & Mapping."   MIT:  14N-132.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

1p.  "The MIT Fusion Landscape."   MIT:  34-101.   Details, Abstract.

1p.  "Uncovering Microbial Chemical Warfare."   Emily Mevers.   Brandeis:  Gerstenzang 122.   Details.

3p.  "Communicating Science to Nonscientists."   Jean-luc Doumont.   MIT:  E25-111.   Details, Abstract.

3p.  "Deep Reinforcement Learning."   Deep RL introduction, fundamentals, and state-of-the-art overview.   MIT:  54-100.   Details.

3p.  "HMS State of the School."   George Q. Daley.   HMS:  Joseph B. Martin Conference Center Amphitheater.   Details.

4p.  "Probing Cellular RNAs in Time and Space."   Xiao Wang.   MIT:  6-120.   Details.

4p.  "Slow and Fast Gamma Rhythms in the Hippocampal Network."   Laura Colgin.   MIT:  46-3002.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "Visualizing the Molecular Dance at the Eukaryotic Gene Promoter."   Eva Nogales.   target=_"new">The Nogales Lab.   MIT:  10-250.   Details, Abstract.

January 23-25.  "Deep Learning Workshops/ComputeFest 2019."   Details, Abstract, Registrations.

Wednesday, January 23

9-5p.  "Deep Learning Workshops | ComputeFest 2019."   Harvard:  Northwest B-103.   Details, Abstract, Registration.   Registration for non-Harvard affiliates is $100/day or $250/three-day workshop pass.

9:30a.  "A Computational Approach to Emotion."   Alan Cowen.   MIT:  46-3002.   Details, Abstract.

9:30-5p.  "Mindful UX: Another Look at What Makes Us Swipe Right & The Implications of Mindful UX Design."   Maya Tateyama and Christelle Ngnoumen.   Harvard:  Lamont B30.   Details, Abstract, Registration.   Open to all members of the Harvard community.

Noon.  "Cell and Gene Therapies for Cancer: Future promises and challenges."   J. Joseph Melenhorst and Laurence J. N. Cooper.   A webinar.   Details.

Noon.  "Digital Audio Recording Basics for Non-Experts."   MIT:  14E-109.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

Noon.  "The Competitive Exclusion Principle in Stochastic Environments."   Alex Hening.   Brandeis:  Goldsmith 226.   Details, Abstract.

12:30p.  "The Rollercoaster Ride of RNAi, mRNA and Editing Therapeutics: From Obscurity to a $30B Industry."   Tod Woolf.   MIT:  E25-111.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

1:30p.  "Particles, Programs, and Machines That Have Ideas: Applying Statistical Physics to Build the Next Generation of Machine Learning Technology."   Ben Vigoda.   MIT:  6-120.   Details.

3p.  "Everyone's Favorite Mistakes."   Jean-luc Doumont.   Harvard:  Jefferson 250.   Details.

6p.  "Measuring and Mimicking Biology: Eyes, Noses, Genes and Proteins."   David R. Walt.   Le Laboratoire Cambridge, 650 East Kendall St.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

6p.  "Surveillance Capitalism and Democracy."   Shoshana Zuboff.   Suffolk University:  Sargent Hall, Fifth Floor Commons.   Details, Abstract, RSVP.

6:30p.  "Measuring and Mimicking Biology: Eyes, Noses, Genes and Proteins."   David R. Walt.   Le Laboratoire Cambridge:  650 Kendall St., Cambridge.   Details, Abstract, RSVP.

6:30p.  "Why the Earth Needs Its Oceans."   Amala Mahadevan.   Belmont Media Center, 9 Lexington St.   Details, Abstract.

Thursday, January 24

7:45a.  "Mapping and Treating Neuropsychiatric Symptoms Using the Human Brain Connectome."   Michael Fox.   Harvard Faculty Club:  20 Quincy St.   Details.

Noon.  "Audio Way-Back Machine."   Martin Marks and Forrest Larson.   MIT:  14E-109.   Details, Abstract.

Noon.  "Finding your Way: The science of success."   A panel discussion.   A webinar.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

Noon.  "Has Light Pollution Led to Firefly Declines?"   Avalon Owens.   Tufts:  Curtis Hall, Multipurpose room.   Details, Abstract.

Noon.  "Healing Global Warming."   Aaron Bernstein.   Armenise Amphitheater.   Details, Abstract.

12-5p.  "Machine Learning Developer Day."   Microsoft NERD:  1 Memorial Dr., Cambridge.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

Noon.  "Solar Observing IAP 2019."   Lee Duane and Michael Person.   MIT:  W20 Upper Plaza Area.   Details.

