Events

    The Substance of Soil

    Location: 

    Hunnewell Building, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    Soil is the basis of survival. Without soil, humans and most other living beings could not exist. Conor Guidarelli, who has dug deep into the soils of the Arnold Arboretum will present an overview of soil, from its formation and components to its properties. He will discuss ways to analyze soil quality and health to determine whether or not amendments are needed based on the soil outcome or use desired.

    Participants are encouraged to bring a pint glass jar with about a cup of soil in it to class.

    Cost: $20 for members; $30 for nonmembers.

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    Sprout Lands: Tending the Endless Gift of Trees

    Location: 

    Hunnewell Building, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    Once, farmers knew how to prune trees in a way that, instead of destroying them, led to robust and sustained growth – of the trees and of the communities that utilized them. 

    Rediscover this lost art that sustained human life and culture for ten millennia in this talk with arborist William Bryant Logan. William offers us both practical knowledge about how to live with trees to mutual benefit and hope that humans may again learn what the persistence and generosity of trees can teach.

    Cost: Free for members; $5 for nonmembers.

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    The Art of Botanical Prose

    Location: 

    Hunnewell Building, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    All writers must contend with translation. A poet translates the movement of a dancing figure into a brief couplet, and an essayist translates the noise and commotion of the city where she lives into a single paragraph. The three-dimensional world filters into text, and when done especially well—the realm of literature and art—readers often forget that translation has even occurred.

    In this talk, Jonathan Damery, the associate editor for Arnoldia, will provide a readerly tour through horticultural and botanical reference books, encouraging readers to see the artistic endeavor...

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    Gallery Talk: Introduction to the Dark Arts—Ancient Egyptian Magic

    Location: 

    Harvard Art Museums, 32 Quincy St., Cambridge

    Jen Thum, the Inga Maren Otto Curatorial Fellow in the Division of Academic and Public Programs, will give this gallery talk.

    The Harvard Arts Museums galleries are full of stories—this series of drop-in talks gives visitors a chance to hear the best ones! The talks highlight new works on view, take a fresh look at old favorites, investigate artists’ materials and techniques, and reveal the latest discoveries by curators, conservators, fellows, visiting artists, technologists, and other contributors.

    Free with museums admission. Gallery talks are limited to 15...

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    Harvard Science Book Talk: Graham Farmelo

    Location: 

    Science Center Hall D, One Oxford St., Cambridge

    In The Universe Speaks in Numbers, Graham Farmelo, the award-winning author of The Strangest Man and Churchill's Bomb, takes his readers on a journey from the Scientific Revolution to string theory, highlighting the role of mathematics in guiding the search for the most fundamental laws of nature.

    In this talk, he will be joined by Harvard's own Jacob Barandes in conversation about this new book which explores how the harmonies between physics and mathematics enrich and deepen our understanding of the universe.

    ...

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    Ethnobotany at Harvard

    Location: 

    Harvard University Herbaria, 22 Divinity Ave., Cambridge

    Historically, plants have provided humans with most of our drugs, fibers, food, dyes, perfumes, building materials, and even musical instruments. But how has this diverse and fascinating field been studied and what has been learned? In fact, for over 100 years, Harvard has played a pivotal role in the study of human-plant interactions, leading to the creation of the field of ethnobotany.

    In this interactive lecture we will explore the science and history of some of the most important Harvard botanists and explorers through their unique specimens—now housed in the Harvard...

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    Preserving Zapotec Weaving Practices

    Location: 

    Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford St., Cambridge

    The town of Teotitlán Del Valle in the Mexican state of Oaxaca is renowned for its weaving traditions and its importance as a Zapotec cultural center. Porfirio Gutiérrez will examine the rich history of Zapotec weaving from the perspective of its practitioners. He will also discuss his studio’s role in preserving and promoting the use of natural dyes in his community, and abroad, using pigments derived from plants and insects.

    ...

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    Footprints On Another World: Apollo Plus 50

    Location: 

    Phillips Auditorium, 60 Garden St., Cambridge

    Half a century later, Dr. Jonathan McDowell will look back at humanity's first voyages to another world. In December 1968, the crew of Apollo 8 became the first people to enter the gravitational sphere of the Moon, and seven months later, Armstrong and Aldrin headed for the surface in Apollo 11. Meanwhile, the Soviet Union's moon rocket exploded disastrously as its robot probes competed with NASA astronauts in the race to bring home the first moon rocks. Dr. McDowell will explain how the first landing stood at the tip of an immense effort as engineers from California to Cambridge, MA...

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    How Birds Work: Eggs

    Location: 

    Hunnewell Building, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    How does an egg become an egg? Why do chickens continue to lay eggs day after day? What controls the shape of eggs? Why do eggs of different species of birds have different colors? And how strong are eggshells?

    In this talk which follows previous talks about bird flight, migration, and feathers, Lorna Gibson answers common questions about bird eggs.

