Selected Lectures on Science and Engineering
in the Boston Area

This URL calls the correct files:

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 and/or unsubscribe by dropping a note to   If you can whitelist the list please do; mailers sometimes think it is spam.  Adding to your contacts list might work.

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.  The list goes on vacation at the ends of June and December.

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.  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: 17.1818

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

February 9-19.   "43rd Boston SciFi Film Festival."   Somerville Theater.   Details.

Monday, February 19

10a & 1p.   "Chain Reaction Construction with Data."   MIT Museum.   Details.

February 20-23.  "Scratch."   Design your own simple video game or animation using the block-based programming language Scratch.   MIT Museum.   Details.

Tuesday, February 20

9:30-3:30p.  "Environmental Data Art."   A workshop.   MIT Museum.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

10a.   "Data for Energy & our Environment."   MIT Museum.   Details.

11a.  "Modulating Memory by Controlling Cholinergic Signaling."   Lorna W. Role.   McLean Hospital:  de Marneffe 132.   Details.

Noon.  "Investigations into the Functional Architecture of the Human Brain: lessons from neurofeedback."   Michal Ramot.   Harvard:  Northwest B103.   Details, Abstract.

Noon.  "Nearly 6,000 Species of North American Lichens: Distributions, Traits, Ecologies, and New Syndromes."   Erin Tripp.   Harvard:  Herbaria Seminar Room.   Details.

Noon.  "Saturn’s Intrinsic Magnetic Field Revealed by Cassini Grand Finale."   Hao Cao.   MIT:  54-517.   Details, Abstract.

1p.  "Understanding and Supporting Communication Across Language Boundaries."   Susan R. Fussell.   MIT:  32-G449.   Details, Abstract.

2p.  "Big Bang Data."   A Gallery Tour.   MIT Museum.   Details.

3p.  "DNA Origami: The Bridge to the Bottom."   Ashwin Gopinath.   MIT:  34-401.   Details, Abstract.

3p.  "Turning a Network into a Streaming Database for Better Monitoring."   Srinivas Narayana.   Tufts:  Halligan 102.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "Privacy Despite Mass Surveillance."   Sebastian Angel.   MIT:  32-D463  Details, Abstract.

6p.  "Big Data Justice."   A conversation.   MIT Museum.   Details.

6p.  "How Epidemiology Can Solve Multiple Sclerosis - and Why Solving Autoimmunity Should be a Priority in Global Health."   Patrick Kearns, HSPH. .   Harvard Global Health Institute, 42 Church St.   Details.

7p.  "How National Healthcare Changes the Way We Study Disease."   Jaimie L. Gradus.   Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston Street, Johnson Building, Central Library.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

7p.  "Industrial Agriculture and the Humble Strawberry."   Julie Guthman.   Belmont Media Center:  9 Lexington St., Belmont.   Details, Abstract.

Wednesday, February 21

9a.  "Microsoft Excel Practice Session for Beginner and Intermediate Users."   Harvard Ed Portal, 224 Western Ave, Allston.     Details, Abstract.

9:30-3:30p.  "Using Data to Build Better Bridges."   A workshop.   MIT Museum.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

10a.   "Data for Health & Wellness."   MIT Museum.   Details.

Noon.  "Advances in Breast Cancer."   Debu Tripathy and a href="" target=_"new">Richard L. Possemato.   Online.   Details, Registration.   MIT alumni, students, affiliates, parents of MIT students, and surviving spouses of MIT alumni or faculty:

Noon.  "Innovations in Semiconductors to Empower More Intelligent Things."   Ahmad Bahai.   MIT:  34-401.  Details, Abstract.

Noon.  "Solar Radiation Management: A Proposal for Immediate Polycentric Governance."   Sam Weiss Evans.   Harvard:  26 Oxford St, Rm 440.   Details.   RSVP to

12:30p.  "Resilience, Risk, and Reinforcements for Arctic Communities on the Edge."   Joel Clement.   HKS:  Darman Seminar Room, Taubman Bldg, 79 JFK St., Cambridge.   Details, Abstract.

12:30p.  "The Neural Mechanisms Underlying Perceptual Expectations: from layers to networks."   Peter Kok.   MIT:  46-3002.  Details, Abstract.

2p.  "The Humble Neutrophil: A Hungry Hippo or a nuanced first-responder of the immune system?"   David Sykes.   Details.   This event will be viewable remotely.

