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, 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 to it here.  And unsubscribe here.   If you can whitelist the list please do; mailers sometimes think it is spam.

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.  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 for adults.  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: 18.1632

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



November 17-19.  "Climate Reckoning: Paths to an Earth Restored."   A conference.   Harvard:  Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford St.   Details, Abstract, Tickets.

Sunday, November 19

Noon.  "Chain Reaction."   MIT Museum.   Details.

Monday, November 20

11a.  "Panoptic Studio: Capturing Social Interaction from 500 Cameras."   Hanbyul Joo.   MIT:  E14-633.   Details.

11:30a.  "An Internet for the Masses, by the Masses."   Arjuna Sathiaseelan.   Harvard:  Maxwell Dworkin 119.   Details, Abstract.

Noon.  "Influence of Biomass Burning on the African Atmospheric Environment and Climate."   Charles Ichoku.   MIT:  54-923.   Details, Abstract.

Noon.  "Regional Approaches to Carbon Emissions."   Stu Bresler, Executive Vice President, Operations and Markets, PJM Interconnection.   HKS:  Bell Hall, 5th Floor, Belfer Bldg, 79 JFK St.   Details.

Noon.  "The Effects of Seasonal Biomass Burning in Sub-Saharan Africa."   Charles Ichoku.   MIT:  54-923.   Details, Abstract.

12:15p.  "Sonic Lawfare: The Jurisprudence of Weaponized Sound."   James Parker.   Harvard:  Pierce 100F.  Details, RSVP.

2p.  "Dual Faces of Dr. Jekyll Microglia: Degenerating Neurons Cannot 'Hyde'."   Oleg Butovsky.   BWH:  60 Fenwood Road, BTM 3rd floor conference center.   Details.*

3p.  "Open Problems and Recent Advances in Neural Network Theory: Representation, Generalization, and Optimization."   Matus Telgarsky.   MIT:  34-401A.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "America's Climate Future."   Senator Sheldon Whitehouse.   MIT:  E14 MPR-647.   Details.

4:15p.  "The Probability Puzzle that Spawned 100 Philosophy Papers."   Peter Winkler.   MIT:  4-163.   Details.

6:30p.  "Fanning the Flames: New links between inflammation and heart disease."   Peter Libby.   The Burren, 247 Elm St, Somerville.   Details.

Tuesday, November 21

11:45a.  "Scalabe Quantum Computation with Trapped Ions."   Jeremy Sage.   MIT:  36-462.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "Defining the Drivers and Vulnerabilities of Invasive Cancers."   Piyush Gupta.   MIT:  32-123.   Details.

4p.  "The Chemical Composition of Planet Forming Disks."   Karin Oberg.   MIT:  37-252.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "The Sharing Economy for the Smart Grid."   Kameshwar Poolla.   MIT:  32-141.   Details, Abstract.

Wednesday, November 22

12:30p.  "Causality: From Learning to Generative Models."   Murat Kocaoglu.   MIT:  32-D463.   Details, Abstract.

4:15p.  "A Study of Random Neural Networks."   Greg Yang, Microsoft Research. .   MIT:  2-135.   Details, Abstract.

Friday, November 24

1-5p.  "F.A.T. Chain Reaction."   MIT:  Rockwell Cage (106 Vassar St).   Details, Abstract.   Attend as a spectator or build your own Rube Goldberg-esque link.

Saturday, November 25

Noon.  "3D Printing."   MIT Museum.   Details.

Sunday, November 26

Noon.  "3D Printing."   MIT Museum.   Details.

Monday, November 27

11a.  "What Does the LGN Tell the Visual Cortex? Knowns and Unknowns."   Stephen Van Hooser.   Brandeis:  Volen 201.   Details.

12:10p.  "Let the Niche be Functional: a process-based approach of the niche to forecast the fate of species in future climate."   Isabelle Chuine.   Arnold Arboretum:  Weld Hill.   Details.

12:15p.   "Grapes from Zion: Biblical Prophesy and Quality Wine in the West Bank."   Ian McGonigle.   Harvard:  Pierce 100F.  Details, RSVP.

