Events

    All That Glitters Is Gold: Gravitational Waves, Light, and the Origin of the Heavy Elements

    Location: 

    Knafel Center, 10 Garden St., Cambridge

    Edo Berger, professor of astronomy at Harvard University, will discuss his efforts to explore the long-standing question of how gold and other heavy elements are created in the universe. In particular, his work aims to demonstrate the creation of these elements in neutron star collisions detected through their gravitational wave emission and the implications of the answer.

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    Lecture and Book Signing: Assembling the Dinosaur

    Location: 

    Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford St., Cambridge

    Join the Harvard Museum of Natural History and the Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments for a free lecture and book signing by Lukas Rieppell, David and Michelle Ebersman Assistant Professor of History at Brown University.

    Dinosaur fossils were first found in England, but a series of late-nineteenth-century discoveries in the American West turned the United States into a world center for vertebrate paleontology. Around the same time, the United States also emerged as an economic powerhouse of global proportions, and large, fierce, and spectacular creatures...

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    Garden for Biodiversity

    Location: 

    Hunnewell Building, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    Sam Jaffe, naturalist and educator, will present both the collaborative and deceitful nature of insects and plants as they’ve evolved to rely upon one another. This lecture, illustrated with Sam’s gorgeous photographs, will expand your invertebrate knowledge, appreciation, and desire to be the best garden host you can be.

    Cost:
    $10 for members; $15 for nonmembers.

    ...

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    Bonsai Behind the Curtain: Uncovering Their Care and Cultivation

    Location: 

    Larz Anderson Bonsai Collection, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    Join Manager of Plant Production, Tiffany Enzenbacher, for an evening of exploration into the oldest dwarfed plant collection in the United States. As one of the caretakers of the Arboretum's bonsai collection, Tiffany will highlight many of the procedures used by staff to maintain the health of these captivating specimens.

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    Twins in Space

    Location: 

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

    Spaceflight poses unusual stressors to the human body. To ensure that astronauts can perform under daunting conditions, NASA investigators have been studying the effect of long-duration spaceflight on crew members. This lecture will present the findings of the NASA Twins Study, which evaluated twin astronauts in different environments for one year: one in space and one on Earth.

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    Growing Woody Plants from Hardwood Cuttings

    Location: 

    Dana Greenhouse Classroom, 1050 Centre Street, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

    Join Manager of Plant Production Tiffany Enzenbacher to learn how to propagate woody plants from fall cuttings. Students will collect and stick cuttings of several taxa (Ilex and Pieris to name a few), and will take their propagules home. After rooting, small plants may be ready to transplant as early as next year. Post-class nurturing will be required. Fee for all...

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    Early Science from the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS)

    Location: 

    60 Garden Street, Phillips Auditorium, Cambridge, MA 02138

    Sam Quinn, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory

    NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) began science operations in July 2018, and over the next two years will survey most of the sky in search of small planets transiting the nearest stars, the brightness of which enables studies of planetary compositions and atmospheric properties. These will likely be the planets on which we focus our search for life through the detection of biosignature gases in the planets' atmospheres. However, TESS is not just an exoplanet mission; by monitoring...

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    Exhibition Opening: Measure

    Location: 

    Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Knafel Center, 10 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

    Anna Von Mertens is an exhibited artist who uses the structures of quilting and drawing to explore the frontiers of human understanding. Her new exhibition "Measure" explores the life and work of Henrietta Leavitt, one of the women “computers” hired to study glass-plate astronomical photographs at the Harvard College Observatory a century ago. Leavitt’s findings provided a unit of measurement for galactic distances. Reimagined in meticulous stitches and intricate graphite marks, Von Mertens examines our current understanding of the size and shape of...

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    Next in Evolution

    Location: 

    Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Knafel Center, 10 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

    The Next in Science series provides an opportunity for early-career scientists whose creative, cross-disciplinary research is thematically linked to introduce their work to one another, to fellow scientists, and to nonspecialists from Harvard and the greater Boston area. The focus of this year’s program is in the study of evolution. In this program, two leading researchers will explore the genetic impact of Neanderthal interbreeding with modern humans and consider how people migrated, adapted, and mixed over the course of human history. Two...

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    Growing Woody Plants from Seeds

    Location: 

    Dana Greenhouse, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

    Learn about seed biology, embryo dormancy, and factors present in woody plant seeds. The class will focus on seed storage and various treatment techniques, including over-wintering and aftercare. Appropriate for those who have succeeded at growing some plants from seed and are ready for greater challenges. Post-class nurturing will be required. Fee $55 members; $68 non-members.

    ...

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    The Undiscovered

    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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    What’s Going On in This Graph?

    Location: 

    Hunnewell Building, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

    Sharon Hessney, Writer and Moderator of New York Times Learning Network "What's Going On in This Graph?"

    Graphs can go a long way in conveying information that might otherwise take several paragraphs to explain. But it is easy to misread or not fully understand the content and context. In this participatory program, we will decipher several graphs based on data from Arnold Arboretum curators and scientists. We will also look at the data...

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    Small Trees for Small Spaces

    Location: 

    Hunnewell Building and Landscape, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

    Urban and suburban planting spaces are often constrained, often not ideal for accommodating a large oak, linden, or maple tree. But there are many smaller tree species that will thrive in a smaller space and won’t overwhelm the area. Some trees are cultivars that have been selected for their smaller size or narrow characteristics, while others are naturally genetically petite. Guided by the “right plant, right place” philosophy, Laura Mele...

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    Nature vs. Fiction in Sci-Fi Movies

    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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    Fifty Shades of Green: Tales from the Hothouse

    Location: 

    Hunnewell Building, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

    Back by popular demand with more content! Terry Huang’s bawdy botanical review delves into the sex lives of plants, dramatically explaining the challenges of courtship and consummation for those rooted in place. Alluring suitors with a pungent rotten odor, promising nectar for the exchange of goods, or going at it alone, plants have evolved interesting strategies to ensure their continued existence. From mutualistic partnerships to deceit-filled...

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    Genes, Cognition, and Human Brain Evolution

    Location: 

    Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA

    Christopher A. Walsh, Bullard Professor of Pediatrics and Neurology, Harvard Medical School; Chief, Division of Genetics and Genomics, Boston Children’s Hospital; Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute; Associate Member, Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT

    Despite major scientific advances in sequencing the genomes of species through the animal kingdom, it has been remarkably difficult to identify the genes that enable the unique cultural, aesthetic, and reasoning capabilities of humans. Christopher Walsh will discuss how research on specific genes...

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