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 by showing what people are talking about, although from time to time I include events 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 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 (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.   Sometimes speakers change their topic.   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: 25.2230

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

Sunday, March 26

Noon.   "Chain Reaction."   MIT Museum, 265 Massachusetts Ave.   Details.

1p.  "Tree Spotters."   Citizen Science Training Session.   Arnold Arboretum, Hunnewell Bldg.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

4p.  "Human Health and the Environment."   Eric Chivian.   The Center for Arts in Natick), 14 Summer St., Natick.   Details, Registration.

March 26 - 27.  "Deep Learning Workshop."   Victor Shnayder and Sri Krishnamurthy.   IBM, Binney St, Cambridge.   Details, Abstract.

Monday, March 27

Noon.  "Computation-Driven Design of Molecular Materials."   Rafael Gómez- Bombarelli.   Harvard:  Pierce 209.   Details, Abstract.

Noon.  "Which Social Cost of Carbon?"   Matthew Kotchen.   HKS:  Belfer Bldg, Bell Hall.   Details.

12:15p.  "Neural Rules in the Cerebellum."   Jennifer Raymond.   Children's Hospital:  Folkman Auditorium, Enders Building, 300 Longwood Avenue.   Details.*

2p.  "The Science of Managing Our Digital Stuff."   Ofer Bergman and Steve Whittaker.   MIT:  Media Lab.   Details, Abstract.

3:30p.  "The Birth and Growth of Supermassive Black Holes: Coming of Age with Space Telescope Imaging Spectrographs."   Jonathan Trump.   BU:  CAS 502, 725 Commonwealth Ave.   Details.

4p.  "Relaxing Bottlenecks for Fast Machine Learning."   Christopher De Sa.   Harvard:  Maxwell Dworkin G115.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "Small and Bright: Tailoring Luminescent Nanoparticles in Biology."   Gang Han.   Brandeis:  Gerstenzang 121.   Details.

4:15p.  "Beauty in Comparative Perspective: Male and Female Beauty Standards in France, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland and the UK."   Giselinde Kuipers.   Harvard:  Center for European Studies, Busch Hall, Hoffman Rooom, 27 Kirkland St.   Details, Abstract.

5p.  "Broken Books: digital methods for reconstructing dismembered manuscripts."   Lisa Fagin Davis.   Harvard:  Barker Center 133, 12 Quincy St.   Details.

5:15p.  "Poverty and Inequality: Societal and Psychological Costs."   Presentations and a Panel Discussion.   HLS:  Austin Hall 100, 1515 Massachusetts Ave.   Details, Abstract.

6p.  "Piltdown Man, the Missing Link: Exposing the Motives and Methods behind a 100-Year-Old Hoax."   Christopher Dean.   Harvard:  Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford St.   Details.

Tuesday, March 28

11a.  "Brain Circuits Regulating Fear."   Stephen Maren.   McLean Hospital:  deMarneffe 132, 115 Mill St.   Details.

11a.  "Robust Navigation: From UAVs to Robot Swarms."   Grace Gao.   MIT:  32-G449.   Details, Abstract.

Noon.  "Archaeology of the Invisible: Molecular approaches for reconstructing ancient diet, health, and the ancestral human microbiome."   Christina Warinner.   Harvard:  Tozzer 203.   Details.

Noon.  "Deciphering the Structure, Dynamics and Chirality of Complex Molecules."   Melanie Schnell.   MIT:  34=401.   Details.

Noon.  "Genomic Perspectives of Wood Formation in Trees."   Andrew Groover.   Harvard:  Herbaria Seminar Room, 22 Divinity Ave.   Details.

Noon.   "Virtual Competition: The Promise and Perils of the Algorithm-Driven Economy."   Maurice Stucke.   HLS:  Wasserstein 2036.   Details, Abstract, RSVP.   This event will be webcast.

12:30p.  "Tara Oceans: Eco-Systems Biology at Planetary Scale."   Chris Bowler.   MIT:  48-316.   Details.

12:45p.  "Engineering Quantum Systems."   William Oliver.   MIT:  36-428.   Details, Abstract.

1:30p.  "Robo Madness 2017— A.I. Gets Real."   A conference.   Google, 355 Main St., 5th floor.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

2 - 5p.  "The Myths of Testosterone."   A forum. .   BU:  Photonics Center 906, 8 St. Mary's St.   Details.

