Events

    2020 Dec 10

    What Old Chimps Can Tell Us About Healthy Aging

    3:00pm to 4:00pm

    Location: 

    Harvard Alumni Association—Online

    Humans are living longer lives than ever before and so it is critical to understand the process of aging. It has become increasingly recognized that successful aging is not just about physical health but also about our social lives.

    Chimpanzees are our closest living relative and also lead long and complex lives. In this talk, you’ll learn what chimpanzee aging can tell us about human aging.

    Learn more...

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    2020 Oct 15

    Astronauts: Women on the Final Frontier

    7:00pm

    Location: 

    Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian—Online

    The first person who will set foot on Mars is alive right now. We believe this, but even if we're wrong we know the first crew to arrive there will look nothing like the ones that landed on the Moon fifty years ago.

    Our world has changed for the better, and ASTRONAUTS tells the story of the women who built this better world. The main character and narrator is Mary Cleave, an astronaut you may not have heard of. It's not because so many people have been to space; only a few hundred have! It’s because this graphic novel isn’t about fame. No astronaut you'll ever meet took the...

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    2020 Oct 14

    Wonderful Cambrian Beasts

    6:00pm to 7:00pm

    Location: 

    Harvard Museum of Natural History—Online

    Earth is home to a vast diversity of organisms that collectively define the modern biosphere. How did this diversity come to be? Javier Ortega-Hernández will discuss his approach to answering this question by studying organisms that lived more than half a billion years ago in the Cambrian Period (485–541 million years ago). By focusing on the earliest-known animals—some of the most versatile to ever exist—Ortega-Hernández aims to reconstruct the early evolutionary history of major animal groups and contribute to our understanding of Earth’s biodiversity.

    ...

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    2020 Sep 23

    Animal Snack Time: Meet the Arthropods

    2:00pm to 2:45pm

    Location: 

    Online—Harvard Museum of Natural History

    Ever wonder what tarantula’s hair feels like? Curious about what vinegaroons smell like? Want to get up close and personal with the business end of a scorpion? If so, then grab a snack and join human museum staff Javier and Ryan as they spend thirty minutes feeding, interacting with, and discussing the museum’s many live arthropods!

    Register by 1:00pm on September 23. After registering, participants will receive a confirmation email with instructions on how to participate using Zoom.

    ...

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    2020 Aug 28

    Sharks: Streamlined Swimmers

    Fri Aug 28 (All day) to Fri Oct 30 (All day)

    Location: 

    Online—Harvard Museums of Science & Culture

    Ongoing Online Exhibit

    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.

    ...

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    2020 Aug 04

    Animal Snack Time: Marine-Tank Edition

    2:00pm to 2:30pm

    Location: 

    Online Event

    Interested in what a spider crab eats? Want to see a sea star up close? Curious about what a horseshoe crab does with that long tail? Grab a snack and join human museum staff members Javier and Ryan as they spend thirty minutes feeding, interacting with, and discussing these amazing animals. This event is free and will be hosted on the Zoom webinar platform.

    Register by 1:00 pm on August 4. After registering, participants will receive a confirmation email with instructions on how to participate using Zoom.

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

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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 Apr 23

    Film Screening: Lobster War: The Fight Over the World's Richest Fishing Grounds

    6:00pm to 8:00pm

    Location: 

    Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford St., Cambridge

    Lobster War is an award-winning documentary film about a conflict between the United States and Canada over waters that both countries have claimed since the end of the Revolutionary War. The disputed 277 square miles of sea known as the Gray Zone were traditionally fished by U.S. lobstermen. But as the Gulf of Maine has warmed faster than nearly any other body of water on the planet, the area’s previously modest lobster population has surged. As a result, Canadians have begun to assert their sovereignty, warring with the Americans to claim the bounty.

    Directed...

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    2019 Apr 09

    Lecture: Self-Domestication in Bonobos and Other Wild Animals

    6:00pm

    Location: 

    Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford St., Cambridge

    Domesticated animals such as dogs, pigs, and horses often sport floppy ears, patches of white hair, and other features that are unknown in their wild ancestors. These traits—collectively referred to by scientists as a “domestication syndrome”—are the result of breeding less aggressive individuals.

    Drawing from his new book, The Goodness Paradox (2019, Pantheon Books), Richard Wrangham will show that our cousin apes, the bonobos, also exhibit a domestication syndrome, making them the first clear example of a “wild domesticate.” Self-domestication in the wild now seems...

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    2019 Apr 02

    Living with White Sharks

    6:00pm

    Location: 

    Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford St., Cambridge

    The Cape Cod white shark population has increased in recent years in response to the dramatic increase in the seal population. Shark sightings—some close to popular swimming and surfing beaches—are becoming more frequent and negative interactions between sharks and humans have become a real concern.

    Gregory Skomal has studied and tracked white sharks in the Atlantic for more than 30 years. In this lecture, he will examine the behavior, ecology, natural history, and population dynamics of this species, and how scientific research can help sharks and humans coexist in the Cape...

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    2018 Oct 26

    The Undiscovered

    9:00am to 5:00pm

    Location: 

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

    To paraphrase Louis Pasteur, sometimes luck favors the prepared mind, as when Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin by noticing that mold growing accidentally in his lab seemed to kill bacteria. This 2018 Radcliffe Institute science symposium will focus on how scientists explore realities they cannot anticipate. Speakers from across the disciplines of modern science will present personal experiences and discuss how to train scientists, educators, and funders to foster the expertise and open-mindedness needed to reveal undiscovered aspects of the world around us.

    ...

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    2018 Oct 18

    Quantum Tools to Explore the Universe…and Help Life on Earth

    7:30pm

    Location: 

    60 Garden Street, Phillips Auditorium, 60 Garden St, Cambridge, MA 02138

    At the Center for Astrophysics, we exploit quantum physics to advance the state-of-the-art in measurement and imaging, and then apply these tools to search for Earth-like planets around other stars and probe the nature, history, and fate of the Universe. Sometimes, these quantum tools can also be applied to down-to-Earth problems — ranging from health to navigation. 

    Learn more about Quantum Tools to Explore the Universe…and Help Life on Earth.

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    2018 Oct 16

    Nature vs. Fiction in Sci-Fi Movies

    6:00pm

    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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    2018 Oct 15

    Can Baby Corals Improve the Reefs of Tomorrow?

    6:00pm

    Location: 

    Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA

    Aaron Hartmann, 2017–2018 Sarah and Daniel Hrdy Visiting Fellow in Conservation Biology, Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University

    Coral reefs are one of Earth’s most biodiverse and imperiled ecosystems. Corals form the foundation of this ecosystem. Substantial effort is being invested to help adult corals survive environmental degradation, but less attention is paid to their offspring and how they establish themselves on the seafloor. Unlike adult corals, baby corals move about in the water column, perhaps allowing them to...

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    2018 Sep 17

    Saving Coral Reefs in the Florida Keys

    6:00pm

    Location: 

    Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford Street, Cambridge MA

    James W. Porter, Josiah Meigs Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Odum School of Ecology, University of Georgia

    Coral reefs support more than a quarter of all marine life, yet many are critically endangered. In the Florida Keys, the once common elk horn coral (Acropora palmata) has experienced steep declines since the 1970s. Preliminary blame was attributed to global warming and coral bleaching, but in fact, a human bacterial pathogen associated with a wide range of serious infections was the culprit. James Porter will discuss how Key West residents are saving these reefs...

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