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: 15.1145

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

Tuesday, January 15

9-5:30p.  "MIT AI Policy Congress."   MIT:  32 Vassar St.   Details, Abstract.

10:30a.  "Molasses Flood Event."   Langone Park, 542 Commercial Street.   Details, Abstract.

11a.  "Introduction to Magnetic Fusion and the SPARC project."   MIT:  NW17-218.   Details, Abstract.

11a.  "Universality in the Spread of Quantum Chaos."   Brian Swingle.   Brandeis:  Abelson 307.   Details.

11a.  "Using Drones for Research: Data Processing and Legal Issues."   MIT:  4-231.   Details, Abstract.

Noon.  "The Formation of Quiescent Galaxies."   Sirio Belli.   Center for Astrophysics:  Phillips Auditorium.   Details.

Noon.  "The Psychology of Ritual."   Michael Norton.   A webinar.   Details, Abstract, RSVP.

1p.  "Alcatour C-Mod tour."   MIT:  NW17-218.   Details.

1p.  "“Physical Concepts and Computational Models in Immunology."   Arup Chakraborty.   MIT:  68-181.   Details.

1p.  "Physical Concepts and Computational Models in Immunology."   Arup Chakraborty.   MIT:  68-181.   Details.

3-6p.  "Public Domain Day Wikipedia edit-a-thon."   MIT:  14N-132.   Details, Abstract, Registration.   More.

4p.  "Entanglement, Chaos, and the Emergence of Spacetime."   Brian Swingle.   Brandeis:  Abelson 131.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "Vaccines for the Prevention of Non-Viral Cancers."   Olivera Finn.   Jimmy Fund Auditorium, 35 Binney St.   Details.

6p.  "Spaceflight."   Michael J. Neufeld.   MIT Press Bookstore, 301 Massachusetts Ave.   Details.

Wednesday, January 16

10a.  "Introduction to Python."   MIT:  1-190.   Details, Abstract, Registration.   Bring your own laptop and install the Anaconda distribution of Python 3.6 prior to the workshop.

10a.  "Mollusks to Medicine."   Mande Holford.   MIT:  Koch Institute Auditorium.   Details.

11a.  "Network Models, Sampling, and Symmetry Properties."   Peter Orbanz.   Northeastern University:  Network Science Institute, 177 Huntington Ave.   Details, Abstract.   To attend an event at the Institute, please bring a photo ID when entering the building.

11a.  "Patent Searching Fundamentals."   MIT:  14N-132.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

1p.  "Biosynthesis of Natural Products: Origin, Diversity, and Function."   Lihan Zhang.   Brandeis:  Gerstenzang 122.   Details.

1p.  "Bitcoin, Blockchain, and Distributed Ledgers: Innovation and Regulation."   Robert Townsend.   MIT:  E51-372.   Details.

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

4p.  "Machine-Aided Science, a New Era in (Quantum) Many Body Physics."   Dries Sels.   BC:  Higgins 310.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "Neuroimaging & the Neurocircuitry of PTSD: A Model Influenced by Fear Conditioning & Extinction."   Scott L. Rauch.   Mclean Hospital:    Details, Abstract.

5:30-8:30p.  "Advances in Bionics and Exoskeletons."   A Meetup.   Regis College Fine Arts Center, 235 Wellesley Street, Weston.   Details, Abstract.

5:30p.  "Libraries as Drivers of Civic Engagement."   A panel discussion.   District Hall, 75 Northern Ave.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

6p.  "CRISPR: What is it and where is it going?"   Robin Bowman and Johnny Kung.   BossLab:  339R Summer St., Somerville.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

6p.  "Sports Engineering."   Kim Blair.   John Harvard's Brewery & Ale House, Shoppers World Plaza, 1 Worcester Rd, Framingham.   Details, Abstract.

6:30p.  "Linux Game Development."   Dennis Payne.   MIT:  E51-315.   Details.

7p.  "Fiber: The Coming Tech Revolution—and Why America Might Miss It."   Susan Crawford.   Harvard Book Store, 1256 Massachusetts Ave.   Details, Abstract.

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

Thursday, January 17

Noon.  "Naming the Allenstown Oil Drum Victims: How Forensic Genealogists Identify the Unknown Dead."   Melinde Lutz Byrne.   BU:  Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center, 771 Commonwealth Avenue, 1st Floor.   Details, Abstract.

1p.  "Autonomous Experimentation Applied to Carbon Nanotube Synthesis."   MIT:  36-156.   Details, Abstract.

3p.  "Speakers and Sound Systems/Disco."   Phillip Tan.   MIT:  14E-109.   Details, Abstract.   Dancing recommended but not required.

4:30p.  "Molecular Drivers of Platelet Production."   Joseph E. Italiano, Jr..   BCH:  Folkman Auditorium, Enders Bldg.   Details.

Friday, January 18

10:30a.  "Deep Learning on Graphs."   Jure Leskovec.   Northeastern University:  Network Science Institute, 177 Huntington Ave.   Details, Abstract.

11:30a.  "Optimized Photonics for Quantum and Classical Information Processing."   Greg Steinbrecher.   MIT:  32-144.   Details.

Noon.  "Fetal-to-Placental Signaling and Timing of Parturition."   Bingbing Wang.   Tufts Medical Center:  Farnsworth 1, Stearns Auditorium.   Details, Abstract.

Noon.  "Governing the Rise of AI: A Unique Global Governance Challenge."   Nicolas Miailhe.   42 Church St.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

Noon.  "Using Historical Approaches to Improve Ocean Conservation and Management."   Ruth Thurstan.   Pardee Center, 67 Bay State Road.   Details, Abstract, RSVP.

1p.  "A Trip to the Evolutionary Repair Shop."   Andrew Murray.   Whitehead Auditorium.   Details.

1:30p.  "Quantum Jitters in the Sky: Cosmic Inflation and the Latest Observations."   David Kaiser.   MIT:  6-120.   Details, Abstract.

2p.  "Role of Technology and Science in the India-US Bilateral Relationship."   A panel discussion.   MIT:  Samberg, Dining 3.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

Saturday, January 19

10-3p.  "Reality Virtually Community Talks."   A Hackathon.   MIT:  Bartos Theater.   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.

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.

9:30-5p.  "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.

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.  "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.

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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.

Friday, February 1

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

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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.

Friday, February 8

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.

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

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

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.

*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.