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: 24.2051

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

April 21-27.  "Taste of Science."   Various locations.   Details, Abstract, Registration.   Festival events will be streamed.

April 22-26.  "Radar Conference."   Weston Waterfront Hotel.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

Thursday, April 25

8a.  "Crossing the Chasm: Clinical to Commercial Scale-up of Gene Therapies."   Massbio offices.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

8-6p.  "RNA Medicine 2019."   A symposium.   Joseph B. Martin Conference Center.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

9-5:30p.   "Evolution and Ethics."   A conference.   BU:  The Terrace Lounge, George Sherman Union, 775 Commonwealth Ave.   Details.

11a.  "People Analytics: Understanding and Enabling the Future of Work."   Noshir Contractor.   Network Science Institute:  177 Huntington Ave.   Details, Abstract.

11a.  "X-Ray Vision: An introduction to X-ray computed tomography for life science and materials science research."   MIT:  12-0168.   Details, Abstract, RSVP.

Noon.  "Adventures in Single-Cell RNA Transcriptomics."   Simone Picelli and Spyros Darmanis.     A webinar.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

Noon.  "Reversing Health Disparities in People with Mental Illness Through Innovations in Translational Health Care Delivery Science."   Stephen Bartels.   McLean Hospital:  Service Bldg., Pierce Hall.   Details.

1-5p.  "Altered States: Modulation of Cells and Circuits."   HMS:  Tosteson Medical Education Center, Walter Amphitheater.   Details.

2p.  "Mind, No Mind, AI Mind."   A discussion.   MIT:  Bldg W15.   Details, Abstract.

3p.  "Computers that Learn to Help."   Emma Brunskill.   Harvard:  Maxwell Dworkin G115.   Details, Abstract.

3p.  "SuperUROP Showcase."   (SuperUROP=Advanced Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program.)   MIT:  32, 1st flr.   Details.

3p.  "The Future of Banking."   Andrew Lo.   MIT:  32-D463.   Details, Abstract, Registration.   This event will be streamed.

3:30p.  "Digging Veritas: The Archaeology of Harvard Yard."   Patricia Capone and Diana Loren.   Harvard:  Tozzer 203, 21 Divinity Ave.   Details, Abstract.

3:30p.  "Population Palaeogenomics as a Window into the Legacy of the Black Death."   Tom Gilbert.   Harvard:  BioLabs 1080.   Details, Abstract.

4-7p.  "MIT Climate Night."   MIT:  Samberg Conference Center, Dining Rooms 3 & 4.   Details, Abstract, Tickets.   Open to MIT students, faculty, staff, and alumni.

4p.  "Reading Physics from Stellar Spectra."   Hans-Walter Rix.   MIT:  10-250.   Details, Abstract.

4:30p.  "Designing Contextually Driven AI Systems for Gun Violence Prevention with Chicago Youth."   Desmond Patton.   HKS:  Rubenstein 229.   Details, Abstract.

4:30p.  "May the Capillary Force Be With You: Microfluidic Capillaric Circuits."   David Juncker.   Juncker Lab.   Harvard:  60 Oxford St., Rm 330.   Details, Abstract.

5p.  "Time for a Technical Fix? The Science and Ethics of Solar Geoengineering."   MIT:  E51, Wong Auditorium.   Details, Abstract.

6p.  "The Sky’s The Limit: On Challenges and Opportunities of Urban Air Mobility."   (AKA "Aerial Futures: The Third Dimension.")   A panel discussion.   HGSD:  Piper Auditorium.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

6p.  "Water: Stock and Flows on a Finite Planet - Metaphors for Human Survival in a Complex Ecosystem."   Timothy C. Weiskel.   MIT:  56-180.   Details.

6:30p.  "microHACK."   MIT Sloan and the medical residents at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center co-host a mini healthcare hackathon.   BIDMC:  Shapiro Bldg., Rabkin Board Rm.   Details, abstract.

7p.  "Around the World in 80 Trees."   Jonathan Drori.   Arnold Arboretum:  Weld Hill Bldg.   Details, Abstract.