4p.  "Connectography."   Parag Khanna.   MIT:  E14-633.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "Physics Explains How a Virus Motor Stuffs a Long DNA into a Small Shell."   Steve Harvey.   Brandeis:  Abelson 131.   Details, Abstract.

5p.  "How to End Floods and Drought: Soaking Up the Rain, Cooling the Earth – A General Introduction to the New Water Paradigm."   Michal Kravčík.   Harvard:  Geological Museum 102, 24 Oxford St.   Details.

5:30p.  "Technology and Global Affairs."   Graham Allison.   HKS:  JFK Jr. Forum, 79 JFK St.   Details.

6 - 8p.  "Rosalind Franklin: DNA's Shadow Figure."   A screening of NOVA's "Secret of Photo 51," which examines Franklin's largely unsung role in the discovery of DNA.   Introduced by Tracey L. Petryshen, of the MGH Center for Genomic Medicine.   MGH:  Museum of Medical History, 12 North Grove St.   Details. To register, please email or call 617-724-2755.

7p.  "The Grapes of Wrath."   A Coolidge Science on Screen Event.   Bill McKibben will discuss the science of climate change.   Coolidge Corner Theater.   Details, Abstract.

Wednesday, March 29

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

9:30a.  "Xenon as a Novel Treatment for Psychiatric Illness."   Edward Meloni.   McLean Hospital, de Marneffe 218.   Details.

10a.  "Networks and the Unintended Consequences of Communication."   Sandra Gonzalez-Bailon.   Northeastern:  Network Science Institute, 177 Huntington Ave, 11th floor.   Details, Abstract.   Please bring photo ID.

11a.  "Introduction to Machine Vision: Definitions, Components, Benefits, Applications."   John Lewis, Editor in Chief, Vision Systems Design.   A webcast.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

Noon.  "Excited State and Quantum-engineered Materials."   Prineha Narang.   Harvard:  Pierce 209.   Details, Abstract.

Noon.  "Nature's Gift: How the Discovery of Structural Principles in a Microbial Protein Helped Illuminate the Pathophysiology of Psychiatry."   Karl Deisseroth.   Boston Children's Hospital:  Folkman Auditorium, 300 Longwood Ave.   Details.*   This Event will be webcast.

1p.  "Motor Skill Learning and Execution in a Distributed Brain Network."   Steffen Wolff.   Harvard:  Northwest 243.   Details.

4p.  "Addressing Complexity: Smallholder Farmers Facing Climate Risks in Sub-Saharan Africa."   HKS:  Belfer 503.   Details.

4p.  "Contact and Friction from Atomic to Macroscopic Scales."   Mark O. Robbins.   Harvard:  Pierce 209.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "How Do Patents Affect Innovation?"   Heidi Williams.   Harvard:  Maxwell Dworkin G115.   Details.

4p.   "Learning from the Past to Understand the Future of Ocean Ecosystems."   Chris Bowler.   Harvard:  Fay House, Sheer Room, 10 Garden St.   Details, Abstract.

5:30 - 8p.  "Connected Health: Emerging Technologies Poised to Make our Lives Better."   A forum.   MIT:  32-144.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

6p.  "Examining America's Opioid Crisis."   A forum.   HKS:  JFK Jr. Forum, 79 JFK St.   Details.

7p.  "Deep Sea Exploration with Video and Data Systems: Finding El Faro’s 'black box'."   Dwight F. Coleman.   WCVB-TV, 5 TV Place, Needham.   Details.

7p.  "The Scientist as Sentinel."   Naomi Oreskes.   Harvard Science Center B.   Details.

March 30 - 31.  "2017 MassBio Annual Meeting."   Royal Sonesta, Cambridge.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

Thursday, March 30

11a.  "Measurements and Advertising under Internet Censorship."   Ihan Ayyub Qazi.   MIT:  32-G882.  Details, Abstract.

Noon.  "Diagnosis of Hereditary Hearing Loss in the Genomic Era."   Jun Shen.   Mass Eye & Ear, Meltzer Auditorium, 243 Charles St.   Details.

2p.  "Topology – from the materials perspective."   Claudia Felser.   Harvard:  Jefferson 250.   Details, Abstract.

2:30p.  "CRISPR and What's Next."   2017 MassBio Annual Meeting.   Royal Sonesta, Cambridge.   Details.

4:30p.  "How Many Patients does It — and should It — Take to Develop a New Cancer Drug?"   Jonathan Kimmelman.   HMS:  1st Floor Conference Room, 641 Huntington Ave.   Details, Registration.