2:30p.  "Untangling Neurodegenerative Diseases Using Patient-Based Structural Biology."   Anthony Fitzpatrick.   BWH:  Bornstein Amphitheater, 45 Francis Street.   Details.*

4p.  "From Compost to the Clinic: using C. elegans to study psychiatric disorders."   Joshua Kaplan.   MIT:  46-3002.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "Dancing from Turbulence to Active Machines: Transitions between orderly and disorderly flowing active nematics."   Tyler Shendruck.   Harvard:  Pierce 209.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "Mechanisms of Life-like Fine-tuning in Driven Matter."   Jeremy England.   Harvard:  Haller Hall, Geological Museum.   Details, Abstract.

5p.  "Hot Topics in Computing: Blockchain Technologies and Applications."   A forum.   MIT:  32-G449.   Details, Abstract.

5:30p.  "The Great Unknown."   Marcus du Sautoy.   Harvard Science Center D.   Details.

7p.  "Blue Dreams: The Science and the Story of the Drugs That Changed Our Minds."   Lauren Slater.   Harvard Book Store, 1256 Massachusetts Ave.   Details, Abstract.

Thursday, February 22

9:30-3:30p.  "Building Robots that Use Data."   A workshop.   MIT Museum.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

10a.   "Data Communication & Visualization."   MIT Museum.   Details.

11:30a.  "Sperm Navigation in Complex Environments."   Sarah Olson.   Harvard:  Cruft 309.   Details, Abstract.

11:45a.  "Generating Energy from Thin Air."   Karthish Manthiram.   MIT:  E52-164.   Details, Abstract.

Noon.  "Sleep Better Tonight."   Zan Barry.   MIT:  66-144.   Details.

Noon.  "Treatment of Prescription Opioid Dependence."   Roger D. Weiss.   McLean Hospital:  Service Building, Pierce Hall.   Details.

12:30p.  "Covert Consciousness and Civil Rights: Rethinking Old Presumptions about Brain Injury."   Joseph Fins.   HMS:  Tosteson Medical Education Center 250, 260 Longwood Avenue.   Details.*

2p.  "Big Bang Data."   A Gallery Tour.   MIT Museum.   Details.

2:50p.  "Building Knowledge Bases for Natural Language Understanding."   Derry Wijaya.   Tufts:  Halligan 102.   Details, Abstract.

CANCELLED.   3p.  "Modern Methods for Neural Signal Processing."   Adam Charles.   MIT:  34-401A.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "A Neural Circuit for Economic Decisions."   Camillo Padoa-Schioppa.   MIT:  46-3002.   Details.

4p.  "Human-Centric Machine Learning: Enabling Machine Learning for High-Stakes Decision-Making."   Hima Lakkaraju.   Harvard:  Maxwell Dworkin G115.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "Learning from Language."   Jacob Andreas.   MIT:  32-G449.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "Re-Engineering Photoprotection to Improve Crop Productivity."   Kasia Glowacka.   MIT:  32-141.   Details.

4p.  "Semiconductor Quantum Technologies for Secure Communications and Scalable Quantum Networks."   Dirk Englund.   Harvard:  Pierce 209.   Details, Abstract.

4:30p.  "Agricultural Strategies and Environmental Change in the Ancient Eastern Mediterranean."   John M. Marston.   Harvard:  Tozzer 203.   Details, Abstract.

4:30p.  "The Edge of the Petri Dish: Wizards and Prophets."   Charles C. Mann..   MIT:  E51-095.   Details, Abstract.

5p.  "ICTs for Refugees and Displaced Persons."   Carleen Maitland.   MIT:  56-114.   Details, Abstract.

5p.  "Information and Communication Technology for Refugees and Displaced Persons."   Carleen Maitland.   MIT:  56-114.   Details, Abstract.

6p.  "Manufacturing the Future of Biofabrication."   Dean Kamen.   Tufts:  Cohen Auditorium.   Details.

6p.  "The Changing Landscape of Plate Tectonics."   W. Jason Morgan.   Harvard:  Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford St.   Details.   This event will be live-streamed on the Harvard Museums of Science & Culture Facebook page.   A recording will be available approximately three weeks after the lecture.

7p.  "EPIC - Death by a Thousand Clicks."   Bruce Price.   BWH:  Bornstein Amphitheater, 45 Francis Street.   Details.

Friday, February 23

8:30a.  "From Mud to Mountains - Microbes as the Storytellers of Earth History."   Dave Johnston.   Harvard:  Museum Building, Room 375, 24 Oxford St.   Details.

