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 through a schedule of talks in this area about these issues.   From time to time I include events outside this focus that seem likely to be of interest to the technical community.

Caveats: The list is not remotely comprehensive and selection criteria are subjective.  Courses, exhibits, and networking meetups with no special focus are not well handled.  I tend to list events that offer a physical speaker and accommodate physical attendance.  Activity falls considerably over the summer and winter holidays.

Most critically:  This is a volatile landscape.  Important details change at the last minute;  some events have limited seating and get sold out.  There is no way I can stay on top of these changes.  Plus I make the occasional error myself (word of which I would be immensely grateful to receive).  For all of these reasons I strongly urge you to doublecheck the "Details" link before you head out.

There are two routes to this list: a website and a mailing list.  The website carries events for the next month (roughly).  I add to it several times a week.  The list goes out once a week, usually Sunday nights, and carries events for the next eight days.  You can subscribe here.  And unsubscribe here.  (I advise against using an AOL address.)

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: 26.0059

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



Wednesday, November 26

10a.  "Applications of Low-Frequency Local Field Potentials for Brain-Machine Interfaces."   Andrew Jackson.   MIT:  McGovern Room (46-3189).   Details.

10:30a.  "Nutritional Medicine and Bio-Individuality in the Prevention of Age-Related Memory Decline and Alzheimer's Disease."   Lisa Mosconi.   MIT:  Media Lab (E14) 633.   Details, abstract.

Friday, November 28

1 - 4p.  "Chain Reaction."   MIT:  Rockwell Cage Gymnasium, 120 Vassar St.   Details.

Sunday, November 30

Noon.  "The History Of The Boston Water System."   Marcis Hempe, Executive Director, Waterworks Museum.   Waterworks Museum:  2450 Beacon St.   Details.

Monday, December 1

9 - 5p.  "Epigenetics Symposium."   HMS:  Merck Research, 33 Avenue Louis Pasteur.   Details, Registration.*

9a.  "Making Networks Better - from information theory to chips."   Muriel Medard.   Harvard:  Maxwell Dworkin G-125.   Details, Abstract.

11:30a.  "Democracy and the Deep-Sea: Telepresence and Public Participation in Remote Environments."   Zara Mirmalek.   Harvard:  Pierce 100F.  Details.

2p.  "Opening the Upper end of the Radio Spectrum for Commercial Use: Technical and Policy Challenges."   Michael Marcus.   MIT:  Stata Center (32) D463.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "Proofs for Algorithms, Algorithms from Proofs."   Boaz Barak.   Harvard:  Maxwell Dworkin G115.   Details, Abstract.

4:30p.  "Whither the Earth: Hands off? Geoengineer? Or Biosphere 3?"   A forum discussion.   MIT:  2-105.   Details.

7p.  "El Celler de Can Roca: Roots, Innovation, and Creation."   Joan Roca.   Harvard:  Science Center C.   Details, Abstract.

8p.  "Glimpses of a World Within."   Steven Weinberg.   Harvard:  Geological Lecture Hall (Room 100), 24 Oxford St.  Details, Abstract, Registration.

Tuesday, December 2

11:30a.  "3D Printing of Tough and Conducting Hydrogel Materials."   Marc in het Panhuis.   Harvard:  Pierce 100F.   Details, Abstract.

11a.  "Individual Variation in Resisting Temptation: Implications for Addiction."   Terry Robinson.   McLean Hospital:  de Marneffe building 132, Belmont.   Details.

Noon.  "Number and Counting in the Bolivian Amazon."   Julian-Jara Ettinger.   MIT:  46-3310.   Details, Abstract.

12:30p.  "Long Non-Coding RNA: New Links Between Innate Immunity and Gene Regulation."   Kate Fitzgerald.   HMS:  NRB 1031.   Details.*

12:30p.   "The Eureka Myth: Creators, Innovators and Everyday Intellectual Property."   A Berkman Luncheon.   Jessica Silbey.   Webcast details.   Podcast details.   RSVP required for lunch.   Harvard: Berkman Center for the Internet and Society, 23 Everett St, 2nd Flr.   Details, RSVP, Summary.

3:30p.  "Porphysome Nanotechnology and Beyond: Explore New Frontiers of Cancer Imaging and Therapy."   Gang Zheng.   Brandeis:  Gerstenzang 131.   Details.

3:30p.  "The Art of Insight in Science & Engineering."   Sanjoy Mahajan.   MIT:  Bush Room (10-105).   Details.

