Events

    Director’s Series | Life: The Arnold Arboretum as an Institution of Public Health

    Location: 

    Arnold Arboretum—Online

    The Arnold Arboretum's sesquicentennial Director's Series traces the Arnold’s significance in the landscape architecture movement, value for the people of Boston, and leadership in creating global connections between plants and people.

    Panelists include:

    • Dr. Michelle Kondo, Research Social Scientist, UDSA-Forest Service

    • Rev. Mariama White-Hammond, Chief of Environment, Energy, and Open Space, City of Boston

    • Laurence Cotton, Consulting Producer, “Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing...

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    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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    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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    Celebrating a Sesquicentennial: The Founding of the Arnold Arboretum

    Location: 

    Livestreamed or at Weld Hill Research Building, 1300 Centre St., Boston

    The Arnold Arboretum was founded on Friday, March 29, 1872. Exactly 150 years later, we invite you to join Lisa Pearson, Head of the Arboretum Library and Archives, for a special sesquicentennial lecture! Pearson will discuss the earliest benefactors of the Arboretum, the events surrounding the founding of the institution, and the busy first two decades during which the infrastructure and living collections were installed on the grounds.

    This event will also be livestreamed to YouTube. To sign up for the virtual livestream instead,...

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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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    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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    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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    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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    Observatory Night: Cosmic Explosions, from Supernovae to Tidal Disruption Events

    Location: 

    Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian—Online, Livestream

    The biggest explosions in the universe dwarf any we see on Earth. In space, we regularly witness exploding stars that can shine brighter than the rest of a galaxy as a supernova, or a black hole ripping apart a star that's visible from billions of light years away in what's called a Tidal Disruption Event (TDE). In this talk, astrophysicist Yvette Cendes will discuss how we observe cosmic explosions from Earth and learn about them, from Chinese records thousands of years ago to her modern-day observations as a radio astronomer. This will include Yvette's research on supernovae, such as...

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    How Beer Made Kings in Early Egypt

    Location: 

    Harvard Museums of Science & Culture—Online

    The remains of a 5000-year-old brewery found in the ancient Egyptian city of Abydos are providing insights into the relationship between large-scale beer production and the development of kingship in Egypt. Archaeological evidence indicates that the Abydos brewery produced beer on a truly industrial scale—something unparalleled in early Egypt. Matthew Adams will share findings from recent excavations at the brewery and will consider it in context as part of a broad pattern of royal activity at the site that served to define the very nature of kingship at the beginning of Egypt’s history...

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    Did We Evolve to Exercise?

    Location: 

    Harvard Museums of Science & Culture—Online

    Exercise is a paradox: everyone knows it is healthy, but most of us struggle to do it. Further, as technology and machines increasingly replace human labor, fewer people are getting enough exercise. In this talk, Daniel Lieberman will explain how an evolutionary and anthropological perspective on exercise can help. How much exercise did we evolve to do? Is exercise really a magic bullet? Why, how, and to what extent does exercise slow aging and promote health? Is there a best way to exercise? And, most importantly, how can we help each other exercise without nagging or coercing?

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    Novel Interfaces to Support Human Intent Formation and Communication to Humans and Computers Alike

    Location: 

    Harvard Radcliffe Institute—Online

    Elena L. Glassman is the Stanley A. Marks and William H. Marks Assistant Professor at Harvard Radcliffe Institute and an assistant professor of computer science at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, where she specializes in human-computer interaction. Join Glassman as she discusses her work designing, building, and evaluating systems for comprehending and interacting with population-level structure and trends in large code and data corpora.

    ...

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    National Fossil Day

    Location: 

    Harvard Museums of Science & Culture—Online

    Have you ever wondered what it is like to be a paleontologist? Celebrate National Fossil Day—an event organized by the National Park Service—with Harvard paleontologists! Take a close look at museum fossils and learn how they are used to help solve mysteries about ancient life. What amazing creatures lived together in ancient oceans? How do fossil tracks, traces, and burrows help us understand how extinct animals lived? How can we reconstruct an animal from just its bones? How did dinosaurs get so big? Bring your curiosity and questions to this online event for kids and families!

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