5p.  "The Science of Human Collective Behavior Using Twitter."   Alfredo J. Morales.   New England Complex Systems Institute, 277 Broadway, Cambridge.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

6 - 8p.  "Nautical Night."   Interactive demonstrations, short talks, and a chance to view our renowed collection of plans and prints.   MIT Museum, 265 Massachusetts Ave.   Details.

6:30p.  "Consciousness Hacking: Meditation, Neuroscience, and Technology."   A forum.   Harvard Divinity School:  Sperry Room and Various Classrooms, Andover Hall, 45 Francis Ave.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

6:30p.  "What Brain Connectivity Reveals about Music, Language, and Creativity."   Psyche Loui.   Aeronaut Brewery, 14 Tyler St, Somerville.   Details.

Friday, March 31

8:30a.  "Experimental Evolution with Pesticides on Host-Microbiome Phenotypes."   Robert Brucker.   Harvard:  HUCE Seminar Room 429, 26 Oxford St.   Details.

9 - Noon.  "A Mini-Symposium on Cancer Stem Cells."   Dana-Farber Institute, Jimmy Fund Auditorium.   Details.

10:30a.  "Feature to Prototype Transition in Neural Networks."   Dmitry Krotov.   Harvard:  Northwest 425.   Details, Abstract.

11:15a.  "Macromolecular Machines on DNA: motors, rings, springs and things."   Brian Kelch.   The Kelch Lab.   Brandeis:  Rosenstiel 118.   Details.

Noon.  "Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization."   Parag Khanna.   HKS:  Allison Dining Room.   Details, Abstract.

12:45p.  "Incorporating Climate Projections in Health Impact Studies."   Pat Kinney.   BUSM:  L210.   Details.

4p.  "Mechanistic Understanding of Carbon Nanotube Formation Enabled by Environmental Chemistry."   Desiree Plata.   Harvard:  Pierce 209.   Details, Abstract.

5p.  "What does '?' sound like?"   Byron Ahn.   BU:  565 Comm. Ave., Room 101.   Details, Abstract.

7p.  "Tides: The Science and Spirit of the Ocean."   Jonathan White.   Harvard Book Store, 1256 Massachusetts Ave.   Details.

April 1 - 2.   "Investing in Discovery: Food Tank Summit."   A conference.   Tufts:  Friedman School, 150 Harrison Avenue.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

Saturday, April 1

10 - Noon.  "How the Internet Works."   MIT:  Kresge Auditorium.   Details.

Noon - 4p  "App Inventor."   MIT Museum.   Details.

Sunday, April 2

Noon - 4p  "Programming with Scratch."   MIT Museum, 265 Massachusetts Ave.   Details.

Monday, April 3

Noon.  "Bitter Pills: The Curious Case of Substandard and Counterfeit Medicines in South Asia."   Muhammad Zaman.   Harvard:  CGIS South S050.   Details.

Noon.  "System Effects Mapping as a Tool for Environmental Policy & Planning."   Luke Craven.   Tufts:  Aidekman Arts Center, Alumnae Lounge.   Details.

12:15p.  "How the Cortex Controls the Thalamus."   Barry Connors.   Children's Hospital:  Folkman Auditorium, Enders Building, 300 Longwood Avenue.   Details.

4p.  "Machine Learning for Programming."   Veselin Raychev.   MIT:  32-G449.   Details, Abstract.

5p.  "Trends and Challenges in Global Agriculture: The Opportunity for Digital Ag."   Michael Stern.   Harvard:  Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford St.   Details.

Tuesday, April 4

8 - 4:30p.  "Putting Kids First: Facilitating Multisite Pediatric Studies."   A conference.   HMS:  Joseph B. Martin Conference Center.   Details.*   Register by March 28, 2017.

Noon.  "Algorithmic Consumers."   Michal Gal and Niva Elkin-Koren.   HLS:  Wasserstein 2036.   Details, Abstract, RSVP.   Event will be webcast.

Noon.  "Making, Breaking and Linking Memories."   Sheena Josselyn.   Harvard:  Northwest 243.   Details, Abstract.

2:30p.  "Evolution in Motion."   Madison Ski Krieger.   MIT:  2-147.   Details, Abstract.

3:30p.  "The Role of Standards in Telemedicine."   Ram D. Sriram.   MIT:  66-144.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "Mapping Human Brain Growth before Birth using MRI."   Colin Studholme.   MIT:  32-D507.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "Probing New Physics with the Cosmic Microwave Background."   Abigail Vieregg.   MIT:  37-252.   Details, Abstract.