April 26-29.  "Boston Nature Challenge."   Details.   More

Friday, April 26

8-5p.  "Mobility without Cars."   MIT:  E14-240.   Details, Abstract.

8a.  "Novel Mechanisms for the Link Between Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes."   Barbara Kahn.   BWH:  Bornstein Amphitheater, 75 Francis St.   Details.

8:30-4p.  "Sustainable Mobility and Access."   MIT's 11th Annual Sustainability Summit.   MIT:  Samberg Conference Center, 50 Memorial Drive.   Details.

9:30a.  "Providing Value and Redesigning Care for Serious Illness."   (AKA "Overcoming Barriers to New Payment Models for Advanced Illness.") Diane E. Meier and Thomas W. Feeley.   HLS:  Wasserstein 2036.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

Noon.  "The Pineal Gland: A Comedy in Three Acts."   Jess Keiser.   Tufts:  Sophia Gordon Hall.   Details.

1:30-5p.  "Why We Eat What We Eat: Weighing the Options."   A symposium.   Tufts:  Jaharis Center, Behrakis Auditorium.   Details, Abstract, RSVP.

2p.  "Visualization for People + Systems."   Dominik Moritz.   MIT:  32-G882.   Details, Abstract.

3p.  "Imaging a Black Hole with the Event Horizon Telescope."   Katie Bouman.   Harvard:  Maxwell Dworkin G125.   Details, Abstract.

3p.  "Training, Verification, and Bug Finding for AI-Enabled Cyber-Physical Systems."   James Kapinski.   BU:  Photonics 211.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "Apical Dendrites as a Site for Gradient Calculations."   Blake Richards.   MIT:  46-3002.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "Communicating Gradients for Learning Using Activity Dynamics."   Blake Richards.   MIT:  46-3002.   Details, Abstract.

4:30p.  "Computational Complexity and Physics: diverging paths?"   Alexander Barvinok.   MIT:  2-190.   Details.

4:30p.  "May the Capillary Force Be With You: Microfluidic Capillaric Circuits."   David Juncker.   Junker Lab.   Harvard:  60 Oxford St., Rm. 330.    Details, Abstract.

5p.  "What is Spatial Research?"   Laura Kurgan.   MIT:  7-420.   Details, Abstract.

Saturday, April 27

8-9:30a.  "Calling All Birders!"   Bob Mayer, Arboretum Docent.   Arnold Arboretum:  Arborway Gate.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

9-1p.  "Get to Know Your Chainsaw."   John DelRusso.   Arnold Arboretum:  Dana Greenhouse Classroom.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

10:30a.  "Tree Spotter Citizen Science Training (Basic)."   Suzanne Mrozak and Danny Schissler.   Arnold Arboretum:  Hunnewell Bldg..   Details, Abstract, Registration.

Sunday, April 28

2p.  "Census Challenge! - Biodiversity Sampling."   Arnold Arboretum:  North Woods.   Details.   One adult may bring a maximum of three children.

Monday, April 29

10a.  "Mapping Cell Types, Dynamics, and Connections in Neural Circuits."   Samuel Rodrigues.   MIT:  32-123.   Details.

11a.  "How Norms Change: New Evidence from Data and Experiments."   Andrea Baronchelli.   Network Science Institute, 177 Huntington Ave..   Details, Abstract.

12:15p.  "Agency and Automation: Digital Disobedience and Its Infrastructure."   Robin Celikates.   Harvard:  CGIS South S050.   Details, RSVP.   Sandwich lunch is provided.

1:15p.  "Bayesian Methods for Brain-Computer Interfaces."   Matthew T. Harrison.   HMS:  Countway, Minot Room, 10 Shattuck St.   Details, Abstract.

3p.  "What will Happen When Artificial Nanocrystals can be Observed and Controlled at the Level of Single Atoms?"   Paul Alivisatos.   MIT:  3-270.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

3:40p.  "Expanding the Chemical Diversity of DNA."   Ryan Hili.   Brandeis:  Gerstenzang 124.   Details.

4p.  "Chemical Biology on the Brain: Understanding the Nicotine Receptor."   Dennis A. Dougherty.   MIT:  4-270.   Details.

