Events

    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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    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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    The Art and Science of Frogs

    Location: 

    Harvard Museums of Science & Culture—Online

    Explore the rich diversity of frogs by observing and sketching 3D models printed from Harvard’s research collections. Artist and educator, Erica Beade, will introduce techniques for achieving accurate shapes and capturing volume in your drawings, while herpetologist and researcher, Dr. Mara Laslo, will explain how evolution has generated their amazing diversity. Groups will be limited to twelve, allowing ample time for questions and discussion.

    Cost: $40 for members, $45 for nonmembers.

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    Decoding AI: The Science, Policies, Applications, and Ethics of Artificial Intelligence

    Location: 

    Harvard Radcliffe Institute—Online

    Artificial intelligence (AI) is rapidly permeating many facets of our lives, raising both hope and concern about possibilities for our future. AI is transforming domains as disparate as science, medicine, commerce, government, law, the military, and the arts, and in doing so, it is forcing us to grapple with practical, political, and philosophical questions about humans and the nature of human interaction. The Harvard Radcliffe Institute Science Symposium, featuring speakers from disparate disciplines and industries, will examine AI, its impact, and its ethics by exploring current and...

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    Virtual Summer Science Week: Awesome Archaeology!

    Location: 

    Harvard Museum of Natural History—Online

    For children entering grades 4–6

    Fees: $63 members/$70 nonmembers

    Instructor: Andy Majewski

    Hear from people from 4000 years ago by looking at the objects they left behind. Meet the ancient Egyptians, Maya, Mesopotamians, and others through live, small-group Zoom sessions, and explore how objects in the museums tell their stories. Together, we’ll try some archaeology activities, use 3D models and augmented reality, and discover hidden objects within the exhibits of...

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    Observatory Night: What Stars Are Made Of

    Location: 

    Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian—Online

    Join the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian for a virtual Public Observatory Night with guest lecturer Donavan Moore, author of "What Stars Are Made Of: The Life of Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin."

    It was not easy being a woman of ambition in early twentieth-century England, much less one who wished to be a scientist. Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin overcame prodigious obstacles to become a woman of many firsts: the first to receive a PhD in astronomy from Radcliffe College, the first promoted to full professor at Harvard, the first to head a department there. And, in what...

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    The Ancient Maya Response to Climate Change: A Cautionary Tale

    Location: 

    Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford St., Cambridge

    Ancient Maya civilization 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. Billie Turner will examine this evidence and the complex social and environmental conditions that affected Maya societies.

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    The Remarkable Nature of Edward Lear

    Location: 

    Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford St., Cambridge

    Join the Harvard Museum Natural History for a public lecture with Robert McCracken Peck, Curator of Art and Artifacts, Academy of Natural Sciences at Drexel University.

    Edward Lear (1812–1888), best known for The Owl and the Pussycat and other nonsense poetry, was also an accomplished painter of birds, mammals, reptiles, and landscapes, and an adventurous world traveler. His paintings of parrots, macaws, toucans, owls, and other birds are among the finest ever published. Robert McCracken Peck will discuss the remarkable life and natural history paintings of this...

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    Pulsatility and the Search for Life

    Location: 

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

    Pulsation permeates the universe at every scale, from heartbeats to pulsars. Join the artist Dario Robleto and the astrophysicist Abraham (Avi) Loeb, both of whom engage deeply with pulsatility in their work, for a conversation on how the arts and sciences can explore a common set of understandings.

    This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. 

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    The Once and Future Heart

    Location: 

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

    For centuries, in both the arts and the sciences, the human heart has been a source of reverence and marvel. In this conversation, the artist Dario Robleto, whose exhibition at the Radcliffe Institute rethinks the deep history of cardiological recording, and Doris A. Taylor, a leading scientist in regenerative medicine, will discuss the surprising opportunities for both the arts and sciences to converge around new insights and questions of the human heart.

    This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. 

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    Exhibit: Visual Science: The Art of Research

    Location: 

    The Special Exhibitions Gallery, Science Center 251, 1 Oxford St., Cambridge

    This exhibit features images and objects drawn from a variety of disciplines and time periods that show the importance of visual experiences in science. Images have played many roles in scientific research. Images can record fleeting observations, whether a painting of an animal glimpsed in the field or an interaction between sub-atomic particles that lasts a millisecond. They can also make unseen things visible.

    Physical models can make abstract mathematical concepts into something that researchers can touch; properly arranged, sand, metal plates, and a violin bow can make...

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    Exhibition: Fruits in Decay

    Location: 

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

    Fruits in Decay is a new special exhibit in the Glass Flowers gallery that explores blight, rot, and other diseases on summer fruits. It features exquisitely detailed glass botanical models of strawberries, peaches, apricots, plums, and pears made by famed glass artist Rudolf Blaschka. On display for the first time in nearly two decades, these models capture—with astonishing realism—the intricacies and strange beauty of fruits in various stages of decay.

    Learn...

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    Exhibition: Cosmic Origins

    Location: 

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

    On July 20, 2019, the Harvard Museum of Natural History marked the fiftieth anniversary of the first manned mission to the Moon with the unveiling of Cosmic Origins. Visitors to this new mini-exhibit—located within the Earth & Planetary Sciences exhibition—will investigate the origins of and processes shaping planetary bodies and stars using touchable specimens, colorful visuals, and interactive media.

    Through November 27, 2019, the exhibit will also feature an original lunar specimen on loan from NASA, collected during the Apollo 12 mission. Don’t miss the...

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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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    Art and Science Converge in the Deep Sea

    Location: 

    Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford Street, Cambridge

    Lily Simonson and Peter Girguis exemplify the long tradition of artists and scientists working in tandem to explore new worlds—in their case, the magnificent deep sea. Simonson will discuss how the immersive, glowing canvases in her current exhibition at the Harvard Museum of Natural History, Lily Simonson: Painting the Deep, have been shaped by collaborations with scientists—whether exploring the depths of the ocean in a submersible or scuba diving beneath Antarctic sea ice. Girguis will reveal how working at sea with an artist has shaped his research and enabled him to see...

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    Exhibition Opening: Measure

    Location: 

    Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Knafel Center, 10 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

    Anna Von Mertens is an exhibited artist who uses the structures of quilting and drawing to explore the frontiers of human understanding. Her new exhibition "Measure" explores the life and work of Henrietta Leavitt, one of the women “computers” hired to study glass-plate astronomical photographs at the Harvard College Observatory a century ago. Leavitt’s findings provided a unit of measurement for galactic distances. Reimagined in meticulous stitches and intricate graphite marks, Von Mertens examines our current understanding of the size and shape of...

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    Nature vs. Fiction in Sci-Fi Movies

    Location: 

    Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA

    Miaki Ishii, Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Harvard University

    Recent volcanic eruptions in Hawaii and Guatemala remind us of how devastating these geological eruptions can be. Popular culture depictions of volcanic disasters found in movies like Dante’s Peak and Volcano can strongly distort the public’s understanding of volcanic activity and its immediate effects. As with many science-fiction films, Hollywood depictions of natural phenomena don’t always align with the scientific facts. Seismologist Miaki...

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