Events

    2019 Feb 14

    Designing Living Things

    6:00pm

    Location: 

    Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford Street, Cambridge

    Biology can be a design medium: scientists can now “write” DNA and manipulate microbial behavior. In the future, they could also reshape entire ecosystems. Christina Agapakis is a synthetic biologist, writer, and artist who collaborates with engineers, designers, artists, and social scientists to explore the many unexpected connections between microbiology, technology, art, and popular culture. In this lecture, she will discuss current and potential uses of biotechnology in various fields from agriculture and medicine to consumer goods and renewable energy.

    ...

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    2019 Feb 04

    Twins in Space

    5:00pm

    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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    2019 Feb 01

    Combating Antibiotic Resistant Superbugs across Diverse Habitats

    4:00pm

    Location: 

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

    Disease-causing bacteria are becoming increasingly resistant to all available antibiotics, causing approximately 700,000 annual deaths globally and costing the US economy $55 billion each year.

    Gautam Dantas will discuss how new genomic and computational technologies are enabling a deeper understanding of how antibiotics affect diverse microbiomes, including the evolution and spread of antibiotic resistance across diverse habitats. These insights enable the design of novel diagnostics and therapeutics for maintaining healthy microbiomes and preventing and treating future...

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    2018 Nov 15

    Early Science from the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS)

    7:30pm

    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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    2018 Nov 08

    Ancient DNA and the New Science of the Human Past

    6:00pm

    Location: 

    Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

    David Reich, Professor, Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School; Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute; Senior Associate Member, Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT

    Sweeping technological innovations in the field of genomics are enabling scientists to extract and analyze ancient...

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    2018 Nov 08

    Exhibition Opening: Measure

    5:00pm

    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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    2018 Nov 05

    Next in Evolution

    2:30pm to 5:30pm

    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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    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 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 Oct 10

    Genes, Cognition, and Human Brain Evolution

    6:00pm

    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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    2018 Oct 04

    Conserving Biodiversity: A Global Priority

    6:00pm

    Location: 

    Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA

    Biodiversity is the sum total of life on Earth and a living legacy to future generations. Sadly, it is declining almost everywhere on the planet. Russell A. Mittermeier, recipient of the 2018 Indianapolis Prize, is a biologist and lifelong conservationist who has traveled across 169 countries and discovered more than 20 species in his quest to save biodiversity hotspots. Focusing on nonhuman primates—our closest living relatives—...

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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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    2018 Apr 19

    Dr. Yvonne Cagle

    6:30pm to 8:00pm

    Location: 

    Harvard Graduate School of Design, Gund Hall, Piper Auditorium, Room 105, 48 Quincy St., Cambridge

    Dr. Yvonne Cagle is a NASA Astronaut and Family Physician. In 2008, Dr. Cagle retired as a Colonel in the USAF where she served as a Senior... Read more about Dr. Yvonne Cagle

    2018 Apr 03

    Harvard HouseZero Typology Symposium

    4:00pm to 6:00pm

    Location: 

    Harvard Graduate School of Design, Gund Hall, Piper Auditorium, Room 105, 48 Quincy St., Cambridge

    The Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cities (CGBC) retrofitted its headquarters, a pre-1940s house in Cambridge, MA, into a first-of-its-kind test case to demonstrate unprecedented levels of building efficiency and promote substantial shifts in the design and operation of existing buildings. Dubbed “HouseZero,” the project aims to prove that ultra-efficient retrofits can, indeed, be achieved...

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