Events

    Lecture: Darkness in Distress

    Location: 

    Weld Hill Building, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    Join the Arnold Arboretum for a lecture by science journalist Kelly Beatty. Light pollution, simply put, is any unnecessary or excessive outdoor illumination. Sadly, it’s become a pervasive and ugly consequence of modern 24/7 society. Light pollution robs us of the night sky’s beauty, negatively affects the ecosystem, and creates an in-your-face waste of energy. But a new mindset and new technology are poised to slow—and perhaps reverse—this bane of modern life.

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    Contemporary Drawing: A Conversation with Tony Lewis and Matt Saunders

    Location: 

    Harvard Art Museums, 32 Quincy Street, Cambridge

    In this lecture, Tony Lewis, a Chicago-based artist, and Matt Saunders, an artist and the Harris K. Weston Associate Professor of the Humanities at Harvard, will discuss various practices and techniques of drawing. Considering their own work, Lewis and Saunders will explore some of the unique questions that the fugitive medium of drawing poses to contemporary audiences.

    This event is free, but seating is limited. Tickets will be distributed beginning at 5:30pm at the Broadway entrance. One ticket per person.

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    The Substance of Soil

    Location: 

    Hunnewell Building, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    Soil is the basis of survival. Without soil, humans and most other living beings could not exist. Conor Guidarelli, who has dug deep into the soils of the Arnold Arboretum will present an overview of soil, from its formation and components to its properties. He will discuss ways to analyze soil quality and health to determine whether or not amendments are needed based on the soil outcome or use desired.

    Participants are encouraged to bring a pint glass jar with about a cup of soil in it to class.

    Cost: $20 for members; $30 for nonmembers.

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    Sprout Lands: Tending the Endless Gift of Trees

    Location: 

    Hunnewell Building, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    Once, farmers knew how to prune trees in a way that, instead of destroying them, led to robust and sustained growth – of the trees and of the communities that utilized them. 

    Rediscover this lost art that sustained human life and culture for ten millennia in this talk with arborist William Bryant Logan. William offers us both practical knowledge about how to live with trees to mutual benefit and hope that humans may again learn what the persistence and generosity of trees can teach.

    Cost: Free for members; $5 for nonmembers.

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    Bonsai Behind the Curtain: Uncovering Their Care and Cultivation

    Location: 

    Larz Anderson Bonsai Collection, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    Join Manager of Plant Production, Tiffany Enzenbacher, for an evening of exploration into the oldest dwarfed plant collection in the United States. As one of the caretakers of the Arboretum's bonsai collection, Tiffany will highlight many of the procedures used by staff to maintain the health of these captivating specimens.

    Learn more about and register for Bonsai Behind the...

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    The Art of Botanical Prose

    Location: 

    Hunnewell Building, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    All writers must contend with translation. A poet translates the movement of a dancing figure into a brief couplet, and an essayist translates the noise and commotion of the city where she lives into a single paragraph. The three-dimensional world filters into text, and when done especially well—the realm of literature and art—readers often forget that translation has even occurred.

    In this talk, Jonathan Damery, the associate editor for Arnoldia, will provide a readerly tour through horticultural and botanical reference books, encouraging readers to see the artistic endeavor...

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    Harvard Science Book Talk: Graham Farmelo

    Location: 

    Science Center Hall D, One Oxford St., Cambridge

    In The Universe Speaks in Numbers, Graham Farmelo, the award-winning author of The Strangest Man and Churchill's Bomb, takes his readers on a journey from the Scientific Revolution to string theory, highlighting the role of mathematics in guiding the search for the most fundamental laws of nature.

    In this talk, he will be joined by Harvard's own Jacob Barandes in conversation about this new book which explores how the harmonies between physics and mathematics enrich and deepen our understanding of the universe.

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    Ethnobotany at Harvard

    Location: 

    Harvard University Herbaria, 22 Divinity Ave., Cambridge

    Historically, plants have provided humans with most of our drugs, fibers, food, dyes, perfumes, building materials, and even musical instruments. But how has this diverse and fascinating field been studied and what has been learned? In fact, for over 100 years, Harvard has played a pivotal role in the study of human-plant interactions, leading to the creation of the field of ethnobotany.

    In this interactive lecture we will explore the science and history of some of the most important Harvard botanists and explorers through their unique specimens—now housed in the Harvard...

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    Preserving Zapotec Weaving Practices

    Location: 

    Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford St., Cambridge

    The town of Teotitlán Del Valle in the Mexican state of Oaxaca is renowned for its weaving traditions and its importance as a Zapotec cultural center. Porfirio Gutiérrez will examine the rich history of Zapotec weaving from the perspective of its practitioners. He will also discuss his studio’s role in preserving and promoting the use of natural dyes in his community, and abroad, using pigments derived from plants and insects.