6p.  "Lemurs: Endangered Gardeners of Madagascar’s Rainforests."   Onja Razafindratsima.   Harvard Museum of Natural History.   Details, Abstract.

7p.  "Connecticut’s Fabulous Minerals & Gems: A Photographic Celebration ."   Harold (Fritz) Moritz.   Harvard:  Geological Museum 102.   Details, Abstract.

7p.  "Intrusive Thoughts."   Carol Hevia.   McLean Hospital, de Marneffe 132.   Details.

7p.  "Seed: The Untold Story."   Movie Night.   Barry Logan.   Arnold Arboretum:  Hunnewell Bldg, 125 Arborway.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

Wednesday, April 5

11:30a.  "Algorithms for Inferring Evolution and Migration of Tumors."   Ben Raphael.   MIT:  32-G575.   Details, Abstract.

12:30p.  "Crowdfunding Medical Care: Identifying Ethical Implications."   Valorie Crooks.   HMS:  Tosteson Medical Education Center 227, 260 Longwood.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

12:30p.  "How to Ensure Quality in Nanosafety Research."   Andrea Haase.   HSPH:  655 Huntington Ave, 1-1302.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "Dating the Tree of Life using Fossils and Phylogenomics."   Jo Wolfe.   MIT:  48-316.   Details.

4p.  "How to Snowboard on Mars?"   Jim McElwaine.   Harvard:  Pierce 209.   Details, Abstract.

7p.  "How Native Plant Cultivars Affect Pollinators."   Annie White.   Cambridge Public Library.   Details.

7p.  "The Splice of Life: Cutting and pasting RNA in medicine and disease."   Harvard:  Pfizer Hall.   Details.   This event will be streamed.

April 6 - 7.  "The Ethics of 'Making Babies'."   A conference.   HMS:  Armenise Medical Research Building, 210 Longwood Ave.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

Thursday, April 6

8 - 5p.  "e-Science Symposium."   University of Massachusetts Medical School, Faculty Conference Room, Worcester.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

8 - 5p.  "Multi-disciplinary Platforms for Neurotherapeutics."   A conference.   HMS:  Joseph B. Martin Center, 77 Avenue Louis Pasteur.   Details, Abstract, Registration.*

Noon.  "Modeling of Soft-Matter Materials from Multiscale Simulations."   Tristan Bereau.   Harvard:  60 Oxford St., Room 330.   Details, Abstract.

Noon.  "Plant Life In Extreme Habitats: A Geobotanical Overview On California Ultramafic (Serpentine) Flora And Vegetation."   Daniel Sánchez Mata.   Harvard Herbaria, Seminar Room, 22 Divinity Ave.   Details, Abstract.

3p.  "A Probabilistic Theory of Deep Learning."   Richard Baraniuk.   MIT:  32-D463.   Details, Abstract.

3p.  "Optimization-Based Control for the Smart Manufacturing of the Future."   Frank Allgöwe.   Harvard:  Maxwell Dworkin 119.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "From Genetics to CRISPR Gene Editing with Machine Learning."   Jennifer Listgarten.   Harvard:  Maxwell Dworkin G115.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "The Big, the Bad, and the Beautiful: Parasitism and the World's Largest Flowers."   Charles Davis.   Harvard:  BioLabs Main Lecture Hall, 16 Divinity Ave.   Details, Abstract.

Friday, April 7

10a.  "Reducing the Spread of Fake News: Using AI to Nudge Human Behavior."   J. Nathan Matias.   Harvard:  CGIS Knafel K354, 1737 Cambridge St.   Details, Abstract.

Noon.  "Chromatin Organization and Function in the Molecular Etiology of Autism."   Ashley Watson.   MIT:  46-6011.   Details, Abstract.

12:30p.  "Building A Machine Learning Health System."   Nigam Shah.   Harvard:  Northwest B103.   Details, Abstract.

1 - 6p.  "Contemporary Statistical Challenges in Clinical Research."   A symposium.   Jimmy Fund Auditorium, 1 Jimmy Fund Way.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

April 8 - 9.  "Basics of Biohacking."   BosLab, 339R Summer St., Somerville.   Details, Abstract.

Saturday, April 8

10:30a.  "Wonderful Oceans: Life beneath the Waves."   Harvard Museum of Natural History, 26 Oxford St.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

10a.  "VR/AR Hack Day."   Brookline Interactive Group, 46 Tappan St, Brookline.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

11 - 3p.  "NanoDays 2017."   A museumwide celebration of nanoscale and quantum science.   Museum of Science.   Details.