4p.  "Bio-mimetic Drones: From Collision Free to Collision Friendly."   Dario Floreano.   Harvard:  Maxwell-Dworkin G-115, 33 Oxford St.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "Genetic Conflicts: the usual suspects and beyond."   Harmit Malik.   MIT:  Stata Center, Kirsch Auditorium (32-123).   Details.

4p.  "Randomness in Number Theory and Geometry."   Peter Sarnak.   Brandeis:  Abelson 131.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "Reflexive Theory-of-Mind Reasoning in Games."   Jun Zhang.   MIT:  Singleton Auditorium (46-3002).   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "Self-Regulated Star Formation: From Radiation-Dominated Clouds to Supernova-dominated Galaxies."   Eve Ostriker.   MIT:  Marlar Lounge (37-252).   Details, Abstract.

5p.  "Good Vibrations: How Tactile Cues Can Assist Navigation."   Lynette A. Jones.   Harvard:  Sheer Room, Fay House, 10 Garden St.   Details, Abstract.

5:30p.  "What’s New in Genomic Archaeology? The Peopling of Europe from Ancient and Modern DNA."   Nick Patterson and David Reich.   Harvard:  Yenching Library, Auditorium, 2 Divinity Ave.   Details, Abstract.

6:30p.  "Exoplanet Atmospheres."   Mercedes Lopez-Morales.   Belmont Media Center, 9 Lexington St, Belmont.   Details, Abstract.

6:30p.  "The Resilient Farm and Homestead."   Ben Falk.   District Hall, 75 Northern Ave, Boston.   Details, Register, Abstract.

Wednesday, December 3

8:30 - 4:30p.  "Transforming Healthcare through Technology and Innovation."   A conference.   UMASS Boston, Campus Center Ballroom, 100 Morrissey Blvd.   Details, Tickets.

Noon.  "Nanotechnology in the Development of Future Nano electronics."   Mayya Meyyappan.   MIT:  34-401.   Details.

Noon.  "Putting Neanderthals in their Place: Mobility, Provisioning, and Landscape Use in Palaeolithic Armenia."   Ellery Frahm.   Harvard:  Tozzer 203, 21 Divinity Avenue.   Details.

Noon.  "Time Across Scales in Memory and Cognition."   Marc Howard.   BU:  2 Cummington Mall 109.   Details.

12:15p.  "Meeting Tomorrow’s Energy Challenges: Why Technology will Define our Energy Future."   Francesco Starace, CEO, General Manager, Enel Group.   HKS:  Bell Hall, Belfer Building.   Details.

12:15p.  "The Secret Life of Cheese: Using fermented foods to dissect microbial diversity."   Benjamin E. Wolfe.   Tufts:  Jaharis Family Center, Behrakis Auditorium, 150 Harrison Ave.   Details, Abstract.

12:30p.  "Viruses as Modulators of Bacterial Pathogenesis - molecular and epidemiological aspects."   John Mekalanos.   HMS:  NRB 1031, 77 Ave. Louis Pasteur.   Details.*

4p.  "The Compositions of Small Exoplanets."   David Charbonneau.   MIT:  54-915.   Details, Abstract.

4:10p.  "Learning by Doing in Solar Photovoltaic Installations."   Kenneth Gillingham.   KSG:  Room L-382. 79 JFK St.   Details.

4:15p.  "Deep Learning."   Geoff Hinton.   MIT:  34-101.   Details, Abstract.

5p.  "Reconstructing Regulatory Circuits: lessons from immune cells."   Aviv Regev.   HMS:  Armenise Amphitheater, 210 Longwood Ave.   Details.*

5p.  "What can Floating an Airplane Across the Pacific Ocean on 15,000 Plastic Bottles Tell You About the World'G garbage Patches?"   Marcus Eriksen.   MIT:  E51-325.   Details, Abstract.

6p.  "Genomics of Neurodevelopmental Diseases."   Guy Rouleau.   MIT:  Singleton Auditorium (46-3002), 43 Vassar St.   Details.

6:30p.  "Synthetic Human Organs on Chips."   Don Ingber.   Le Laboratoire Cambridge, 650 East Kendall St.   Details, RSVP.

Thursday, December 4

7:45a.  "Genetic Markers of Placebo Response: What it could mean for future trial design."   Kathryn T. Hall.   Harvard Faculty Club, Room 10, 20 Quincy St.   Details.