9:30-3:30p.  "Let's Do Science: Using Crowd-Sourced Data."   A workshop.   MIT Museum.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

10a.   "The Internet and Machine Learning."   MIT Museum.   Details.

11a.  "Closing the Loop on Data Analysis."   Eugene Wu.   MIT:  32-D463.   Details, Abstract.

Noon.  "From Hospital to Community: Addressing the Overdose Crisis."   Sarah E. Wakeman.   MGH:  Museum of Medical History, 2 North Grove St.   Details, Registration.

2p.  "Big Bang Data."   A Gallery Tour.   MIT Museum.   Details.

2p.  "Generating Poetry."   A workshop.   Northeastern:  433 Curry Student Center.   Details, RSVP.   To RSVP, email Sarah Connell at sa.connell[at]northeastern[dot]edu.

3p.  "Soft Wearable Robots for Everyday Wear."   Conor Walsh.   Harvard:  Maxwell Dworkin G115.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "New Frontiers for Wave Manipulation Using Metamaterials."   Andrea Alu.   Harvard:  Pierce 209.   Details, Abstract.

5p.  "Architectures of the Oculomotor: Body Motility, Ocular Processes, and the Perception of the Built Environment."   Athina Papadopoulou.   MIT:  7-429.   Details, Abstract.

8p.  "Sounding the Cloud."   The present and future of the cloud, imagined musically.   ICA:    Details, Abstract.

Saturday, February 24

9a.  "The Rise & Fall of Pluto: How Science Progresses."   Jane Luu.   Lincoln Laboratory cafeteria.   Details, Registration.   This event will be repeated at 10a.   Please register accordingly.   Adults must present a valid government-issued photo I.D.

10-5p.  "Big Physics, Big Questions."   A conference.   District Hall, 75 Northern Avenue.   Details, Abstract, Tickets.

1p.  "Citizen Science."   A workshop.   MIT Museum.   Details.

1p.  "Woody Plant Basics."   Catherine Chamberlain.   Arnold Arboretum:  Hunnewell Bldg.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

Sunday, February 25

1p.  "Tree Spotter Training."   Suzanne Mrozak, Tree Spotter Volunteer Coordinator, and Danny Schissler.   Arnold Arboretum:  Hunnewell Bldg.   Details.

February 26-March 2.  "AI and Beyond: The integration of artificial and human intelligence."   Royal Sonesta, Cambridge.   Details.

February 26-27.  "Here Be Dragons."   This event will convene explorers, innovators, artists, scientists, and storytellers to identify the uncharted territories that still exist in ocean exploration and storytelling.   MIT:  Media Lab E14.   Details, Abstract.   This event will be live streamed.

Monday, February 26

Noon.  "Hurricane Variability and Change."   Gabriel Vecchi.   Harvard:  Haller Hall, 24 Oxford St.   Details, Abstract.

Noon.  "Machine Learning for Understanding the Dynamics of Cell Populations."   Jie Liu.   Brandeis:  Volen 101.   Details, Abstract.

12:15p.  "Vaccine Criticism in France: Scientific Credibility and the Fragmentation of Social Movements."   Jeremy Ward.   Harvard:  Pierce 100F.   Details.   RSVP via online form by Wednesday at 5pm the week before.

2:30p.  "Machine Learning from Schools about Energy Efficiency."   Mar Reguant.   Harvard:  Littauer M-16.   Details.

4p.  "Activity-Based Proteomics - Protein and Ligand Discovery on a Global Scale."   Benjamin Cravatt.   MIT:  4-270.   Details.

4p.  "Provably Secure Machine Learning."   Jacob Steinhardt.   MIT:  32-G449.  Details, Abstract.

Tuesday, February 27

11a.  "A Neural Basis for Sexually Divergent Fear Expression."   Rebecca Shansky.   McLean Hospital:  de Marneffe 132, 115 Mill St., Belmont.   Details.

Noon.  "Randomness and Structure in Neural Representations for Learning."   Ashok Litwin-Kumar.   Harvard:  Northwest B-103.   Details.

1p.  "Machine Learning Everywhere: Build Your Ladder to AI."   A webinar.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

3p.  "Safe Learning in Robotics."   Claire Tomlin.   MIT:  32-141.   Details, Abstract.

3:30p.  "True Measurements…False Discoveries."   Tiziano Camporesi.   BU:  SCI 109.  Details, Abstract.

4p.  "Epigenetic Regulators of Metabolism and Cancer."   Ronald Evans.   MIT:  32-123.   Details.