3:30p.  "Is Hierarchical Merging Broken?"   Charles Steinhardt.   BU:  CAS 502.   Details, Abstract.

4-6:30p.  "Is this an Epistemological Revolution? Big Data and the Philosophy of Science."   A colloquium.   BU:  610 Commonwealth Ave.   Details.

4p.  "Sloppy Models, Differential Geometry, and How Science Works."   James Sethna.   Brandeis:  Gerstenzang 121.   Details, Abstract.

7p.  "Listening In: Cybersecurity in an Insecure Age."   Susan Landau.   Harvard Book Store, 1256 Harvard Ave.   Details, Abstract.

Tuesday, November 28

9-5p.  "Neurotech 2017."   A conference.   MIT:  46-3002.   Details, Registration.

12:15p  "Displaced by Disaster: Climate, History, and Planning."   A conference.   MIT:  9-255.   Details, Abstract.

12:30p.  "The UV Environment for Prebiotic Chemistry: Connecting Origin-of-Life Scenarios to Planetary Environments."   Sukrit Ranjan.   MIT:  54-517.   Details.

1p.  "New Perspectives on Urban Heat."   John Spengler.   Harvard Global Health Institute, 42 Church St., Cambridge.   Details, Abstract.

2p.  "Synthetic Biology and Cancer Immunotherapy."   Wilson Wong.   Harvard:  60 Oxford St., Room 330.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "Crackling Noise."   James Sethna.   Brandeis:  Abelson 131,   Details, Abstract.

4:30p.  "Some News from High-Efficiency Light-Harvesting and Nanoscale Neurobiology."   Peter Jomo Walla.   MIT:  6-120.   Details.

5:30p.  "Energy Storage: Navigating the Market and White Spaces."   A forum.   Wolf Greenfield, 23rd Floor, 600 Atlantic Avenue.   Details, Abstract.

6p.  "The Juno Mission to Jupiter: Unraveling the Secrets of a Giant Planet."   Jeremy Bloxham.   Harvard:  Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford St.   Details, Abstract.

6:30p.  "Odd Couple: UV Radiation and the Origin of Life."   Sukrit Ranjan.   Belmont Media Center, 9 Lexington St.   Details, Abstract.

7p.  "A Carbon-Free and Climate-Ready Boston."   Austin Blackmon, Chief of Environment, Energy and Open Space for the City of Boston.   New England Aquarium:  Simons IMAX Theater.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

Wednesday, November 29

9:30a.  "The Silent Epidemic: Traumatic Brain Injuries in Women Experiencing Intimate Partner Violence."   Eva Valera.   McLean Hospital:  de Marneffe 218.   Details.

Noon.  "CRISPR Unleashed: New tools and applications in live-cell imaging."   A webinar.   Details.

Noon.  "Extending the Era of Moore’s Law."   Tau-Jae King.   MIT:  34-401.   Details.

3:30p.  "Energy Systems Integration: An International and Institutional Challenge & Opportunity."   Mark O'Malley.   Harvard:  Pierce 100F.  Details, Abstract.

4p.  "Hope and Despair: Communicating an Uncertain Future."   A panel discussion.   Harvard:  Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford St.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "The Evolution of Gene Expression."   Thomas Lenormand.   Harvard:  Knafel Center, 10 Garden St.   Details, Abstract.

5p.  "Why do People Vote Irrationally? Insights from Neuroscience."   Mari Fitzduff.   Brandeis:  Volen 119.   Details.

Thursday, November 30

11a.  "Densification, Emergent Modularity, and Related Mysteries of Complex Networks."   Sidney Redner.   Northeastern:  Network Sciences Institute, 177 Huntington Ave.   Details, Abstract.

11:30a.  "Emergent Simplicity in Microbial Community Assembly."   Alvaro Sanchez- Yale.   Harvard:  Maxwell Dworkin G125.   Details, Abstract.

12:30p.  "The Dynamic Microbiome."   Georg K. Gerber.   HMS:  Countway 403.   Details, Abstract.