9a.  "On the Exploration of Evolutionary Landscapes."   Noam Prywes and Ben Adlam.   Harvard:  Naito Laboratory, Room 205, 12 Oxford St.   Details, Abstract.

9 - 12a.  "Orion's First Test Flight."   Live mission coverage.   Museum of Science, Gordon Center.   Details.

Noon.  "Reaching Down the Rabbit Hole: A Renowned Neurologist Explains the Mystery and Drama of Brain Disease."   An author's event.   Allan Ropper and Brian Burrell.   HMS:  Countway Library, 10 Shattuck St.   Details, Abstract.

Noon.  "Treating Eating Disorders on Campus: Framing the Challenges."   Margaret McKenna.   McLean:  Pierce Hall, Adminstration Bldg.   Details.

4p.  "Evolutionary Genomics of Humans and Pathogens."   Pardis Sabeti.   Harvard:  Northwest B-103.   Details.

4p.  "Human-like Singing and Talking Machines: Flexible Speech Synthesis in Karaoke, Anime, Smart Phones, Video Games, Digital Signage, TV and Radio Programs."   Keiichi Tokuda.   MIT:  Stata Center, Patil/Kiva (32-G449).   Details, abstract.

4p.  "Progress Towards Ignition on the National Ignition Facility."   Omar Hurricane.   MIT:  10-250.   Details.

4p.  "What Are the Causes of Rising CH4 Concentrations in the Atmosphere?"   Steven C. Wofsy.   MIT:  48-316.   Details.

5p.  "The True Story of a Government-Ordered Book-Burning in America: Wilhelm Reich’s Books and Journals, and What Was in Them?"   James E. Strick and Kevin Hinchey.   Harvard Medical School:  Minot Room, Countway Library.   Details, Registration.

6p.  "The Road to Intelligence."   A panel discussion.   MIT:  Singleton Auditorium (46-3002).  Details.

7p.  "Farmed Seaweed: The Next Great Sustainable Seafood?"   Matt Thompson.   New England Aquarium:  Simons IMAX theater.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

7:30p.  "The Case of the Mysterious X-rays from Space."   Esra Bulbul.   Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden, Phillips Auditorium.     Details, Abstract.

Friday, December 5

Noon.  "Back to the Future: Revitalizing the Giant Oil Fields of the Los Angeles Basin."   Donald L. Paul.   MIT:  54-209.  Details.

3p.  "Integrating 3D Printing and Nanomaterials for Complex Tissue Regeneration."   Lijie Grace Zhang.   BU:  8 St. Mary's St, Room 205.   Details, Abstract.

3:30p.  "Disambiguation of Imprecise User Input Through Intelligent Assistive Communication."   Karl Wiegand.   A thesis defense.   Northeastern:  WVH 366.   Details.

4p.  "The Functional Logic of Cortical Circuits."   Mriganka Su.   Sur lab.   MIT:  Singleton Auditorium (46-3002).   Details.

6p.  "MIT Trashion Show."   MIT Museum, 265 Massachusetts Ave.   Details, Abstract.

6:45p.  "Climate Change, Local Adaptation, and Arctic Plant Communities."   Gaius R. Shaver.   Harvard:  Haller Hall (Room 102), Geological Museum, 24 Oxford St.   Details.

7p.  "The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution."   Walter Isaacson.   First Parish Church, 1446 Massachusetts Ave.   Details, Tickets, Abstract.

Saturday, December 6

10a.  "Underwater Robotics."   MIT:  Kresge Auditorium, 48 Massachusetss Ave.   Details.

2p.  "Capturing Big Cats and Dogs with Pencil and Paper."   Erica Beade.   Harvard Museum of Natural History, 26 Oxford St.   Details.

9 -12:30p.  "Introduction to Winter Tree Identification."   First of two sessions.   Kyle Stephens.   Arnold Arboretum, Hunnewell Bldg.   Details, Registration.

9 - 5p.  "Linux InstallFest."   MIT:  E51-061.   Details.

2p.  "Digital Fabrication Basics."   Avery Louie.   BOSSLab:  339r Summer St, Somerville.   Details, downloadable software, RSVP.

5:30p.  "Mass Extinction: Life at the Brink."   and panel discussion.   Sarah Holt and Samual Bowring.   A screening and discussion.   MIT:  Stata Auditorium (32-123).   Details.

Sunday, December 7

2p.  "Jamaica Pond and Boston's Water System."   Marcis Kempe.   Arnold Arboretum, Hunnewell Bldg.   Details, Abstract.