4p.  "Immunoprophylaxis and Immunotherapy Therapy for HPV Associated Cancers: progress and challenges."   Ian Frazier.   Broad Institute Auditorium.   Details.

4p.  "Negotiating with New Technology: Shaping the Third Digital Revolution."   Joel Cutcher-Gershenfeld and Neil Gershenfeld.   HLS:  Pound 102.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "Simulating Milky Way-like Galaxies with Realistic Satellite Populations."   Andrew Wetzel.   MIT:  37-252.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "The Physics and Astrophysics of Merging Neutron-Star Binaries."   Luciano Rezzolla.   MIT:  37-252.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "The Physics, Biology, and Technology of Resonance Energy Transfer."   Philip Nelson.   Brandeis:  Abelson 131.   Details, Abstract.

6p.  "As the Seas Rise, Can We Restore Our Coastal Habitats?"   Steven Handel.   Harvard:  Geological Lecture Hall.   Details, Abstract.   This event will be livestreamed.   A recording of this program will be available approximately three weeks after the lecture.

6p.  "Convergence in Biomedicine."   Phillip Sharp.   MIT:  E51-335.   Details, Abstract.

7p.  "Grizzly Man."   A Coolidge Science on Science Presentation.   Steven Schlozman will discuss the issues raised by the movie.   Coolidge Theater, 290 Harvard St.   Details.

Wednesday, February 28

9-4p.  "InterMediate Word."   Harvard Ed Portal.     Details.   You must be a member of the Harvard Ed Portal, live in Allston-Brighton, or be the parent/guardian of a student who attends the Gardner Pilot Academy to attend this course.

9a.  "Shortening the Diagnostic Journey for Children with Rare Diseases."   UMass Club, 1 Beacon Street, 32nd Floor.   Details, Abstract.

11:30a.  "Rare Disease Day."   A conference.   UMass Club:  1 Beacon St, 32nd floor.   Details, Abstract.

Noon.  "The Dynamics of the Southern Ocean."   Edward Dorridge.   MIT:  54-915.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "Using CRISPR/Cas9 and Live Imaging to Model Stem Cell Organization and Dynamics."   Ru Gunawardane.   HMS:  C Building 114.   Details.

6p.   "PyData February Project Night."   O'Reilly Media, 2 Avenue De Lafayette, Boston.   Details.

6-10p.  "VR in Education."   A forum.   Alley Cambridge, 10 Ware St.   Details, Registration.

7p.  "Biosafety in a World without Walls."   Todd Kuiken.   BosLab:  339R Summer St, Somerville.   Details, Abstract.

Thursday, March 1

8:30-11:30a.  "The Future of Energy."   A Startup Exchange Workshop.   MIT:  E90-1200.   Details.

9a.  "How Much does Stellar Activity Matter in the First Few Myr?"   Ilsedore Cleeves.   Harvard:  Northwest 425, 52 Oxford St.   Details.

4p.  "Nanoscale Thermal Imaging: Glimpse into Dissipation in Quantum Systems Down to Atomic Scale."   Eli Zeldov.   MIT:  10-250.   Details.

6p.  "Designing for a Neurodiverse World."   A forum.   MIT:  3-270.   Details, Abstract.

March 2-3.  "MIT Energy Conference: Transformational Technologies."   Boston Marriott Cambridge.   Details, Registration.

Friday, March 2

8:30a.  "Wasp Yeast Beer: microbial wrangling with insects for industrially relevant yeasts."   Anne Madden.   Harvard:  24 Oxford St, Room 375.   Details.

12:30p.  "Data Science Toward Understanding Human Learning and Improving Educational Practice."   Ken Koedinger.   Harvard:  MD G115, 33 Oxford St.   Details, Abstract.

2p.  "High-Dimensional Computing as a Nanoscalable Paradigm."   Abbas Rahimi.   BU:  8 St. Mary's St., PHO 210.   Details.

4p.  "Neural Correlates of Orienting Behaviors and Latent Action Biases."   Rachel Wilson.   MIT:  46-3002.   Details.

4p.  "The Trans-Amazon Drilling Project."   Paul A. Baker and Sherilyn C. Fritz.   MIT:  54-915.   Details, Abstract.

Saturday, March 3

10:30a.  "Exploring Science Together: Minerals!"   Harvard Museum on Natural History.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

Sunday, March 4

1p.  "Cabinet of Curiosities Workshop."   Harvard Museum of Natural History.   Details.

