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: 15.2309

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

November 15-16.  "MIT Water Summit 2018: Thirsty Cities."   MIT:  E51-115.   Details, Abstract, Tickets.

Friday, November 16

Noon.   "Behavioral Characterization of Non-Human Primates for Autism."   Rogier Landman.   MIT:  46-6011.   Details, Abstract.

Noon.  "Hack Your Mind: The Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood & Family Relationships in the Digital Age."   Catherine Steiner-Adair.   MIT:  66-144.   Details, Abstract.

Noon.   "Learning and Flexibility for Water Supply Infrastructure Planning under uncertainty."   Sarah Fletcher.   MIT:  Parsons 316.   Details, Abstract.

Noon.  "Planetary Archaeology: A Search for Transiting Planets Orbiting Evolved Stars."   Sam Grunblatt.   Center for Astrophysics:  Phillips Auditorium.   Details.

Noon.  "The Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood and Family Relationships in the Digital Age."   Catherine Steiner-Adair.   MIT:  66-144.   Details, Abstract.

5:30p.  "How is Genesis Compatible with Science?"   Sarah Byers.   MIT:  4-163.   Details.

CANCELLED.  6p.   "Joaquin Fuster."   One of a series inspired by the Ramon y Cajal exhibition.   MIT:  46-3189.   Details, Abstract.

7p.  "What is Cognitive Science?"   A meetup.   Democracy Center, 45 Mount Auburn St.   Details, Abstract.

November 17-18.  "Climate, Biodiversity, and Survival."   A conference.   Harvard:  Geological Lecture Hall.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

November 17-18.  "Public Defense Hackathon."   Suffolk University:   73 Tremont St. Room 5070.   Details, RSVP.   When RSVPing, please specify your platform.

Saturday, November 17

4p.  "Give a Hoot about Owls."   Boston Nature Center, 500 Walk Hill St., Mattapan. Details, Abstract, Registration.

Noon.  "Paper Circiuts."   MIT Museum.   Details.

2p.  "Spotlight Tour: The Beautiful Brain."   Amy Robinson Sterling.   MIT Museum, 265 Massachusetts Ave.   Details.

2p.  "What Nature Sounds Are Music?"   David Rothenburg.   Arnold Arboretum:  Hunnewell Bldg.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

6:30-9p.  "Knotty Beers and Gears."   MIT Museum.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

Sunday, November 18

Noon.  "Paper Circuits."   MIT Museum.   Details.

1p.  "Fantastic Beasts Scavenger Hunt Kickoff."   Harvard:  Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology, 11 Divinity Ave.   Details, Abstract.

1p.  "Nature Walk."   Boston Nature Center, 500 Walk Hill St., Mattapan.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

2:30p.  "Reality Virtually Community Meeting Signup."   MIT:  E14-240.   Details.

Monday, November 19

Noon.  "Density Fluctuations in Strange Metals."   Peter Abbamonte.   MIT:  4-331.   Details, Abstract.

Noon.  "The Intrinsic Reward Value of Stereotype Confirmation."   Niv Reggev.   Harvard:  WJH 1550.   Details, Abstract, RSVP.

2p.  "Augmenting Visualization tools with Automated Design & Recommendation."   Kanit (Ham) Wongsuphasawat.   MIT:  32-G882.   Details, Abstract.

3p.  "Autonomous Vehicles: Exciting Opportunities, but Daunting Challenges."   Christopher A. Hart.   MIT:  32-141.   Details, Abstract.

Tuesday, November 20

11a.  "Handheld Kinesthetic Devices and Reinforcement Learning for Haptic Guidance."   Julie Walker.   MIT:  32-G449.   Details, Abstract.

Noon.  "From Mechanisms of Neurogenesis to Neural Repair."   Magdalena Götz.   Harvard:  BioLabs 1080.   Details.

12:30p.  "The Kepler Smear Campaign."   Benjamin Pope.   MIT:  54-517.   Details, Abstract.

5:30p.  "A Brief History of Spotify: R&D Department for the Entire Music Industry."   Gustav Söderström.   MIT:  32-155.   Details, Abstract.