3p.  "Turntables and mixers/Hip-Hop."   Phillip Tan.   MIT:  14E-109.   Details, Abstract.   Dancing recommended but not required.

4p.  "Breaking Down Bacterial Cell Walls to Understand Inflammation."   Catherine Leimkuhler Grimes.   MIT:  6-120.   Details.

4:30p.  "Information Geometry and Entropy-Based Inference."   Jun Zhang.   Brandeis:  Goldsmith 317.   Details, Abstract.

Friday, January 25

Noon.  "Integration of Earth Observation data, Modelling Tools and Advanced Global Cyber-Infrastructures to Support Environmental Policy."   Nicola Pirrone.   Harvard:  Pierce 100F.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "Light for Health."   Kazuo Tsubota.   MIT:  46-3310.   Details, Abstract.

7p.  "The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power."   Shoshana Zuboff.   Harvard Book Store:  1256 Masssachusetts Ave.   Details, Abstract.

Saturday, January 26

8:30-10:30a.  "Smartphone Photography: Winter Landscapes Enhanced."   Nancy Katz.   Arnold Arboretum:  Hunnewell Bldg.   Details, Abstract, Registration.   Three sessions: January 26, February 9, 23.

Sunday, January 27

9a.  "Birding through the Winter."   Brendan Keegan, Arboretum Gardener.   Arnold Arboretum:  Arborway Gate.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

1:30p.  "Conifers in Winter."   Robbie Apfel, Arboretum Docent.   Arnold Arboretum:  Bussey Street Gate.   Details, Abstract.

Monday, January 28

Noon.  "Delayed Aging by Caloric Restriction."   Rozalyn Anderson.   Rozalyn Anderson's Laboratory.   Tufts:  HNRCA Bldg., Mezzaine Auditorium.   Details.

1:15p.  "Should I operate on Marie? Big Data & Machine Learning in the Operating Room."   Haytham Kaafarani.   HMS:  Countway, 5th floor library.   Details, Abstract.

2p.  "Digital Audio Recording Basics for Non-Experts."   MIT:  14E-109.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

2:30p.  "How Stars are Born."   Moritz Guenther.   3:00p.   "Modern Cyclopses – The Era of Giant Telescopes."   Gabor Furesz.   3:30p.   "Exoplanet Science in the era of TESS."   Jenn Burt.   MIT:  37-252.   Details, Abstract.

3p.  "Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence."   Deep learning for understanding the human: emotion, face identity, cognitive load, body pose, natural language processing, and more...   MIT:  54-100.   Details.

4p.  "Understanding and Improving our Urban Climate."   Lucy Hutyra and Patrick Kinney.   BU:  Hillel House, Bay State & Castle Rooms, 213 Bay State Rd.  Details, Abstract, Registration.

5p.  "An Energy Plan the Earth Can Live With."   Daniel Kammen.   Harvard:  Knafel Center, 10 Garden St.  Details, Abstract, Registration.

7p.  "The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou."   A Coolidge Science on Screen event.   Katy Croff Bel will discuss issues raised by the film.   Coolidge Corner Theater, 290 Harvard St.   Details, Abstract.

January 29-30.   "COMSOL Multiphysics® Intensive."   COMSOL, Inc., 100 District Avenue, Burlington.   Details, Abstract.

Tuesday, January 29

10a.  "Introduction to Remote Sensing."   MIT:  7-238.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

Noon.  "Biological Gods: UFOs, Science (Fiction), and Some Emergent Mythologies."   Jeffrey J. Kripal.   Center for the Study of World Religions, Conference Room, 42 Francis Ave.   Details, Abstract.

1:30p.  "Roman Warships in Experiment: Reconstruction and Sailing Tests."   Moritz Gunther,   "The Future of X-Ray Polarimetry in Astronomy." Herman Marshall.   MIT:  37-252.   Details, Abstract.

2p.  "Omeka Workshop."   Omeka is an open source platform used to build research exhibits.   Ece Turnator.   MIT:  14N-132.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

3p.  "Hyperalignment: Modeling the shared deep structure of information encoded in fine scale cortical topographies."   James V. Haxby.   MIT:  46-3189.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "Causative Role of Microglia in OCD Spectrum Disorders."   Mario Capecchi.   MIT:  32-123.   Details.

6:30p.  "Plant Collecting in Western Hubei, China."   Andrew Gapinski and Peter Zale.   Arnold Arboretum:    Details, Abstract, Registration.

Wednesday, January 30

8a.  "Governing AI — How Do We Do It?"   Tommy Ahlers.   HKS:  Littauer 369, 79 John F. Kennedy St.   Details, Abstract, RSVP.

9:30-4:45p.  "Machine Learning and Operations Research."   MIT:  32-141.   Details, Abstract.