Monday, December 8

4p.  "The Legacy of Childhood Malnutrition: Transgenerational Effects on Mental Health."   Janina Galler.   Harvard:  Center for Population Studies, 9 Bow St.   Details.

6:30p.  "Fuzzy Beliefs and Preferences: We all Have Them."   Caspar Hare.   The Burren, 247 Elm St, Somerville.   Details.

7p.  "Airplane!"   A Coolidge Theater Science on Screen event.   R. John Hansman will comment.   Coolidge Corner Theater, 290 Harvard St.   Details.

Tuesday, December 9

Noon.  "Computer Science Poster Session."   Harvard:  Maxwell Dworkin Ground Floor Lobby, 33 Oxford St.   Details.

12:30p.  "The Biology of Non-Coding RNA."   Phillip Sharp.   HMS:  NRB 1031, 77 Ave. Louis Pasteur.   Details.*

3:30p.  "Information, Computation, and Thermodynamics in Cells."   Pankaj Mehta.   BU:  SCI 109.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "iBiology: New Opportunities for Learning Biology through the Internet."   Ron Vale.   iBiology talk. (Introduction to Motor Proteins.)   Harvard:  Pfizer B 23, Mallinckrodt, 12 Oxford St.   Details.

4p.  "What Can We Learn from Planets in Binary Systems?"   Kaitlin Kratter.   MIT:  Marlar Lounge (37-252).   Details.

4:30p.  "Animal Psychology."   Laurel Braitman.   TED talk.   MIT:  E19-623.   Details.

6p.  "Dynamic Network Connectivity in Prefrontal Cortex: Molecular Basis for Vulnerabilities in Mental Illness."   Amy Arnsten.   Harvard:  Northwest B101.   Details.

6:30p.  "Cosmic Evolution."   Eric Chaisson.   Cosmic Evolution website.   Belmont Media Center, 9 Lexington St, Belmont.   Details, Abstract.

7p.  "The Bee: A Natural History."   Noah Wilson-Rich.   Arnold Arboretum, Hunnewell Bldg.   Details, Abstract.

Wednesday, December 10

Noon.  "Brain Rhythms and Routing."   Nancy Kopell.   BU:  2 Cummington Mall, Room B01.   Details.

12:30p.   "Global Health Law."   Lawrence O. Goston.   HSPH:  Kresge G2.   Details.

12:30p.  "Poliovirus: a machine programmed for genome delivery."   James Hogle.   HMS:  NRB 1031, 77 Avenue Louis Pasteur.   Details.*

4p.  "What's Wrong With Me? The Uncertainties of Chronic Illness."   Meghan O'Rourke.   Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Sheerr Room, Fay House, 10 Garden Street, Cambridge.   Details, Abstract.

Thursday, December 11

7p.  "Social Physics: from ideas to actions."   Sandy Pentland.   MIT:  Bartos Auditorium (E15-54).   Details, Abstract.


December 13 - 14.  "Stop Ebola Hack-a-Thon."   MGH.   Details.

Monday, December 15

7p.  "Climate Change and Plant Conservation: Is managed relocation an option?"   Jesse Bellemare.   Arnold Arboretum:  Hunnewell Bldg.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

Tuesday, December 16

4p.  "Neural Activity Patterns Required for Learning and Memory."   Shantanu Jadhav.   Northeastern:  DA 114.   Details.

Wednesday, December 17

9:30a.  "Neuroinflammatory Mechanisms Underlying Enduring Deficits Following Early Life Stress."   Heather Brenhouse.   McLean:  de Marneffe 218, 115 Mill St.   Details.

4p.  "Developing Computational Models for Protocell Communication and Collective Behavior."   Anna Balazs.   Balazs Research Group.   Harvard:  Haller Hall (Geological Museum 102).   Details.

6:30p.  "Coastal Ecosystems and Climate Change."   Brian Helmuth.   Belmont Media Center, 9 Lexington St, Belmont MA.   Details, Abstract.

6:30p.  "Social Computing."   Sep Kamver.   le laboratoire, 650 East Kendall St.   Details, RSVP.

Thursday, December 18

8p.  "An Evening with Bill Nye the Science Guy."   Wilbur Theater.   Details.



*Admission to Harvard's medical area buildings often (but, confusingly, not always) 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, that have sponsors with whom they have no experience, and who are unsure if their ID will guarantee access, might want to email the contact 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 617-432-7666) at least one day before the event.  Events in the medical area that do not carry an asterisk appear willing to accept the unaffiliated.

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