Noon - 4p  "Chain Reaction."   MIT Museum.   Details.

Sunday, April 9

Noon - 4p  "3D Printing and Design."   MIT Museum.   Details.

2 - 4:30p.  "Tree Spotters."   Citizen Science Training Session.   Arnold Arboretum, Hunnewell Bldg.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

Monday, April 10

12:15p.  "Can a Cell have a Sex?s"   Sarah Richardson.   Harvard:  CGIS South S050, 1730 Cambridge St.   Details.

4p.  "Shared-Memory Parallelism Can Be Simple, Fast, and Scalable."   Julian Shun.   MIT:  32-G449.   Details, Abstract.

Tuesday, April 11

6:30p.  "Next-Gen Sequencing in the High School Classroom: The BioSeq Program at Tufts."   Mark Hartman.   BosLab:  339R Summer St., Somerville.   Details, Abstract.

Wednesday, April 12

8:30 - 3:30p.  "Agents of Bioterrorism: Sentinel Laboratory Training."   A conference.   Hinton State Laboratory Institute, 305 South St, Boston.   Details.   There is a BSL-2 laboratory workshop associated with this training.   Laboratory experience is assumed.

4p.  "Changes in Inhibitory/Excitatory Connectivity and Neural Network Dynamics in a Model of Autism."   Peyman Golshani.   MIT:  46-3002.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "The Who and How of Microbial Control over Soil Carbon Dynamics."   Kristen DeAngelis.   MIT:  48-316.   Details.

4 - 8p.  "Digital Transformation Summit 2017."   A conference.   Harvard Business School.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

5:30p.  "Massachusetts Prescription Monitoring Program and the Opioid Epidemic: Stakeholder Perspectives."   A conference.   Northeastern Law School:  Moot Court Room, 160 Dockser Hall, 65 Forsyth St.   Details.

Thursday, April 13

4p.  "Multidimensional Normalization Is Optimal for Identification in Natural Scenes."   Wilson Geisler.   MIT:  46-3002.   Details, Abstract.

6p.  "A Forward-Looking Strategy on How Chemistry and Informatics can Enable Biology."   Meir Glick.   Le Méridien Cambridge-MIT, 20 Sidney Street.   Details, RSVP.

6p.  "Symbiosis and the Evolution of Life in the Ocean."   Peter R. Girguis.   Harvard:  Science Center D, 1 Oxford St.   Details, Abstract.

6p.  "What Is Mental Illness? A Humanistic, Genetic, and Cognitive Perspective."   A forum discussion.   Harvard:  Geological Museum 100.   Details.

6:30p.  "Toward an Artificial Brain."   David Cox.   Harvard Ed Portal, 224 Western Ave.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

Friday, April 14

12:30p.  "Exascale and Extreme Data Science at NERSC."   Sudip Dosanjh.   Harvard:  Northwest B103, 52 Oxford St.   Details, Abstract.

Monday, April 17

12:15p.  "Assessing and Mitigating Synthetic Biology Risks: Exemplary Cases and Cautionary Tales."   Kenneth Oye.   Harvard:  CGIS K262, 1737 Cambridge St.   Details.

Tuesday, April 18

9 - 8p.  "Business of Blockchain."   A conference.   MIT Media Lab (Bldg 14).   Details, Registration.

Noon.  "Dreams and Nightmares of Urban Restoration Ecology."   Steven N. Handel.   Harvard Herbaria, Seminar Room, 22 Divinity Ave.   Details.

Thursday, April 20

Noon.   "Social GeoAnnotation with Recogito 2 and the Pelagios Commons."   Leif Isaksen.   Harvard:  CGIS South S354.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

7:30p.  "Mapping the Heavens."   Priyamvada Natarajan.   Center for Astrophysics:  Phillips Auditorium, 60 Garden St.   Details, Abstract.

April 21-22.  "Being Material."   A conference.   MIT Samberg Conference Center, 50 Memorial Drive.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

Saturday, April 22

2 - 4p.  "March for Science."   Boston Common.   Details.

Monday, April 24

4p.  "Randomized Algorithms Meets Formal Verification."   Justin Hsu.   MIT:  32-G449.   Details.

7p.  "Hidden Figures."   A Coolidge Corner Science on Screen event.   Evelynn Hammonds will discuss the role of African American women in the space program.   Coolidge Corner Theater, 290 Harvard St, Brookline.   Details.

*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 (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.