10:30a.  "Impact of Memory Training on Brain Function."   Panel discussion.   MIT:  46-3002.   Details, Abstract.

Noon.  "Immune Profiling of Single Cells: A new milestone in multiomic biomarker analysis."   Swati Acharya.   A webinar.   Details, Abstract, Register.

2p.  "Target Cell Signaling Pathways for Cancer Therapies."   Wenyi Wei.   BU:  TBA.   Details.

3p.  "Batteryless Intermittent Computer Systems."   Brandon Lucia.   MIT:  32-D463.   Details, Abstract.

6p.  "The Goodness Paradox: The Strange Relationship Between Virtue and Violence in Human Evolution."   (AKA "Capital Punishment and the Origin of Homo sapiens".   Richard Wrangham.   Harvard Book Store.   Details, Abstract.

7p.  "Outbreak: Fighting Disease in a Changing World."   Museum of Science:    Details, Abstract, Registration.

Thursday, January 31

Noon.  "Climate Actions: Transformative Mechanisms for Social Mobilisation."   Laurence L. Delina.   Pardee Center, 67 Bay State Road.   Details, Abstract.

Noon.  "Designing Biology for Sustainability."   Kit McDonnell.   Tufts:  Curtis Hall, Multi-Purpose Room.   Details.

Noon.  "Solar Observing IAP 2019."   Lee Duane and Michael Person.   MIT:  W20 Upper Plaza Area.   Details.

3p.  "Turntables and mixers/Hip-Hop."   Phillip Tan.   MIT:  14E-109.   Details, Abstract.   Dancing recommended but not required.

3:30p.  "Molecular and Neural Insights into the Evolution of Mosquito Preference for Human Odor."   Lindy McBride.   McBride Lab.   Harvard:  BioLabs 1080.   Details, Abstract.

5p.  "Digital Audio Recording Basics for Non-Experts."   MIT:  14E-109.  Details, Abstract, Registration.

Friday, February 1

1:30p.  "Voyager 2 in the Interstellar Medium."   John Belcher.   MIT:  6-120.   Details.

1:45p.  "Adventures with 2D Materials: From Transistors, Atomristors, Tattoos and Beyond."   Deji Akinwande.   Tufts:    Details, Abstract.

2p.  "Illuminating Biology at the Nanoscale and Systems Scale by Imaging."   Xiaowei Zhuang.   MIT:  76-156.   Details.

4p.  "Combating Antibiotic Resistant Superbugs across Diverse Habitats."   Gautam Dantas.   Dantas Lab.   Harvard:  Knafel Center, 10 Garden St.  Details, Abstract, Registration.

Saturday, February 2

9a.  "Conifer Adaptations."   An Arboretum for Educators event.   Arnold Arboretum:  Hunnewell Bldg.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

Monday, February 4

9-Noon.  "Equity and Social Justice: Precision Medicine."   A panel discussion.   HMS:  Countway Library, 5th flr.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

9-5p.  "Reinventing Cancer Prevention and Early Detection for the 21st Century."   Joseph B. Martin Conference Center, 77 Avenue Louis Pasteur.   Details, RSVP.

Noon.  "Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes, and Dementia: Prediction and Prevention; Looking Back and Looking Forward."   Ernst J. Schaefer.   Tufts:  Jean Mayer Center, Mezzanine Auditorium.   Details.

12:10p.  "Strangers in the Night: Will light pollution lead to firefly declines?"   Avalon Owens.   Arnold Arboretum:  Weld Hill Lecture Hall.   Details.

12:15p.  "Crypto: A Look at the Current State of the Controversy."   Susan Landau.   1 Brattle Square, Suite 470.   Details.

4p.  "Exploring Evolution Through Synthetic Approaches."   Angad P. Mehta.   MIT:  6-120.   Details.

5p.  "Twins in Space."   Brinda Rana.   Harvard:  Knafel Center, 10 Garden St.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

7p.  "Reimagining the Microbial World."   Roberto Kolter and Scott Chimileski.   Cambridge Innovation Center, Venture Cafe.   Details, Abstract, Registration.  Doors open at 6p.

Tuesday, February 5

12:30p.  "How Nature and Nurture Conspire to Control Brain Development and Function."   Michael Greenberg.   Greenberg Lab.   Brandeis:  Gerstenzang 121.   Details.

6p.  "New and Emerging Pests."   Jared Rubinstein and Javin Marin.   Arnold Arboretum:  Hunnewell Bldg.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

Wednesday, February 6

10a.  "The New Wave in Robot Grasping."   Ken Goldberg.   Harvard:  Jefferson 256.   Details, Abstract.

