Events

    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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    After-School Animal Encounters: Radical Reptiles

    Location: 

    Harvard Museums of Science & Culture—Online

    What might your life be like if you spent half your day on land and the other half in the ocean? How would you hunt for food if you were only a few inches long? Is one type of snake really all that different from another? Get the answers to these questions and more as human museum staffers Javier and Ryan introduce you to several live animals. Each month we will discuss a different theme while feeding and interacting with some of the museum’s incredible animals!

    Reptiles have lived on Earth for millions of years and over that time have evolved some amazing characteristics and...

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    New Vistas in Astronomy: Imaging a Black Hole

    Location: 

    Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian—Online

    Black holes are cosmic objects so small and dense that nothing, not even light, can escape their gravitational pull. Until recently, no one had ever seen what a black hole actually looked like. Einstein's theories predict that a distant observer should see a ring of light encircling the black hole, which forms when radiation emitted by infalling hot gas is lensed by the extreme gravity near the event horizon. The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) is a global array of radio dishes, linked together by a network of atomic clocks to form an Earth-sized virtual telescope that can resolve the...

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    Saving Seahorses to Save Seas

    Location: 

    Harvard Museum of Natural History—Online

    Amanda Vincent, the 2021 Indianapolis Prize winner, has dedicated her career to understanding and advocating for seahorses, which serve as a flagship species for a wide range of marine conservation issues. She is credited with bringing the world’s attention to the 44 known species of seahorses and with developing a collaborative approach to marine conservation that is also improving the status of many other marine fishes, such as sharks, rays, groupers, and eels. Hear how her determination and optimism is saving not only these iconic sea creatures but also our world’s oceans.

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    Inspired by the Harvard Museum of Natural History

    Location: 

    Harvard Museum of Natural History—Online

    The Harvard Museum of Natural History inspires college students and life-long learners to explore a myriad of scientific and creative pursuits. In this program, a group of professionals discuss how their experiences in the museum inspired their careers in science communication and storytelling, while they share images and videos of their favorite museum specimens and stories.

    Presented in collaboration with the Harvard University Chapter of Storywish, a student-run organization that empowers chronically ill children to read, write, and share their own...

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    Testosterone: The Hormone that Dominates and Divides Us

    Location: 

    Harvard Museum of Natural History—Online

    While most people agree that sex differences in human behavior exist, they disagree about the reasons. But the science is clear: testosterone is a potent force in human society, driving the bodies and behavior of the sexes apart. As Carole Hooven shows in her book T: The Story of Testosterone, the Hormone that Dominates and Divides Us (Henry Holt & Company, 2021), it does so in concert with genes and culture to produce a vast variety of male and female behavior. And, crucially, the fact that many sex...

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    Afterschool Animal Encounters: Pint-Sized Predators

    Location: 

    Harvard Museums of Science & Culture—Online

    What might your life be like if you spent half your day on land and the other half in the ocean? How would you hunt for food if you were only a few inches long? Is one type of snake really all that different from another? Get the answers to these questions and more as human museum staffers Javier and Ryan introduce you to several live animals. Each month we will discuss a different theme while feeding and interacting with some of the museum’s incredible animals!

    Predators come in all sizes. Imagine that you are only a few inches long. How would you get around, hunt for food,...

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    Gravitational Waves: A New Window to the Universe

    Location: 

    Harvard Radcliffe Institute—Online

    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.

    ...

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    Inspiration, Empathy and Education: How Cultural Entities Are Helping People Think about Climate in New Ways

    Location: 

    Harvard Museum of Natural History—Online

    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...

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    2021 Sep 20

    Science and Cooking Lecture Series 2021

    Repeats every week every Monday until Mon Nov 15 2021 .
    7:00pm

    Location: 

    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...

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    New Vistas in Astronomy Lecture Series: The Great Dimming of Betelgeuse

    Location: 

    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...

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    How We Incarcerate Young People: A Conversation about Policy and Neuroscience

    Location: 

    Harvard Radcliffe Institute—Online

    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...

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    Observatory Night: All That Glitters is Gold

    Location: 

    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...

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    Wild Collection and Propagation of Rare and Endangered Plants

    Location: 

    Arnold Arboretum—Online

    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...

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    After-School Animal Encounters: Movement

    Location: 

    Harvard Museum of Natural History—Online

    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.

    ...

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    Tree Mob: Dredging to Renew the Ponds

    Location: 

    Arnold Arboretum—Online

    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.

    Learn more about...

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    What Spiders Have to Say

    Location: 

    Harvard Museum of Natural History—Online

    Consider the spider: eight legs, eight eyes, and a brain the size of a poppy seed. These are some of nature’s most amazing and charismatic creatures, and yet we know so little about their worlds. Paul Shamble will discuss the lives, habits, and marvelous morphologies of these animals—from sensory structures and cognition to locomotion and behavior. Understanding these creatures helps us better understand evolution and diversity—and leads us to ask what it means that even tiny animals inhabit complex lives.

    ...

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    Prosociality in Hybrid Societies of Humans, Agents, and Robots

    Location: 

    Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard—Online

    Ana Paiva is a computer science professor at Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa, and is investigating the design of intelligent interactive systems by creating “social agents'' that can interact with humans in a natural manner. Over the years, she has developed this field by engineering social agents that exhibit specific capabilities, including emotions, personality, culture, nonverbal behavior, empathy, and collaboration, among others.

    Join Paiva to learn about her current investigation into the conditions and mechanisms that drive societies of agents and...

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    Flap, Hop, Caw

    Location: 

    Harvard Museum of Natural History—Online

    Celebrate International Crow and Raven Appreciation Day by taking a virtual swoop through the Peabody Museum. These smart birds play games with each other, display anger and friendliness, and appear in cultural tales from around the world. Flap like a real raven with museum educator Javier Marin and learn more about the birds’ characteristics. Find ravens drawn or carved in Alaskan Native art, enjoy a read-aloud Tlingit tale and make a paper craft with Andy Majewski.

    Ages: 5–7 (with an adult, if needed)

    Cost: $3 members; $5...

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    Bark: Get to Know Your Trees

    Location: 

    Arnold Arboretum—Online

    Due to popular demand, we are offering another session of this free webinar. Led by naturalist and conservationist, Michael Wojtech, you'll learn to identify tree species by their bark and discover why such a variety of bark characteristics exist. Why do some species have smooth bark, while on others it is thick and broken? Why does bark peel? Join us to find out!

    Learn more about and RSVP for "Bark: Get...

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