Events

    Gardening for Butterflies and Moths

    Location: 

    Hunnewell Building, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    Learn how to attract butterflies and moths to your garden and cater to their unique lifecycle requirements in this program focused exclusively on lepidopteran-friendly gardening techniques. Lepidopteran conservation in New England is more important than ever, as many formerly common species are now threatened with extirpation. Colin McCallum-Cook, Horticultural Technologist, will also show you how to use citizen science applications to monitor species in your garden and contribute valuable data to the cause of lepidopteran conservation.

    Cost: $25 for...

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    A Lunar Soirée

    Location: 

    Harvard Museum of Natural History, 26 Oxford St., Cambridge

    Celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the 1969 moon landing at this one-of-a-kind evening event exclusively for guests 21+. Enjoy cocktails, beer, light refreshments, and 60s music, as well as moon-inspired demonstrations and activities. More details on the full program coming soon!

    Cost: $20 for members; $25 for nonmembers.

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    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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    Exploring Science Together: Bugs!

    Location: 

    Harvard Museum of Natural History, 26 Oxford St., Cambridge

    Take a closer look and explore the world of minuscule bugs! Learn through hands-on activities designed to show you how to classify and identify these numerous and diverse creatures! Participate in activities in our incredible arthropods gallery. Observe and touch live invertebrates, and then go outside and collect some of your own. Dig in the dirt and learn how invertebrates help people compost food waste into soil. Create your own scientific equipment that will help you continue the study of entomology at home.

    All activities are designed to be fun and interactive experiences...

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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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    Get Your Hands Dirty!—Soil Science

    Location: 

    Hunnewell Lawn, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    This is part of the new Science in Our Park Series. Come to the Arnold Arboretum and be a scientist! Get your hands onto scientific tools, use your observation skills and share your findings with others.

    Get Your Hands Dirty will allow you to stick your hands into the soil and really get to know it. You will have a chance to use digital probes, collect data, and then share that data with other scientists for a day.

    One adult may bring a maximum of three children; suitable for children ages five and up.

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    Guided Tour: Medicinal Plants at the Arnold Arboretum

    Location: 

    Hunnewell Building, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    The Leventritt Shrub and Vine Garden contains a multitude of cultivated plants with culturally significant medicinal properties. However, on a casual stroll along Linden Path to the Leventritt, you will pass dozens of other plants that are often looked upon as simple weeds. Many of these plants have rich ethnobotanical histories of their own that tie us closer to our environment. Your guides will explain how these "weedy" plants came to colonize this area while touching on cultural contexts and botanical identification of these wild species—as well as the cultivated medicinal species in...

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    Moon Medley

    Location: 

    Harvard Film Archive, 24 Quincy St., Cambridge

    In collaboration with Houghton Library’s celebration of the moon landing’s 50th anniversary, the Harvard Film Archive presents films about humans’ exploration of that final frontier. This program features "A Trip to the Moon" with live musical accompaniment, "A Grand Day Out," "One Small Step," and more family-friendly short films!

    Cost: $5 Weekend Matinee Admission or free with Cambridge Public Library Card.

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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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    Dissection Dramatics! Flower Form

    Location: 

    Hunnewell Lawn, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    This is part of the new Science in Our Park Series. Come to the Arnold Arboretum and be a scientist! Get your hands onto scientific tools, use your observation skills, and share your findings with others.

    Dissection Dramatics will give you ample opportunity to fiddle with microscopes, hand lenses and digital scopes. Discover the secrets contained in a flower as you pull it apart piece by piece. Then test your puzzle making abilities as you attempt to put it back together.

    One adult may bring a maximum of three children; suitable for children ages...

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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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    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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    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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