Events

    2022 May 12

    The Quest to Image Black Holes

    3:00pm to 4:00pm

    Location: 

    Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian—Online

    Join the CfA live from the Smithsonian Castle in Washington, DC to learn about exciting new results from the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT), the team that brought us the first-ever image of a black hole!

    Moderated by Smithsonian Under Secretary for Science and Research and former Chief Scientist at NASA, Dr. Ellen Stofan, this event will be live streamed and is open to the public. Panelists will include Shep Doeleman, founding director of the EHT; Kari Haworth chief technology officer of the CfA; and astrophysicists Angelo Ricarte and Paul Tiede.

    ...

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    2022 May 10

    Charismatic Robots in Everyday Human Spaces

    1:00pm

    Location: 

    Harvard Radcliffe Institute—Online

    Heather Knight will present work from the Collaborative Humans and Robotics: Interaction, Sociability, Machine learning and Art (CHARISMA) robotics lab at Oregon State University (OSU). The pandemic has brought increasing automation into everyday human spaces, making ever more relevant CHARISMA’s work in service robots, expressive communication, and autonomous and human-in-the-loop robot behavior systems.

    Using examples from 20 years in the field, this talk illustrates...

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    2022 May 09

    Harvard Science Book Talk: "Zero to Birth: How the Human Brain Is Built"

    6:00pm to 7:00pm

    Location: 

    Harvard Division of Science, Harvard Library, and Harvard Book Store—Online

    By the time a baby is born, its brain is equipped with billions of intricately crafted neurons wired together through trillions of interconnections to form a compact and breathtakingly efficient supercomputer. "Zero to Birth" takes you on an extraordinary journey to the very edge of creation, from the moment of an egg’s fertilization through each step of a human brain’s development in the womb―and even a little beyond.

    ...

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    2022 Apr 28

    Colliding Worlds: How Cosmic Encounters Shaped Planets and Life

    6:00pm to 7:00pm

    Location: 

    Harvard Museums of Science & Culture—Online

    Signs of ancient collisions are widespread in the solar system, from the barren, once-habitable Mars to rugged asteroids. In this talk, physicist Simone Marchi, discussing his recent book, Colliding Worlds (Oxford University Press, 2021), will explore the key role that collisions in space have played in the formation and evolution of our solar system, the development of planets, and possibly even the origin of life on Earth. Analyzing our current understanding of the surfaces of Mars, the Moon, and asteroids—drawn from recent space missions—Marchi will present the dramatic...

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    2022 Apr 27

    The Descendants (A Novel)

    12:00pm

    Location: 

    Harvard Radcliffe Institute—Online

    Ladee Hubbard is a writer whose most recent novel is “The Rib King” (Amistad, 2021). In this lecture, she will discuss her current project, a novel that examines the implications of the ways in which Black people in the United States have historically been represented as an internal threat to both public health and safety, placing the 1980s War on Drugs in dialogue with the larger history of African Americans being used in drug trials and medical experiments.

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    2022 Apr 06

    After-School Animal Encounters: Super Skeletons

    4:00pm to 4:45pm

    Location: 

    Harvard Museums of Science & Culture—Online

    Free Virtual Family Program

    Do snakes have bones? Can a turtle crawl out of its shell? How far could you jump if you were a frog? Looking at skeletons can help us answer these questions! Comparing the skeletons of different animals can help us learn more about how they live and move. Join human museum staffers Arielle and Javier as they lead you in a 45-minute program with live animals and specimens from the museum collections. This event will be fun for the whole family so bring your questions and sense of wonder.

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    2022 Apr 06

    The Impact of Gold Mining on the Feasibility of Malaria Elimination in the Amazon

    12:00pm

    Location: 

    Harvard Radcliffe Institute—Online

    Caroline Buckee is a professor of epidemiology and the associate director of the Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. She is writing a book focused on the impact of gold mining on the epidemiology and control of malaria in the Amazon rainforest while concurrently examining infectious disease epidemiology as a field of study, using malaria as an example. Join her to hear more about her current research.

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    2022 Mar 23

    Restoring Ecosystems in a Time of Ongoing Global Change

    6:00pm to 7:00pm

    Location: 

    Harvard Museums of Science & Culture—Online

    How long does it take for an ecosystem to recover after it is disturbed or destroyed by human activities? How do we know when an ecosystem has recovered? In this lecture, restoration ecologist David Moreno Mateos will discuss the traditional methods used to assess the recovery of terrestrial ecosystems—such as changes in biodiversity or soil carbon levels—and highlight their limitations. He will make a case for more comprehensive and long-term approaches to understanding and measuring ecosystem recovery and highlight their potential for enhancing environmental policies and large-scale...

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    2022 Mar 09

    After-School Animal Encounters: Get Growing!

    4:00pm to 4:45pm

    Location: 

    Harvard Museums of Science & Culture—Online

    In the natural world, animals have all sorts of fascinating ways in which they grow. From tadpoles changing into bullfrogs to baby turtles becoming goliaths, growing up is a big part of life! Learn about the different life cycles and life histories of some of our favorite museum animals and how they’ve grown over time. Join human museum staffers Javier and Arielle, as they lead you in a 45-minute program with live animals and specimens from the museum collections. This event will be fun for the whole family so bring your questions and sense of wonder.

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    2022 Mar 08

    The Quest for Ethical Artificial Intelligence: A Conversation with Timnit Gebru

    4:00pm

    Location: 

    Harvard Radcliffe Institute—Online

    Timnit Gebru is the founder and executive director of the Distributed Artificial Intelligence Research Institute (DAIR). Prior to that she was fired by Google—where she was serving as co-lead of the Ethical AI research team—in December 2020 for raising issues of discrimination in the workplace. Timnit also cofounded Black in AI, a nonprofit that works to increase the presence, inclusion, visibility, and health of Black people in the field of AI; and is on the board of AddisCoder, a nonprofit dedicated to teaching algorithms and computer programming to Ethiopian high school students, free...

