The first-ever detections of gravitational waves from colliding black holes and neutron stars have launched a new era of gravitational wave astrophysics. Nergis Mavalvala, dean of and the Curtis (1963) and Kathleen Marble Professor of Astrophysics in the MIT School of Science, will describe the science, technology, and human story behind these discoveries, which provide a completely new window into some of the most violent and warped events in the universe and are helping to solve decades-long mysteries in astrophysics.
As the world has sought to understand the causes and impacts of climate change, the topic has long been situated within the domain of science. In the 21st century, data, studies, reports, and academic/technical discourses have been the central mechanisms by which we learn about and process climate change: its consequences, our roles, and possible solutions. In recent years, however, artists and cultural institutions have developed a powerful interest in the topic and begun to employ myriad strategies by which to explore, draw attention to, and process it. There is an evolving...
Repeats every week every Monday until Mon Nov 15 2021 .
Harvard Science Center, Hall C, 1 Oxford St., Cambridge
This year’s Science and Cooking Public Lecture Series celebrates culinary techniques to unlock flavors, ranging from Noma’s edge-cutting fermentation to Bryan Furman’s BBQ to Amanda Cohen’s way of making plant-based charcuterie.
The 2021 series marks the return to the in-person format and brings to Harvard’s Science Center chefs, Harvard professors, and Science and Cooking enthusiasts. All talks will take place in the Harvard Science Center (1 Oxford St., Cambridge, Mass., Hall C). Masks are required, hand sanitizer will be available, and physically distanced seating is...
Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian—Online
In December 2019, the bright red supergiant in the shoulder of the Orion constellation became dimmer. By February 2020, Betelgeuse was historically dim – the faintest the star had ever been in more than a century! Not only did dimming distort the appearance of Orion, but it raised fears that the star was preparing to explode as a supernova. Astronomers using telescopes on the ground and in space followed the star’s behavior and are beginning to understand what caused this extraordinary event. Astronomer Andrea Dupree will delve into the most recent observations and reveal the events that...
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...
Come explore—virtually—the amazing world of insects, spiders, and other invertebrates at the museum! During live Zoom sessions, see a tarantula up close, help find millipedes, and listen to the hiss of a giant...
Sharks are some of the oldest and, from an evolutionary perspective, some of the most successful marine vertebrates ever to have lived. They have spent their entire evolutionary history in the aquatic environment, and the body design in many species has been honed over hundreds of millions of years to increase swimming performance. Learn how body form, fins and even the skin, work in concert, enabling sharks to slice through water and execute complex maneuvers with startling speed and precision.
Join us as we explore the relationships between living things and the places they live, virtually! During these live, small-group Zoom sessions, learn about how animals, plants and their environments are...
Come explore—virtually—the amazing world of insects, spiders, and other invertebrates at the museum! During live Zoom sessions, see a tarantula up close, help find millipedes, and listen to the hiss of a giant cockroach. Learn how to continue your own investigations at home by collecting and studying creepy crawlies. Gain a new appreciation of the 97 percent of all animals on Earth that survive and thrive without a backbone!
Dates: June 28–July 2, 2021 Open to children entering grades 1–4:
Join us on Sunday, June 20 to learn about the scientific and cultural significance of the summer solstice, enjoy musical performances and explore activities to do at home. Stay tuned for the full details!
Across the United States, children under the age of 18 can be tried as adults in criminal court. Although the practice is condemned by international law, we are the only country in the world that sentences young people to life in prison without the possibility of parole. At the same time, recent developments in neuroscience research demonstrate that the human brain is not fully developed until after the age of 25.
This program will consider the ways we punish young people in the American criminal legal system and how our policies could be reformed. We will bring together a...
Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian—Online
The cosmic origin of gold has fascinated humans for millennia. In this talk, Professor of Astronomy Edo Berger will explore the long-standing question of how gold (and other rare elements) are created in the universe, showing that this process is intimately connected to the collision of neutron stars (the remnants of powerful supernova explosions)—and the production of gravitational waves.
The Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian sponsors Observatory Nights on the third Thursday of select months. Observatory Nights feature a nontechnical lecture intended for...
In Massachusetts alone, plants make up more than half of the total native species that are officially considered Endangered, Threatened, and Rare. In this talk, we will focus on how ex-situ plant conservation, coordinated plant collection efforts, and plant propagation play vital roles in preserving biodiversity and slowing the deleterious effects of climate change.
We will discuss how collection trips are planned—and how citizen science now plays a role in these efforts—while providing a behind-the-scenes look at the planning process. A large focus will be plant propagation...
Can you slither, hop, jump, climb, or even fly? How would you do these things with zero, two, four, or even a hundred legs? As winter melts away and warmer springtime weather blows in, all animals big and small are as excited to get out and move around as we are! Join human museum staffers Javier and Ryan in this live 45-minute family program as they discuss and take a look at some of our amazing animals in motion.
Advance registration for this family friendly program is required.
Mind Brain Behavior Interfaculty Initiative at Harvard—Online
"My Octopus Teacher", Oscar winner for Best Documentary, follows filmmaker and naturalist Craig Foster as he develops an unusual bond with an octopus living in a South African kelp forest. Come hear four experts discuss the unique human/animal connection captured in this film.
Join us for a virtual tour of the famous Glass Flowers! This docent-led tour will delve into the history, artistry, and significance of the collection and give participants the opportunity to explore the gallery online. These interactive tours are approximately one-hour in length, and offer time for Q&A with your tour guide.
Maintaining ponds is messy business! Join Associate Project Manager Danny Schissler to learn about the history and upcoming restoration of two of the Arnold Arboretum's most well-loved water bodies, Faxon and Rehder Ponds. Both provide habitat for wildlife and visual delight for humans, and also are part of an essential drainage network within the Arboretum’s landscape.