6p.  "The Physics of Energy."   Robert Jaffe and Washington Taylor.   MIT Press Bookstore, 301 Massachusetts Ave.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

Wednesday, November 21

6:30p.  "Software in a Decentralized and Distributed World, with Hardware at the Edge."   Brian DeLacey.   MIT:  E51-315.   Details, Abstract.

Friday, November 23

1p.  "Friday After Thanksgiving Chain Reaction."   MIT:  Rockwell Cage Gymnasium.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

Saturday, November 24

Noon.  "Kinetic Sculptures."   MIT Museum.   Details.

1p.  "Why Did the Turkey Cross the Road?"   A basic course about turkeys.   Boston Nature Center, 500 Walk Hill Rd., Mattapan.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

Sunday, November 25

Noon.  "Kinetic Sculptures."   MIT Museum.   Details.

Monday, November 26

7p.  "Taxi Driver."   A Coolidge Science on Screen event.   Michael Rosbash will discuss the science issues touched on by the movie.   Coolidge Corner Theater.   Details, Abstract, Tickets.

November 27-28.  "iMatSci Innovator Showcase."   Hynes Convention Center.   Details, Abstract.

Tuesday, November 27

Noon.  "Computer Simulations to Enhance Vaccine Trials."   Marc Lipsitch.   HLS:  Wasserstein 2036.   Details, Abstract, RSVP.   This event will be streamed and archived.

4p.  "Watching Ribosomes Assemble."   Jamie Williamson.   MIT:  32-123.   Details.

6:30p.  "The War on Science: What We Need to Do."   Andrew Rosenberg.   Belmont Media Center, 9 Lexington St., Belmont.   Details.

7p.  "Defending Planet Earth from Asteroids."   Victoria Friedensen and Lindley Johnson.   Museum of Science:  Skyline Room.   Details.

Wednesday, November 28

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

11a.  "3D Imaging: Current and Future Methods and Applications."   Daniel Lau.   A webcast.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

2p.  "Blockchains and Trusted Execution Environments: Towards a New Security Paradigm."   Fan Zhang.   MIT:  32-G449.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "Prefrontal-striatal Interactions in Social Learning, and Beyond."   Ilana Witten.   MIT:  46-3002.   Details.

4p.  "Re-Engineering Life: Tissue Engineering in Health and the Environment."   BU:  Howard Eichenbaum Colloquium Room, 610 Commonwealth Avenue.   Details, Abstract, RSVP.

6p.  "Dyslexia and Creativity."   Sally Taylor and Nadine Gaab.   Le Laboratoire, 655 East Kirkland St.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

6:30p.  "Lessons from the Liver: Uncovering Novel Approaches for Regenerative Medicine."   Kristin Knouse.   Aeronaut, 14 Tyler St, Somerville.   Details.

7p.  "Sex, Science, and the State: The Role of Science in Sexual Reproductive Health and Policymaking."   HMS:  Armenise Auditorium, 200 Longwood Ave, Boston.   Details.   This event will be streamed and archived.

Thursday, November 29

Noon.  "Paranoia: From Psychiatry to Everyday Life."   Leonardo Tonda.   McLean Hospital:  Service Building, Pierce Hall.   Details.

3p.  "Reliable Decision-Support using Counterfactual Models."   Peter Schulam.   Tufts:  Halligan 102.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "Integrating Optics, Microfluidics, and Genomics to Understand How Genes and Cells Work."   Paul Blainey.   MIT:  32-141.   Details.

4p.  "The Neural Fingerprints of a Missing Hand: from phantoms to artificial limbs."   Tamar Makin.   Plasticity Lab.   MIT:  46-3002.   Details, Abstract.

5p.  "Skewed or Rescued?: The Emerging Theory of Algorithmic Fairness."   Cynthia Dwork.   HKS:  Taubman 520 A, B and C.   Details, Abstract.

6p.  MIT Press announces three publications in its Essential Knowledge Series:   "Carbon Capture" by Howard J. Herzog, "Extremism" by J.M. Berger, and "Haptics" by Lynette A. Jones.   MIT Press Bookstore:  301 Massachusetts Ave.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

6p.  "The Ghosts of Gombe."   Dale Peterson.   Harvard:  Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford St.   Details, Abstract.