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    2022 Mar 07

    Arrival: Panel Discussion

    4:00pm to 5:00pm

    Location: 

    Mind Brain Behavior Interfaculty Initiative at Harvard—Online

    When aliens touchdown on Earth, linguistics professor Louise Banks (Amy Adams) and her team are tasked with determining why they are here and what they want. Our experts will discuss and debate the challenges that may arise in communicating with alien lifeforms and where the film succeeded and/or failed in this regard.

    Learn more and RSVP for this virtual event.

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    2022 Mar 04

    Next in Climate Change: The Ethel and David Jackson Next in Science Program

    2:00pm to 4:30pm

    Location: 

    Online or at Harvard Radcliffe Institute, Knafel Center, 10 Garden St., Cambridge

    The speakers in “Next in Climate Change” will discuss emerging scientific research and multi-dimensional implications of climate change for people, society, and our planet. The program will focus on five critical areas of inquiry and the connections among them: extreme weather and its impacts on communities, infrastructure, and the environment; economic effects of climate change, as well as economic opportunities; consequences of climate change on global health, ranging from cancer to pandemics; impacts on particularly vulnerable populations; and approaches to mitigation for the...

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    2022 Feb 11

    Should Alexa Diagnose Alzheimer’s?: A Health Policy and Bioethics Consortium

    12:30pm to 2:00pm

    Location: 

    Harvard Graduate School of Education—Online

    Technology is now part of our lives in ways that were not possible only 10-20 years ago. Smart devices, like watches, phones, and speakers, can gather vast amounts of information about their users, often without the user’s knowledge or consent. As technology continues to improve, many of these devices may also be leveraged to serve diagnostic functions. Technologies such as Amazon's Alexa and Google's Assistant can ambiently and continually monitor a variety of information about an individual’s location, voice, and movement. As this technology merges with wearables, such as the Apple...

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    2021 Nov 15

    The Climate of Attention

    7:00pm to 8:30pm

    Location: 

    Harvard Divinity School—Online

    This conversation is part of the series "Weather Reports: The Climate of Now." The featured speaker is Elizabeth Kolbert, New Yorker staff writer.

    Few have covered the climate crisis as deeply and as thoughtfully as Elizabeth Kolbert. Her work includes Field Notes from a Catastrophe (2007), the Pulitzer-prize winning The Sixth Extinction (2016), and her latest Under a White Sky (2021), “a book about people trying to solve problems caused by people...

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    2021 Nov 10

    Biogeography across Broken Continents and Sunken Islands

    6:00pm to 7:15pm

    Location: 

    Harvard Museums of Science & Culture—Online

    The major continents of the Southern Hemisphere—Africa, South America, Australia, Antarctica—as well as India and islands in the Pacific, were once part of Gondwana, an ancient supercontinent that began to break up about 180 million years ago. How did this breakup influence the evolution of ecosystems and organisms found on modern continents and islands? This is one of the questions that biogeography, the study of how organisms are distributed across space and time, seeks to answer. Gonzalo Giribet will discuss how he uses biogeography and tiny invertebrate species to understand the...

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    2021 Nov 09

    After-School Animal Encounters: Teeming Tidepools

    4:00pm to 4:45pm

    Location: 

    Harvard Museums of Science & Culture—Online

    Tidepools exist where the land meets the ocean and the amazingly resilient creatures that live there manage the challenges of both environments. From swimming and climbing to burrowing, animals in tidepools have adapted many behaviors to live in an ever-changing world. Join human museum staffers Javier and Ryan as they lead you in a 45-minute program with live ocean invertebrates. This event will be fun for the whole family so bring your questions and sense of wonder.

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    2021 Oct 23

    The Art and Science of Frogs

    10:30am to 12:30pm

    Location: 

    Harvard Museums of Science & Culture—Online

    Explore the rich diversity of frogs by observing and sketching 3D models printed from Harvard’s research collections. Artist and educator, Erica Beade, will introduce techniques for achieving accurate shapes and capturing volume in your drawings, while herpetologist and researcher, Dr. Mara Laslo, will explain how evolution has generated their amazing diversity. Groups will be limited to twelve, allowing ample time for questions and discussion.

    Cost: $40 for members, $45 for nonmembers.

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    2021 Oct 22

    Decoding AI: The Science, Policies, Applications, and Ethics of Artificial Intelligence

    10:00am to 4:20pm

    Location: 

    Harvard Radcliffe Institute—Online

    Artificial intelligence (AI) is rapidly permeating many facets of our lives, raising both hope and concern about possibilities for our future. AI is transforming domains as disparate as science, medicine, commerce, government, law, the military, and the arts, and in doing so, it is forcing us to grapple with practical, political, and philosophical questions about humans and the nature of human interaction. The Harvard Radcliffe Institute Science Symposium, featuring speakers from disparate disciplines and industries, will examine AI, its impact, and its ethics by exploring current and...

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    2021 Oct 14

    Observatory Night: Cosmic Explosions, from Supernovae to Tidal Disruption Events

    7:00pm

    Location: 

    Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian—Online, Livestream

    The biggest explosions in the universe dwarf any we see on Earth. In space, we regularly witness exploding stars that can shine brighter than the rest of a galaxy as a supernova, or a black hole ripping apart a star that's visible from billions of light years away in what's called a Tidal Disruption Event (TDE). In this talk, astrophysicist Yvette Cendes will discuss how we observe cosmic explosions from Earth and learn about them, from Chinese records thousands of years ago to her modern-day observations as a radio astronomer. This will include Yvette's research on supernovae, such as...

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