2:30p.  "The World of Witch Hazels."   Andrew Gapinski.   Arnold Arboretum:  Hunnewell Bldg.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

4p.  "The Truth Wears Off? The Reproducibility Crisis in Historical Perspective."   Nicole C. Nelson.   Harvard:  Knafel Center, 10 Garden St.   Details, Abstract.

4:30p.  "Series Fluid-Elastic Mechanics and Soft-Composite Design for Human-Safe and Interactive Robots."   Peter Whitney.   Harvard:  Pierce 209.   Details, Abstract.

6:30p.  "The Next Phase of Big Genetics."   Broad Institute.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

7p.  "The Challenge and Promise of Restoring Urban Landscapes."   Steven Handel.   Cambridge Public Library.   Details, Abstract.

Thursday, February 7

Noon.  "From Aspiration to Action: How outreach and mobilization, and advocacy are keeping Massachusetts on track to meet its clean energy and climate objectives."   Eugenia Gibbons.   Tufts:  Curtis Hall.   Details, Abstract.

Noon.  "Structure, Meaning, Action and Interaction: a future vision for augmenting human, machine, and network intelligence."   Christoper White.   Nokia Bell Labs Tech Talk.   MIT:  32-D463.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

2p.  "TeamHuman: How People, Together, can Rule the Digital Future."   Kate Darling and Douglas Rushkoff.   MIT:  Media Lab.   Details, Abstract.   This talk will be webcast.

4:30p.  "Direct Nanoscopic Imaging: from crystallization of nanoparticles to fluctuation of membrane proteins."   Qian Chen.   Harvard:  60 Oxford St., Room 330.   Details, Abstract.

Friday, February 8

Noon.  "Black-Box Medicine: Legal and Ethical Issues."   I. Glenn Cohen and Ziad Obermeyer.   HLS:  Wasserstein 2036.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

Noon.  "New Phenomena in Large-Scale Internet Traffic."   Jeremy Kepner.   MIT:  32-141.   Details, Abstract.

Noon.  "Towards a Holistic Understanding of the Interactions between Biochemical and Physical Processes above the Amazonian Rain Forest."   Jordi Vila.   Harvard:  Pierce 100F.   Details, Abstract.

Saturday, February 9

10-4p.  "I heart Science."   Harvard Museum of Natural History.   Details.

1-4p.  "Winter Tree Identification."   Sue Pfeiffer.   Arnold Arboretum:  Hunnewell Bldg.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

Sunday, February 10

10a.  "Olives."   Olives in ancient Israel.   Peabody Museum, 11 Divinity Ave.   Details, Abstract, Registration.   This event will repeat at 1p.

Monday, February 11

Noon.  "How to Die Young at a Very Old Age."   Nir Barzilai.   Tufts:  Jean Mayer Center, Mezzanine Auditorium.   Details.

12:10p.  "Isolation, Interference, and Introgression: genomic perspectives on plant diversification."   Daren Eaton.   Arnold Arboretum:  Weld Hill.   Details.

4p.  "Epigenetic Basis of Sex Differences in Neuropsychiatric Disorders."   Scott Russo.   BWH:  Hale bldg., 3rd flr.   Details.

7p.  "The Future of Environmental Protection."   Gina McCarthy.   Arnold Arboretum:  Hunnewell Bldg.   Details, Abstract.   Member only event.

Tuesday, February 12

8-10a.  "Gene Therapy Then and Now: Tales of Perseverence From Its Inception to Today."   Massachusetts Biotechnology Council, 300 Technology Square, 8th Floor, Cambridge.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

11a.  "Working with Historical Maps."   Northeastern University:  O’Neill Library, Room 205.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

Noon.  "Tropical Pitcher Plants as an Ecological Filter."   Kadeem Gilbert.   Harvard:  Herbaria 125.   Details.

Wednesday, February 13

6p.  "Traces and Tracks: Journeys with the San."   Paul Weinberg.   Harvard:  Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford St.   Details.

7p.  "Democratizing Art and Science."   Joe Akin and Jason Talbert.   MIT:  Bartos Center.   Details, Abstract, RSVP.

Thursday, February 14

6p.  "Designing Living Things."   Christina Agapakis.   Harvard:  Geological Lecture Hall.   Details, Abstract.

Friday, February 15

Noon.  "The Past Inside the Present: Bridging the gap between the solar system and exoplanets via climate evolution research."   Robin Wordsworth.   Harvard:  Maxwell Dworkin G115.   Details, Abstract.

February 18-22.  "Feb Fest."   MIT Museum.   Details, Abstract.

Thursday, February 21

6p.  "Possible Minds: Twenty-Five Ways of Looking at AI."   John Brockman.   Brattle Theatre, 40 Brattle St.   Details, Abstract, Tickets.

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