4p.  "Running Out: An Ethnography of Groundwater and Responsibility on the High Plains."   Lucas Bessaire.   MIT:  E53-354.   Details, Abstract.

4:15p.  "Unsupervised Geometric Learning: Theory and Applications."   James Murphy.   MIT:  2-190.   Details, Abstract.

5p.  "Evolution of an Engineering Simulation Software Venture."   David Hibbitt.   MIT:  1-190.   Details, Abstract.

5:30p.  "Towards Life 3.0 - Ethics and Technology in the 21st Century."   David Eaves.   HKS:  Wexner 102.   Details.

6p.  "The Digital Hum of the Long, Slow Now."   Keller Easterling.   MIT:  E15-001.   Details, Abstract.

April 30-May 3.  "Open Data Science Conference East 2019."   Hynes Convention Center.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

Tuesday, April 30

9:30-9p.  "The Digital Nuclear Power Plant."   A Symposium.   MIT:  Bldg 50, 142 Memorial Drive.   Details, Abstract.

10a.  "Uncovering the Evolution Histories of Giant Planets with K2 and TESS."   Liang Yu.   MIT:  37-252.   Details.

11a.  "How does Early-Life Adversity lead to Vulnerability to Mental Illness? Signals, molecules, & circuits."   Tallie Baram.   McLean Hospital:  deMarneffe 132.   Details.

11a.  "Modeling Opinion Dynamics in the Age of Algorithmic Personalization."   Nicola Perra.   Network Science Institute, 177 Huntington Ave.   Details, Abstract.

11a.  "The Physical Paradigm for Bidirectional Brain-Computer Interfaces."   Samuel Hincks.   Tufts:  Halligab 102.   Details, Abstract.

Noon.  "Ethics Issues in Artificial Intelligence."   Hojjat Salmasian.   Countway Medical Library:  Conference Room 424.   Details.

Noon.  "Topological Materials Science."   Claudia Felser.   MIT:  4-331.   Details.

Noon.  "What can the Quaternary Paleobiological Record Tell Us about Vegetation Turnover and Climate Change?"   Israel Loera.   Harvard:  Herbaria 125.   Details, Abstract.

12:30p.  "Prospects for Transforming the Industrial State."   Nicholas A. Ashford.   MIT:  9-450A.   Details, Abstract.

2p.  "Proteasome Footprinting: Global views of degradation."   Yifat Merbl.   HMS:  Goldenson 122.   Details.

2:30p.  "If Space Turned Out to be Time: Resonances in the visual cortex."   G. Bard Ermentrout.   MIT:  2-139.   Details, Abstract.

3:30p.  "Emerging Material Platforms, Design and Optimization Approaches for Nanophotonic Devices."   Alexandra Boltasseva.   MIT:  6-104.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "Directed Assembly and Transport in Polymeric Materials – From Synthetic Macromolecules to Active Biomaterial Systems."   Juan De Pablo.   MIT:  6-120.   Details.

4p.  "Online Learning Innovations and Interventions."   A discussion.   MIT:  3-133.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "Ribosomes in Gene Regulation: Controllling the diversity of proteins that can be produced in specific cells, tissues and organisms."   Maria Barna.   The Barna Lab.   MIT:  32-123.   Details, Abstract.

4:30p.  "Doing Science while Chinese in America."   Xiaoxing Xi and Yangyang Cheng.   MIT:  E51-345.   Details, Abstract.

5p.  "Our Extravagant Universe: The Undiscovery of Cosmic Deceleration."   Robert Kirshner.   Knafel Center, 10 Garden St.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

5:30p.  "'Swear Not by the Moon': Kennedy’s Challenge."   Matthew Hersch.   Harvard:  Lamont Library Forum.   Details, Abstract, RSVP.

Wednesday, May 1

9:30a.  "Connectomic Insights into Psychiatric Disorders: Early Detection, Precision Medicine, Novel Interventions."   Susan Whitfield-Gabrieli.   McLean Hospital:  Imaging Center, Second Floor Conf. Rm.  Details.

Noon.  "Deep Internal Learning."   Michal Irani.   MIT:  32-D463.   Details, Abstract.