2p.  "Interactivity & Connectedness in the Classroom: Digital Tools for Collaborative Learning."   Kyle Keane.   MIT:  3-133.   Details, Abstract.

2:50p.  "What's Fair?"   Cynthia Dwork.   Tufts:  Halligan 102.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "From Fast to Ultra-Fast: The Biological World of Extreme Movement."   Sheila Patek.   Harvard:  BioLabs, Main Lecture Hall.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "Searching for Dark Matter."   Xiangdong Ji.   MIT:  10-250.   Details.

5:30p.  "Initial Coin Offerings: The Rise of Crypto Capitalism."   A conference.   MIT:  Strata Center.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

6:30p.  "Are We The Enemy? The Neuroscience of Conflict and Empathy."   Emile Bruneau.   MIT Museum.   Details, Abstract.

Friday, December 1

Noon.  "Brain Challenges and Materials Solutions."   Mehmet Kanik.   MIT:  46-6011.   Details.

Saturday, December 2

2p.  "Capturing Minerals with Pencil and Paper."   Erica Beade.   Harvard Museum of Natural History.   Details, Registration.

Monday, December 4

Noon.  "Mitigation Versus Solar Geoengineering: Role of Risk Aversion and Time Preference."   Mariia Belaia.   HKS:  Bell Hall, 5th Floor, Belfer Building.   Details.

12:10p.  "Trade-offs in Evolutionary Ecology."   Anurag Agrewal.   Arnold ArboretumHarvard:  Weld Hill Lecture Hall.   Details.

3:30p.  "Spiral Structure of the Milky Way and Other Galaxies."   Mark Reid.   BU:  CAS 502.   Details, Abstract.

6p.  "The Future of Immersive Computing at Autodesk and HP's Mars Home Planet initiative."   Radha Mistry.   Autodesk BUILD Space, 23 Dry Dock Avenue.   Details.

7p.  "Of Monarchs and Milkweed: A Story of Coevolution, Cultural History, and Conservation."   Anurag Agrawal.   Arnold Arboretum:  Hunnewell Bldg.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

Tuesday, December 5

12:30p.  "Listening for Bolides: Infrasound Detection of Small Earth Impactors."   Eliot Young.   MIT:  54-517.   Details.

4p.  "Neutrinos: from zeros to heroes?"   Roxanne Guenette.   Brandeis:  Abelson 131.   Details, Abstract.

Wednesday, December 6

7p.  "Editing Our Evolution: Rewriting the Human Genome."   Museum of Science.   Details, Abstract.

Thursday, December 7

9a & 10:45a.  "Real-World Robotics."   Robotics Outreach, Lincoln Lab.   Lincoln Lab cafeteria.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

11a.  "Borderline Personality Disorder and Complex Posttraumatic Stress Disorder."   Nina Lewis-Schroeder and Amy Dierberger.   A webinar.   Details, Abstract, Register.

4p.  "Holding Algorithms Accountable."   Cathy O’Neil.   Tufts:  Tisch 304.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "Number Theory and Spacetime."   Steven Gubser.   MIT:  34-101.   Details, Abstract.

6:30p.  "The Resistance Movement: What antibiotic resistance means for medicine."   William Hanage.   Aeronaut, 14 Tyler, Somerville.   Details.

7p.  "Probabilistic Programming."   Theo Giannakopoulos, Principal Research Engineer, BAE Systems.   MIT:  32-G449.   Details, Abstract.

Monday, December 11

10 - 4p.  "The Intersection of IoT and Robotics: How Sensors, Data, and Intelligence Are Redefining Industry."   A conference.   Alley Powered by Verizon, 10 Ware St, Cambridge.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

3:30p.  "Seeing Galaxies as Collections of Stars."   Jason Kalirai.   BU:  CAS 502.   Details, Abstract.

Friday, December 15

2p.  "Dirty Data, Robotics, and Artificial Intelligence."   Sanjay Krishnan.   MIT:  32-D463.   Details, Abstract.



*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 esexton@genetics.med.harvard.edu (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 kbarry6@partnes.org.  Events in the Longwood medical area that do not carry an asterisk have announced explicitly that they are open to the general public.

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