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    Footprints On Another World: Apollo Plus 50

    Location: 

    Phillips Auditorium, 60 Garden St., Cambridge

    Half a century later, Dr. Jonathan McDowell will look back at humanity's first voyages to another world. In December 1968, the crew of Apollo 8 became the first people to enter the gravitational sphere of the Moon, and seven months later, Armstrong and Aldrin headed for the surface in Apollo 11. Meanwhile, the Soviet Union's moon rocket exploded disastrously as its robot probes competed with NASA astronauts in the race to bring home the first moon rocks. Dr. McDowell will explain how the first landing stood at the tip of an immense effort as engineers from California to Cambridge, MA...

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    How Birds Work: Eggs

    Location: 

    Hunnewell Building, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    How does an egg become an egg? Why do chickens continue to lay eggs day after day? What controls the shape of eggs? Why do eggs of different species of birds have different colors? And how strong are eggshells?

    In this talk which follows previous talks about bird flight, migration, and feathers, Lorna Gibson answers common questions about bird eggs.

    Learn more...

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    Landscape Plant Selection, Planting, and Establishment

    Location: 

    Hunnewell Building, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    Ensuring the long-term health of your landscape starts with healthy plants from the nursery, proper site selection and preparation, and sound planting and establishment. Andrew Gapinski will discuss professional standards and techniques, along with common issues and solutions for both balled-and-burlapped and containerized specimens. He will focus on landscape trees, shrubs, and perennials—ornamental annuals and vegetables will not be covered in this offering. Class will start indoors and then move outdoors to the Dana Greenhouse Nursery.

    Cost: $30 members, $...

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    The Human Swarm: How Societies Arise, Thrive, and Fall

    Location: 

    Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford St., Cambridge

    Join us for a free lecture and book signing by Mark W. Moffett. Based on his new book, The Human Swarm: How Societies Arise, Thrive, and Fall (Basic Books, April 2019), Moffett will discuss the social adaptations that bind societies and distinguish humans from other animal species. Drawing on findings in psychology, sociology, and anthropology, he explores how human society evolved from intimate chimp communities into sprawling civilizations of unrivaled complexity–and will address what is required to sustain them.

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    Why Brain Science Needs an Edit: Non-human Primate Studies in Neuroscience and Biomedicine

    Location: 

    Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Knafel Center, 10 Garden St., Cambridge

    This lecture will feature Dr. Mu-ming Poo, the founding director of the Institute of Neuroscience at the Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences. In his talk, Dr. Poo will discuss the use of gene-editing tools such as CRISPR in efforts to develop a macaque monkey behavioral model for studying self-consciousness. He will also address the relevant ethical issues associated with gene editing and the use of non-human primates in biomedical research.

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    Our Extravagant Universe: The Undiscovery of Cosmic Deceleration

    Location: 

    Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Knafel Center, 10 Garden St., Cambridge

    Astronomers have known about the expansion of the universe for nearly a hundred years. Twenty years ago, when we set out to use exploding stars to measure gravity’s predicted effect, we discovered the expansion of the universe to be speeding up! This (un)discovery has been attributed to a “dark energy” that dominates the universe, whose nature is a deep mystery at the heart of physics. Robert P. Kirshner, Clowes Professor of Science, emeritus, Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences, will explain this phenomenon of cosmic acceleration.

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    Around the World in 80 Trees

    Location: 

    Weld Hill Building, Arnold Arboretum, Boston

    Trees are one of humanity’s most constant and varied companions. From India’s sacred banyan to the fragrant cedar of Lebanon, they offer us sanctuary and inspiration – not to mention the raw materials for everything from aspirin to maple syrup.

    In Around the World in 80 Trees, Jonathan Drori uses plant science to illuminate how trees play a role in every part of human life, from the romantic to the regrettable, to the downright ridiculous. Stops on the trip include the lime trees of Berlin’s Unter den Linden boulevard, which intoxicate amorous Germans and hungry bees...

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    Caspian: The Elements Preview and Lecture

    Location: 

    Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford St., Cambridge

    For five years British photographer Chloe Dewe Mathews traveled through the countries surrounding the Caspian Sea: Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Russia, and Iran. In images that range from stark and elemental to lush and mysterious, she recorded the vastly diverse peoples, politics, and geography of Central Asia, centering always on the great inland sea.

    In this conversation with Makeda Best, Richard L. Menschel Curator of Photography at the Harvard Art Museums, Dewe Mathews will discuss her project and new book, Caspian: The Elements (2018, Aperture and...

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    Space, Movement, and the Technological Body: A Tribute to the Bauhaus

    Location: 

    Harvard Graduate School of Design, Gund Hall, Piper Auditorium, 48 Quincy Street, Cambridge

    In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Bauhaus School of Design, the Harvard Graduate School of Design will host a night of screenings and performances that explore new bodily and spatial interfaces, including a movement-based performance by students developed in collaboration with a course taught by Krzysztof Wodiczko and Ani Liu.

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    Lives Still in Limbo: UnDACAmented and Navigating Uncertain Futures

    Location: 

    Harvard Ed Portal, 224 Western Ave., Allston

    Join the Harvard Ed Portal and Professor Roberto Gonzales, professor of education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, for a faculty speaker presentation, Lives Still in Limbo: UnDACAmented and Navigating Uncertain Futures.

    Gonzales’ talk will draw from a seven-year national study assessing the impact of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. His findings have important implications for immigration policy and educational and community practice.

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