Noon.  "Topological Quantum Chemistry."   Bogdan A. Bernevig.   Harvard:  Maxwell Dworkin G125. .   Details.

Noon.  "The Interpreting Paradox: Interlanguage Encounters in a Northeastern Clinic."   Elizabeth Wahl.   HMS:  Dept. of Global Health and Social Medicine, 641 Huntington Ave.   Details, Abstract.   This event will be streamed.

4p.  "Understanding the Progression of Neurodegenerative Diseases and Beyond."   Chiara Zurzolo.   Knafel Center:  10 Garden St.   Details.

5:30p.  "A Sceptical History of Numbers."   Curtis McMullen.   Harvard Science Center D.   Details, Abstract.

6p.  "Tapping into Plants' Natural Chemical Arsenals Without Taxing Nature."   Jing-Ke Weng.   Weng Lab.   Whitehead Institute:  455 Main St.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

7p.  "A Grassland Restoration Tale of Weeds, Wildlife, and Renewal."   Jenna Webster.   Cambridge Public Library.   Details, Abstract.

Thursday, May 2

9-5:30p.  "Business of Blockchain."   A conference.   MIT:  E14.   Details, Abstract.

10a.  "Discovery and Characterization of Transiting Exoplanets using Space Telescopes."   Fei Dai.   MIT:  37-252.   Details.

11a.  "Doing More with Less: Economically-efficient Management of Pavement Networks."   Randolph Kirchain.   A webinar.   Details, Abstract.

Noon.  "Trouble on the Edge: Coastal Ecosystems in Changing Times."   Linda Deegan.   Harvard Forest Seminar Room, 324 North Main St., Petersham.   Details.   This event will be online.

4p.  "Universality Classes in the Evolutionary Dynamics of Expanding Populations."   Kirill Korolev.   Brandeis:  Abelson 229.   Details, Abstract.

4:15p.  "Why Brain Science Needs an Edit: Non-human Primate Studies in Neuroscience and Biomedicine."   Mu-ming Poo.   Knafel Center:  10 Garden St.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

6p.  "The Human Swarm: How Societies Arise, Thrive, and Fall."   Mark W. Moffett.   Harvard Museum of Natural History.   Details.

6p.  "The Smart Enough City."   Ben Green.   MIT Press Bookstore, 301 Massachusetts Ave.   Details, Abstract, Tickets.

7p.  "A Contagious Cause: The American Hunt for Cancer Viruses and the Rise of Molecular Medicine."   Robin Wolfe Scheffler.   Harvard Book Store, 1256 Massachusetts Ave.   Details, Abstract.

May 3-4.  "Addictions Conference."   Boston Marriott Cambridge Hotel.   Details, Registration.

Friday, May 3

11a.  "The Era of Artificial Intelligence."   Kai-Fu Lee.   MIT:  32-123.   Details, Abstract.

Noon.  "Rapid Climate Change: Evidence from Andean Ice Fields and Beyond."   Lonnie Thompson.   Harvard:  Pierce 100F.  Details, Abstract.

2p.  "Biosynthesis and Medicinal Chemistry of Therapeutically Promising Plant Natural Products."   Yasmin-Pei Chau.   Whitehead Institute:  McGovern Auditorium.   Details.

May 4-5.  "Grow Your Food IQ: Science Fiction Food Weekend."   Museum of Science.   Details, Abstract.

Saturday, May 4

9a.  "Exploring Pond Ecosystems."   An Arboretum for Educators event.   Arnold Arboretum:  Hunnewell Bldg.  Details, Registration.

9-3p.  "Facing Waste."   The 13th Annual Youth Summit on Climate Change.   MIT:  32-123.   Details, Abstract.

9-5p.  "Our Driverless Futures."   Museum of Science.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

Sunday, May 5

10:30a.  "Tree Spotters Citizen Science Program: Basic Training."   Suzanne Mrozak and Danny Schissler.   Arnold Arboretum:  Hunnewell Bldg.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

11a.  "How the Arboretum Became the Arboretum: The First 25 Years."   Emily Wheeler, Arboretum Docent.   Arnold Arboretum:  Centre St. Gate.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

Monday, May 6

10a.  "Mighty Machines; Development and rapid scaling of efficient drug substance processes in purpose-built reactors enabled by continuous manufacturing technology."   Matthew Bio.   MIT:  2-105.   Details.