2p.  "Growing a Contemporary Arboretum."   Philippe de Spoelberch.   Arnold Arboretum:  Weld Hill Research Bldg.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

March 5-8.  "International Conference on Complex Networks."   Northeastern University:  East Village, 291 St. Boltoph Street.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

March 5-6.  "VR and Healthcare."   A symposium.   HMS:  Martin Conference Center.   Details. Abstract, Registration.

Monday, March 5

8:30-5:30p.  "Women in Data Science (WiDS) Conference."   Microsoft NERD Center, One Memorial Drive.   Details, Abstract.

Noon.  "Modeling Embodied Cognition in Robots and Humans."   Garrett Katz.   Brandeis:  Volen 101.   Details, Abstract.

Noon.  "Randomness and Structure in Neural Representations for Learning."   Ashok Litwin-Kumar.   MIT:  46-3002.   Details.

12:15p.  "Governing the Future: Cancer Viruses and the Growth of American Biomedicine."   Robin Scheffler.   Harvard:  Pierce 100F.   Details.

6p.  "Wild Diagnosis: Human Health and the Animal Kingdom."   Barbara Natterson-Horowitz.   Harvard:  Geological Lecture Hall.   Details, Abstract.   This event will be livestreamed.   A recording of this program will be available approximately three weeks after the lecture.

7p.  "Asteroid Futures: Decades, Centuries, Millennia."   Martin Elvis.   Cafe Art Science, 650 East Kendall St.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

Tuesday, March 6

Noon.   "The Developmental Neuromechanics of Vocal Communication."   Asif Ghazanfar.   Harvard:  Northwest 243.   Details, Abstract.

Noon.  "The Human Brain as a Mosaic: Somatic Mutation in Autism Spectrum Disorder, Aging, and Neurodegeneration."   Rachel Rodin.   HMS:  Goldenson 122, 220 Longwood Avenue.  Details.*

12:30p.  "Uncovering New Regulatory Codes during Development: genome activation and post-transcriptional regulation."   Antonio Giraldez.   Brandeis:  Gerstenzang 121.   Details.

4p.  "Convection in Cool Stars, as Revealed through Stellar Brightness Variations."   Fabienne Bastien.   MIT:  37-252.   Details, Abstract.

6p.  "Tangible Things of American Astronomy, or What Does a Computer Have in Common with a Teapot?"   Sara Schechner.   Visit website for event details:     Details, Abstract.   This event will be livestramed.

7p.  "There Is More Than Enough Renewable Energy."   Mara Prentiss.   Belmont Library (Assembly Room), 336 Concord Ave, Belmont.   Details.

Thursday, March 8

2p.  "Nanotechnology and Materials Science using Protein Nanofibrils."   Raffaele Mezzenga.   Wyss Institute:  CLS 5th Floor, Rm. 521, 3 Blackfan Circle.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "Evolution of Bacteria within Individual Human Microbiomes."   Tami Lieberman.   Harvard:  26 Oxford St., Room 440.   Details.

4p.  "Unconscious Bias…in Cosmology."   Lucia Verde.   MIT:  10-250.   Details, Abstract.

Friday, March 9

9a.  "Microsoft Excel Practice Session for Beginner and Intermediate Users."   Harvard Ed Portal, 224 Western Ave, Allston.     Details, Abstract.

Saturday, March 10

8-6p.  "Beyond the Cradle 2018: Envisioning a New Space Age."   Details, Abstract.   This event will be livestreamed.

9a.  "Arboretum for Educators."   Spring Phenology.   Arnold Arboretum:  Hunnewell Bldg.   Details, Registration.

1p.  "Plants and Their Ecosystems."   Catherine Chamberlain.   Arnold Arboretum:  Hunnewell.   Details, Registration.

Sunday, March 11

10:30a.  "Tree Spotter Training."   Suzanne Mrozak, Tree Spotter Volunteer Coordinator and Danny Schissler.   Arnold Arboretum:  Hunnewell.   Details, Register.

Monday, March 12

7p.  "No Sex? No Problem! Asexual Propagation of Plants."   Sean Halloran.   Arnold Arboretum:  Hunnewell.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

Tuesday, March 13

7p.  "Understanding What Makes Clouds (And Why You Should Care)."   Dan Cziczo.   MIT:  54-915.   Details, Abstract.

Thursday, March 15

2:30p.  "Tree Architecture."   Andrew Gapinski.   Arnold Arboretum:  Hunnewell.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

4p.  "Towards Personalized Medicine Using Gut Microbiome and Clinical Data."   Eran Segal.   MIT:  32-141.   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.