Events

    Adversity, Belonging, and Survival Among Baboons

    Location: 

    Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford St., Cambridge

    Join the Harvard Museum of Natural History for a public lecture with Susan Alberts, Robert F. Durden Professor of Biology and Evolutionary Anthropology at Duke University. 

    The social environment—both in early life and adulthood—has major effects on human health and survival. But how and why does the social environment get “under the skin” to also affect our physical health? Susan Alberts pursues this question by studying wild baboons in Kenya. Baboons, like humans, evolved as savannah dwellers. They rely on social relationships to solve problems and—like humans...

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    Fabulous Fungus Fair

    Location: 

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

    Explore the wondrous world of fungi! Join Harvard students for a closer look at the mushrooms, yeasts, and molds found in gardens, forests, and labs—even in our own refrigerators. This is an opportunity to investigate fungal diversity and participate in hands-on activities led by Harvard students.

    Note: Regular museum admission rates apply.

    Learn more about Fabulous Fungus Fair.

    Read more about Fabulous Fungus Fair

    Voices of the Rainforest

    Location: 

    Harvard Art Museums, Menschel Hall, 32 Quincy St., Cambridge

    Voices of the Rainforest is an experiential documentary about the ecological and aesthetic coevolution of Papua New Guinea’s Bosavi rainforest region and its inhabitants. The film immerses viewers in the rainforest, making myriad connections between the everyday sounds of the rainforest biosphere and the creative practices of the Bosavi people who sing to, with, and about it.

    Following the screening, Steven Feld will discuss the film with Amahl Bishara, an associate professor of anthropology at Tufts University.

    ...

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    Reptile Day

    Location: 

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

    Celebrate reptiles! Join Harvard students from the Harvard College Conservation Society for a variety of reptile themed activities including a scavenger hunt, storytime, and crafts. Come learn about the history and diversity of reptiles, and why they need to be conserved! All ages are welcome.

    Please note: Regular museum admission rates apply.

    Learn more about Reptile Day.

    Read more about Reptile Day

    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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    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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    Film Screening: Lobster War: The Fight Over the World's Richest Fishing Grounds

    Location: 

    Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford St., Cambridge

    Lobster War is an award-winning documentary film about a conflict between the United States and Canada over waters that both countries have claimed since the end of the Revolutionary War. The disputed 277 square miles of sea known as the Gray Zone were traditionally fished by U.S. lobstermen. But as the Gulf of Maine has warmed faster than nearly any other body of water on the planet, the area’s previously modest lobster population has surged. As a result, Canadians have begun to assert their sovereignty, warring with the Americans to claim the bounty.

    Directed...

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    Lecture: Chasing Ants (And Their Microbes) in the Rainforest

    Location: 

    Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford St., Cambridge

    Microbes play critical roles in the biology and health of human beings, but we are not the only species that benefits from intimate relationships with microbes. Ants, for instance, rely on the microbial communities living in their guts to process food and make strong armor.

    Corrie Moreau will discuss this unique aspect of ant biology and what it tells us about the diversity and dominance of ants in terrestrial ecosystems, the evolutionary history of social insects, and the broad-scale evolutionary patterns of life.

    ...

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    Lecture: Self-Domestication in Bonobos and Other Wild Animals

    Location: 

    Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford St., Cambridge

    Domesticated animals such as dogs, pigs, and horses often sport floppy ears, patches of white hair, and other features that are unknown in their wild ancestors. These traits—collectively referred to by scientists as a “domestication syndrome”—are the result of breeding less aggressive individuals.

    Drawing from his new book, The Goodness Paradox (2019, Pantheon Books), Richard Wrangham will show that our cousin apes, the bonobos, also exhibit a domestication syndrome, making them the first clear example of a “wild domesticate.” Self-domestication in the wild now seems...

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    Living with White Sharks

    Location: 

    Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford St., Cambridge

    The Cape Cod white shark population has increased in recent years in response to the dramatic increase in the seal population. Shark sightings—some close to popular swimming and surfing beaches—are becoming more frequent and negative interactions between sharks and humans have become a real concern.

    Gregory Skomal has studied and tracked white sharks in the Atlantic for more than 30 years. In this lecture, he will examine the behavior, ecology, natural history, and population dynamics of this species, and how scientific research can help sharks and humans coexist in the Cape...

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    Origins of the Green Revolution: Hybrid Seeds, Hunger, and Mexico-India Cooperation

    Location: 

    Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA

    Gabriela Soto Laveaga, Professor of the History of Science, Harvard University

    As a devastating famine gripped India and Pakistan in 1966, a cargo of hybrid wheat seeds from Mexico arrived one fateful day on India’s coast. The seeds were first planted across the Punjab region using new...

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    The Undiscovered

    Location: 

    Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Knafel Center, 10 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA

    To paraphrase Louis Pasteur, sometimes luck favors the prepared mind, as when Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin by noticing that mold growing accidentally in his lab seemed to kill bacteria. This 2018 Radcliffe Institute science symposium will focus on how scientists explore realities they cannot anticipate. Speakers from across the disciplines of modern science will present personal experiences and discuss how to train scientists, educators, and funders to foster the expertise and open-mindedness needed to reveal undiscovered aspects of the world around us.

    ...

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    Quantum Tools to Explore the Universe…and Help Life on Earth

    Location: 

    60 Garden Street, Phillips Auditorium, 60 Garden St, Cambridge, MA 02138

    At the Center for Astrophysics, we exploit quantum physics to advance the state-of-the-art in measurement and imaging, and then apply these tools to search for Earth-like planets around other stars and probe the nature, history, and fate of the Universe. Sometimes, these quantum tools can also be applied to down-to-Earth problems — ranging from health to navigation. 

    Learn more about Quantum Tools to Explore the Universe…and Help Life on Earth.

    Read more about Quantum Tools to Explore the Universe…and Help Life on Earth

    Saving Coral Reefs in the Florida Keys

    Location: 

    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...

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    Mark Joseph and Amy Khare, "Succeeding Where Mixed-Income Transformation Falls Short: A Path to Equity and Inclusion in Our Cities

    Location: 

    Harvard Graduate School of Design, Gund Hall, Stubbins Room 112, 48 Quincy St., Cambridge

    Drawing on their work examining the costs and consequences of racial segregation and the concentration of poverty and affluence as well as the... Read more about Mark Joseph and Amy Khare, "Succeeding Where Mixed-Income Transformation Falls Short: A Path to Equity and Inclusion in Our Cities

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