Events

    2020 Mar 03

    Who Discovered Evolution?

    6:00pm

    Location: 

    Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford St., Cambridge

    Charles Darwin is commonly cited as the person who “discovered” evolution. But, the historical record shows that roughly seventy different individuals published work on the topic of evolution between 1748 and 1859, the year that Darwin published On the Origin of Species. These early thinkers, now almost entirely forgotten, included biologists, geologists, horticulturists, physicians, clergymen, atheists, philosophers, teachers, and poets.

    William Friedman will discuss the ideas of these pre-Darwinian evolutionists, place Darwin in a broader historical context, and...

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    2020 Feb 27

    The Ancient Maya Response to Climate Change: A Cautionary Tale

    6:00pm

    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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    2020 Feb 26

    Olfaction in Science and Society

    6:00pm

    Location: 

    Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford Street, Cambridge

    The sense of smell plays a critical role in human behavior, from warning us of potential dangers to attracting us to certain foods, places, and people. Harvard scientists Catherine Dulac and Venkatesh Murthy study the molecules, cells, and brain circuits that underlie olfaction and the social behaviors that aromas can elicit. In this program, they will engage in a conversation with internationally recognized olfactive expert Dawn Goldworm to discuss how neurobiological research on olfaction relates to our everyday experiences.

    ...

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    2020 Feb 20

    Infectious Cancers in Tasmanian Devils

    6:00pm

    Location: 

    Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford St., Cambridge

    The Tasmanian devil is the world’s largest living carnivorous marsupial. This species was once abundant in Australia, but today is only found on the island of Tasmania, where it is at risk of extinction due to two rare, contagious cancers. Mark Margres will discuss how this species is adapting in response to these diseases, whether there is any hope for the Tasmanian devil to avoid extinction, and what can be learned about human cancers from studying the disease in other animal species.

    ...

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    2020 Feb 11

    What Makes Chocolate "Good?"

    6:00pm

    Location: 

    Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford St., Cambridge

    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.

    A...

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    2020 Feb 10

    Fixed: The Science/Fiction of Human Enhancement

    5:00pm

    Location: 

    Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Knafel Center, 10 Garden St., Cambridge

    From Botox to bionic limbs, the human body is more upgradable than ever. But how much can we alter and still be human? The award-winning documentary Fixed: The Science/Fiction of Human Enhancement explores the social impact of human biotechnologies. Fixed rethinks “disability” and “normalcy” by exploring technologies that promise to change our bodies and minds forever. Join us for a discussion about the ethics of gene editing and disability.

    ...

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    2020 Feb 08

    I Heart Science

    10:00am to 4:00pm

    Location: 

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

    Awaken your love of science with activities led by Harvard scientists, graduate students, and enthusiastic explorers. Meet scientists who investigate fossils, microbes, and carnivorous plants. Hear short talks on current research at Harvard. Explore fermenting microbes in action as they perform in a musical art installation! Bring your own collections to show to local shell and minerals clubs. This program has something for everyone and is appropriate for children and adults of all ages.

    Note: Regular museum admission rates apply.

    ...

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    2019 Dec 13

    Making Pig-to-Human Transplantation a Clinical Reality with CRISPR Genome Editing

    4:00pm to 5:00pm

    Location: 

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

    Xenotransplantation is a promising strategy to address the shortage of organs for human transplantation, though concerns about pig-to-human immunological compatibility and the risk of cross-species transmission of porcine endogenous retroviruses (PERVs) have impeded the clinical application of this approach. In this lecture, Luhan Yang, cofounder and chief scientific officer of eGenesis will explain how CRISPR is being used to create pigs with advanced immunological modifications to address immunological and functional compatibility issues.

    This event is free and open to the...

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    2019 Dec 11

    Curbing Gun Violence: Strategies for Change

    12:00pm to 1:00pm

    Location: 

    Online webcast from The Forum at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

    Nearly 40,000 people died from gun-related injuries in the U.S. in 2017 -- the most in 20 years. And while mass shootings grab headlines, they account for a small part of gun-related murders in the country. Urban gun violence remains a tremendous --  and too often overlooked -- burden on underserved communities. And suicides persist as accounting for the majority of U.S. gun deaths. As the seventh anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting approaches, this Forum event will examine contrasting facets of gun violence in America. Seeking to move the discussion past...

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    2019 Dec 04

    Civilizing the Internet of Things

    4:00pm to 6:00pm

    Location: 

    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...

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    2019 Dec 03

    Recreational Marijuana and CBD: Public Attitudes, Science and the Law

    12:00pm to 1:00pm

    Location: 

    Online webcast from The Forum at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

    In the last decade, Americans’ relationship with cannabis has transformed: today, dozens of states have legalized marijuana for medical or recreational use and American farmers can grow hemp on an industrial scale. Meanwhile, shoppers can find cannabidiol (CBD), which is derived from cannabis but does not produce a “high” like marijuana, in everything from oils to vapes, chocolate bars, cosmetics—even dog treats. Some say CBD can relieve stress, pain, anxiety, and more, with no side effects. But the evidence for many of these claims is limited, and state and federal laws around the sale...

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    2019 Dec 02

    Science and Cooking Public Lecture: "Dialogue between Science and Cooking at El Celler de Can Roca. Evolution"

    7:00pm to 9:00pm

    Location: 

    Harvard Science Center, Lecture Hall C, 1 Oxford St., Cambridge

    This lecture is part of the Science and Cooking Public Lecture series, which pairs Harvard professors with celebrated food experts and renowned chefs to showcase the science behind different culinary techniques.

    “Dialogue between Science and Cooking at El Celler de Can Roca. Evolution”
    Featuring:

    • Joan Roca (@CanRocaCeller), El Celler de Can Roca, Girona, Spain, best restaurant in the world 2013 and 2015
    • Heloise Vilaseca (@heloiselois), director of R&D, El Celler de Can Roca, Girona, Spain
    • Dimou...
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    2019 Nov 21

    The Remarkable Nature of Edward Lear

    6:00pm

    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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    2019 Nov 18

    Pulsatility and the Search for Life

    4:15pm to 6:00pm

    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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    2019 Nov 13

    Paleovirology: Ghosts and Gifts of Ancient Viruses

    6:00pm

    Location: 

    Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford St., Cambridge

    Join the Harvard Museum of Natural History for a public lecture with Harmit Malik, Principal Investigator at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

    Human genomes are ancient battlegrounds of arms races waged between viruses and their hosts for millions of years. Just as historians reconstruct battlefields to better understand historical battles, evolutionary biologists and virologists can reconstruct how ancient viruses affected their hosts by analyzing their “fossil” remains in our genomes. Paleovirology is the study of such extinct viruses. Harmit Malik will discuss...

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    2019 Nov 07

    Adversity, Belonging, and Survival Among Baboons

    6:00pm

    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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    2019 Nov 06

    The Diffusion and Adoption of Welfare-Enhancing Innovations

    4:00pm to 6:00pm

    Location: 

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

    Todd Rogers is a behavioral scientist and professor of public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. Using his two decades of work in behavioral policy as a base, he will discuss his current research into what leads to welfare-enhancing innovations and practices. In particular, he aims to help scholars and practitioners design, identify, and invest in innovations that are likely to successfully scale.

    This event is free and open to the public. 

    ...

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    2019 Nov 04

    The Once and Future Heart

    5:00pm to 7:00pm

    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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    2019 Oct 30

    The Peril and Promise of Solar Geoengineering

    6:00pm

    Location: 

    Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford St., Cambridge

    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...

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