Friday, November 30

8:30a.  "A Chemist Looks at the Microbiome."   Jon Clardy.   Microbial Sciences:  24 Oxford St., Classroom 375, Cambridge.   Details.

4p.  "Perceiving What We Cannot Sense: Insights from 3D vision."   Ari Rosenberg.   MIT:  46-3002.   Details, Abstract.

7p.  "The Empathy Effect: Seven Neuroscience-Based Keys for Transforming the Way We Live, Love, Work, and Connect Across Differences," by Helen Riess and "Empathy: A History," by Susan Lanzoni.   Harvard Book Store, 1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge.   Details.

Saturday, December 1

10:30a.  "Meet the First People of the Kalahari."   Peabody Museum.   Details, Abstract, Registration.   This event will be repeated at 1p.

9a.  "Tree Study Part 1: Inside and Outside Trees"   and "Model Making".   An Arboretum for Educators event.   Arnold Arboretum.   Details, Registration.

9:30a.  "Drawing Birds in Colored Pencil."   Erica Beade.   Harvard Museum of Natural History.   Details.

Sunday, December 2

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

Monday, December 3

12:10p.  "Embracing the Complexity of Nature: genomic approaches for understanding the development and evolution of forest trees."   Andrew Groover.   Arnold Arboretum:  Weld Hill.   Details.   This event will be streamed.

6p.  "The Future of Retail."   Sharmila Chatterjee.   Alley powered by Verizon, 10 Ware St., Cambridge.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

7p.  "The Future of Transportation: Autonomy and Interdependence."   Robin Chase.   A MeetUp.   Cambridge Innovation Center, Venture Cafe, 1 Broadway, Cambridge.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

Tuesday, December 4

7p.  "The Ethics of Species Conservation."   Ronald Sandler.   Arnold Arboretum:  Hunnewell Bldg.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

Wednesday, December 5

8-6p.  "Symposium on Blockchain for Robotic Systems."   MIT:  Media Lab.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

Noon.  "A Systems Biology Approach to Unravelling the Complexities of Immune System Development and Function."   A webinar.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

Thursday, December 6

4p.  "The Secret Life of Quarks."   William Detmold.   MIT:  10-250.   Details, Abstract.

6p.  "Designing an Internet."   David D. Clark and Josephine Wolff.   MIT Press Bookstore, 301 Massachusetts Ave.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

6p.  "The Hunt for Human Nature in Cold War America."   Erika Milam.   Harvard:  Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford St.   Details, Abstract.

7-10:30.  "Practical Online Virtual Reality in Higher Education."   Brookline Interactive Group, 46 Tappan St., Brookine.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

7p.  "Securing a World of Physically Capable Computers."   Bruce Schneier.   MIT:  32-G449.   Details, Abstract.   This event will be streamed.

Saturday, December 8

1:30p.  "Invisible Life: Exploring the World through Microscopes."   Scott Chimileski and Amy Gunzelmann.   Harvard Museum of Natural History.   Details, Abstract.

Sunday, December 9

1p.  "Family Bird Walk."   Boston Nature Center, 500 Walk Hill St., Mattapan.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

Monday, December 10

2p.  "Safe Passwords Made Easy to Use."   Nikola K. Blanchard.   MIT:  32-G882.   Details, Abstract.

6:30p.  "Are Humans Evolved to Run? Why? (and how much) exercise is good for our health."   Daniel Lieberman.   Burren, 247 Elm St, Somerville.   Details.

Tuesday, December 11

Noon.  "The Biology of Complex Social Behavior."   Michael Platt.   Harvard:  BioLabs 1080.   Details.

Wednesday, December 12

7p.  "The Part of Cognitive Science that is Philosophy."   A meetup.   Democracy Center, 45 Mount Auburn St.   Details.

Saturday, December 15

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

10a.  "Entomology Workshop: Pinning and Learning."   Shoyo Sato.   Harvard Museum of Natural History.   Details, Abstract, Registration..

1-4:30p.  "Rabbit Taxidermy Workshop."   Mickey Alice Kwapis.   Harvard Museum of Natural History.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

*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.