Events

    The Quest to Image Black Holes

    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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    Charismatic Robots in Everyday Human Spaces

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

    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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    Colliding Worlds: How Cosmic Encounters Shaped Planets and Life

    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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    The Descendants (A Novel)

    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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    After-School Animal Encounters: Super Skeletons

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

    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 David M. Lee Historical Lecture in Physics: "A personal historical view of the theory of deterministic chaos"

    Location: 

    Harvard Department of Physics—Online

    Classical deterministic time evolutions exist with apparent random features, as is seen in hydrodynamic turbulence. Such phenomena have been called deterministic chaos, and are associated with sensitive dependence on initial conditions.

    We discuss chaos theory with emphasis on the multidisciplinary work concerning chaos in natural phenomena during the three decades 1970-2000. Work in that period has involved developments in pure mathematics, new experimental techniques, and the use of digital computers. The problems addressed include hydrodynamical turbulence, meteorology,...

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    Restoring Ecosystems in a Time of Ongoing Global Change

    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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    After-School Animal Encounters: Get Growing!

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

    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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    Arrival: Panel Discussion

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

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

    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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    Beyond COP26: Next Steps in the Fight Against Climate Change

    Location: 

    Harvard Chan School of Public Health—Online

    Scientists, health leaders, and politicians alike have described COP26 as our last, best chance to slow global warming and stave off some of the worst health effects of climate change. But the political environment remains fraught. And it’s unclear how rhetoric will translate into action.

    Our expert panel brings together leading voices in the fight against climate change, fresh from the halls of the COP26 Summit. They’ll talk through key outcomes and next steps. Bring questions!

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    The Climate of Attention

    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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    Biogeography across Broken Continents and Sunken Islands

    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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    After-School Animal Encounters: Teeming Tidepools

    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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    New Pathways to STEM: Increasing Access and Opportunity in Science Education

    Location: 

    Harvard in the Community & LabXchange—Online

    Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, or STEM, has the power to inspire and the power to change the world. But those world-changing opportunities have not consistently reached enough of our learners, and the pathway to careers in STEM has not been fully accessible to all of the talented problem solvers the world needs. Now, with online learning and new digital tools rapidly advancing, educators, learners, job seekers, and industry professionals can help to expand access to STEM education and create a more inclusive and equitable STEM workforce by embracing these new tools,...

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