10-5p.  "The Odyssey of OHDSI: Using Health Care Data for Research."   (=Observational Health Data Sciences and Informatics, pronounced Odyssey).   Tufts:  1 Kneeland St., Rachel's Auditorium.   Details, Abstract.

10:30a.  "Accessing Language Barriers to Mental Health Services in a Multi-Ethnic Patient Population."   Farzad Kasraei.   HMS:  TMEC 250.   Details, RSVP.

Noon.  "Data, Innovation, & the Future of Criminal Justice."   Laurin Leonard and Teresa Hodge.   HKS:  Taubman 135.   Details, Abstract.

1p.  "Understanding Barriers to Accessing Primary Care Among the Most Deprived of the Deprived."   Thierry Nyatanya.   HMS:  TMEC 250.   Details, RSVP.

5:30-6:45p.  "Towards Life 3.0 - Ethics and Technology in the 21st Century."   Sushma Raman.   HKS:  Wexner 102.   Details, Abstract.   This event will be streamed.   A light dinner will be served.

6:30p.  "Cleaning Up After Ourselves: Measuring Progress in the Fight against Water Pollution."   Loretta Fernandez.   The Burren:  247 Elm St., Somerville.   Details.

7p.  "First Man."   A Science on Screen Event.   Former NASA astronaut Jeffrey Hoffman will discuss the legacy of Apollo 11.   Coolidge Corner Theater.   Details, Abstract.

Tuesday, May 7

Noon.  "The E-Cigarette Dilemma: A Public Health Perspective."   A panel discussion.   A webcast.   Details, Abstract.

4p.  "Aging and Cancer."   Judith Campisi.   MIT:  32-123.   Details.

Wednesday, May 8

4p.  "Receptors, Synapses and Memory."   Richard L. Huganir.   MIT:  46-3002.   Details, Abstract.

6p.  "Lessons from the Liver: Uncovering Novel Approaches for Regenerative Medicine."   Kristin Knouse.   Whitehead Institute:  455 Main St., Cambridge.   Details, Abstract.

6p.  "The Quest for the Structure of the Biological Machine that Reads Our Genes."   Venki Ramakrishnan.   Harvard Science Center C.   Details, Abstract.

7p.  "Cities Resting on Slush: Impacts of Climate Change on Earth's Frozen Regions."   Harvard:  Pfizer Labs, 12 Oxford St.   Details.

Friday, May 10

7-2p.  "Massachusetts Prostate Cancer Symposium."   Newton Marriott, 2345 Commonwealth Ave., Newton.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

4p.  "Characterizing Neural Adaptation in Autism Spectrum Disorder."   Anila D’Mello.   MIT:  46-6011.   Details, Abstract.

Saturday, May 11

10:30p.  "Exploring Science Together: Marine Life!"   Amy Gunzelmann.   Harvard Museum of Natural History.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

11a.  "Modeling Opinion Dynamics in the Age of Algorithmic Personalization."   Nicola Perra.   Network Science Institute:  177 Huntington Ave.   Details, Abstract.

Tuesday, May 14

2-5p.  "Cancer Immune Receptors & Immune Repertoires."   A conference.   Jimmy Fund Auditorium, 35 Binney St.   Details.

Wednesday, May 15

4p.  "Modeling Human Brain Development and Brain Disorders Using 3D Organoids."   Guo-li Ming.   Ming Lab.   MIT:  46-3002.   Details, Abstract.

Thursday, May 16

Noon.  "Evolution of 3D Cell Culture Cancer Models: Advances and future outlooks."   Keith L. Ligon and David Tuveson.   A webinar.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

6p.  "The Science and Ethics of Chimera Research."   Insoo Hyun and Willy Lensch.   HMS:  TMEC 227, 260 Longwood Avenue.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

Monday, May 20

2p.  "Accelerator-level Parallelism: Mobile SoCs as Harbinger of the Future."   Mark D. Hill.   MIT:  32-G882.   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 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.