The social and environmental values underlying artisanal chocolate production have become increasingly important in its marketing. Good taste is paramount, of course, but how does one measure "social goodness," and what additional value does it add for the consumer? Chocolate makers’ interests often diverge from those of cacao producers, and industry stakeholders have not clearly addressed these concerns. Carla Martin will examine the cacao-chocolate industry and highlight the often conflicting goals that can create gaps in social and environmental responsibility.
Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Knafel Center, 10 Garden Street, Cambridge,
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a deeply interconnected ecosystem of billions of devices and systems that are transforming commerce, science, and society. IoT technologies can be used to disrupt, exploit, bias, bully, and intrude as well as to make our lives safer, more efficient, and more convenient. Join Francine Berman, Edward P. Hamilton Distinguished Professor in Computer Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, in an exploration of the larger social and environmental ecosystem needed to develop an IoT that maximizes benefits, minimizes risk, and promotes individual protections...
Solar geoengineering research aims to reduce the impacts of global climate change. One possibility is to put aerosols into the stratosphere to alter Earth’s energy budget. This emerging technology entails risks and uncertainties, along with serious challenges to global governance. The greatest threat, perhaps, is that it will be used as a technical fix and encourage people to avoid the emissions cuts that are fundamental to curbing long-term climate risks.
Lecturer David Keith will describe the simple physics underlying the climate’s response to stratospheric aerosols, the...
Ancient Maya civilization—known for its cities, monumental architecture, ceramics, hieroglyphic writing, and advanced understanding of mathematics and astronomy—suffered a major demise between the tenth and eleventh centuries. The causes continue to be investigated and debated. Paleoenvironmental research over the past twenty years has revealed that the demise coincided with a prolonged intensive drought that extended across the region, providing compelling evidence that climate change played a key role in the collapse of the Maya.
Take a guided tour of the Arnold Arboretum's state-of-the-art Weld Hill Research and Administration Building. Learn about some of the cutting-edge plant research and explore the “green” building design.
Bussey Street Gate, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
Docent Robbie Apfel leads this winter walk in an exploration of the Arboretum's conifer collection. Beginning from the Bussey Street Gate, you will be introduced to the Arboretum's grand gymnosperms, learn the botany of conifers, and hear about Hemlock Hill's evolving ecosystem. This tour will also introduce you to native and non-native conifers in the winter landscape.
Hunnewell Building, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
The Arnold Arboretum is full of spectacular specimens from around the world that any visitor will appreciate. However, what they observe is only half the story. How a tree uptakes water and nutrients, stays grounded in place, stores energy, and sometimes even propagates itself, is all thanks to its roots. Join horticulturists Andrew Gapinski and Conor Guidarelli as they unearth these questions and more during an exclusive look into the extraordinary world of roots.
Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford Street, Cambridge MA
James W. Porter, Josiah Meigs Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Odum School of Ecology, University of Georgia
Coral reefs support more than a quarter of all marine life, yet many are critically endangered. In the Florida Keys, the once common elk horn coral (Acropora palmata) has experienced steep declines since the 1970s. Preliminary blame was attributed to global warming and coral bleaching, but in fact, a human bacterial pathogen associated with a wide range of serious infections was the culprit. James Porter will discuss how Key West residents are saving these reefs...
Harvard Graduate School of Design, Gund Hall, Piper Auditorium, Room 105, 48 Quincy St., Cambridge
The Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cities (CGBC) retrofitted its headquarters, a pre-1940s house in Cambridge, MA, into a first-of-its-kind test case to demonstrate unprecedented levels of building efficiency and promote substantial shifts in the design and operation of existing buildings. Dubbed “HouseZero,” the project aims to prove that ultra-efficient retrofits can, indeed, be achieved...