    Learn more...

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    Landscape Plant Selection, Planting, and Establishment

    Location: 

    Hunnewell Building, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    Ensuring the long-term health of your landscape starts with healthy plants from the nursery, proper site selection and preparation, and sound planting and establishment. Andrew Gapinski will discuss professional standards and techniques, along with common issues and solutions for both balled-and-burlapped and containerized specimens. He will focus on landscape trees, shrubs, and perennials—ornamental annuals and vegetables will not be covered in this offering. Class will start indoors and then move outdoors to the Dana Greenhouse Nursery.

    Cost: $30 members, $...

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    The Human Swarm: How Societies Arise, Thrive, and Fall

    Location: 

    Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford St., Cambridge

    Join us for a free lecture and book signing by Mark W. Moffett. Based on his new book, The Human Swarm: How Societies Arise, Thrive, and Fall (Basic Books, April 2019), Moffett will discuss the social adaptations that bind societies and distinguish humans from other animal species. Drawing on findings in psychology, sociology, and anthropology, he explores how human society evolved from intimate chimp communities into sprawling civilizations of unrivaled complexity–and will address what is required to sustain them.

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    Why Brain Science Needs an Edit: Non-human Primate Studies in Neuroscience and Biomedicine

    Location: 

    Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Knafel Center, 10 Garden St., Cambridge

    This lecture will feature Dr. Mu-ming Poo, the founding director of the Institute of Neuroscience at the Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences. In his talk, Dr. Poo will discuss the use of gene-editing tools such as CRISPR in efforts to develop a macaque monkey behavioral model for studying self-consciousness. He will also address the relevant ethical issues associated with gene editing and the use of non-human primates in biomedical research.

    ...

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    Caspian: The Elements Preview and Lecture

    Location: 

    Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford St., Cambridge

    For five years British photographer Chloe Dewe Mathews traveled through the countries surrounding the Caspian Sea: Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Russia, and Iran. In images that range from stark and elemental to lush and mysterious, she recorded the vastly diverse peoples, politics, and geography of Central Asia, centering always on the great inland sea.

    In this conversation with Makeda Best, Richard L. Menschel Curator of Photography at the Harvard Art Museums, Dewe Mathews will discuss her project and new book, Caspian: The Elements (2018, Aperture and...

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    Space, Movement, and the Technological Body: A Tribute to the Bauhaus

    Location: 

    Harvard Graduate School of Design, Gund Hall, Piper Auditorium, 48 Quincy Street, Cambridge

    In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Bauhaus School of Design, the Harvard Graduate School of Design will host a night of screenings and performances that explore new bodily and spatial interfaces, including a movement-based performance by students developed in collaboration with a course taught by Krzysztof Wodiczko and Ani Liu.

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    Lecture: Frontiers in Evolution

    Location: 

    Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford St., Cambridge

    New approaches to studying evolutionary processes, from genomics to big data, have revolutionized the study of organisms across geological time and geographical space. Join us for a series of short “flash” lectures presented by Harvard graduate students and learn about the range of questions that scientists are asking today about evolution.

    Learn more about Lecture: Frontiers in Evolution.

    Read more about Lecture: Frontiers in Evolution

    Lecture: Romy Hecht, "The Green Ideal: Botanical Practices and the Creation of Santiago’s Civic Landscape"

    Location: 

    Harvard Graduate School of Design, Gund Hall, Stubbins Room 112, 48 Quincy Street, Cambridge

    Join the Harvard Graduate School of Design for a lecture delivered by Romy Hecht.

    Romy Hecht is a Professor at the School of Architecture, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (PUC), where she gives courses and research seminars on historical narratives and design theories of nineteenth- and twentieth-century landscapes. As an author and recipient of National Grants and research fellowships, Hecht has developed a fundamental task in the studies of landscape architecture in Latin America. She has focused on constructing a comprehensive history of Chile’s landscape...

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    The American Land Museum: Places as Cultural Artifacts

    Location: 

    Menschel Hall, Harvard Art Museums, 32 Quincy St., Cambridge

    The Center for Land Use Interpretation explores how land in the United States is apportioned, utilized, and perceived. Through exhibitions and public programs, the Center interprets built landscapes—from landfills and urban waterfalls to artificial lakes—as cultural artifacts that help define contemporary American life and culture.

    Matthew Coolidge, Director of the Center for Land Use Interpretation, will discuss the Center’s approach to finding meaning in the...

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    The Mexican Revolution of 1910: A Sociohistorical Interpretation

    Location: 

    Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford St., Cambridge

    The Mexican Revolution of 1910 began as a multilocal revolt against the 35-year regime of dictator Porfirio Díaz and evolved into a national revolution and civil war lasting nearly a decade. Javier Garciadiego—a leading historian of Mexico’s revolution—will discuss the precursors, armed struggles, political factions, U.S. manipulations, and triumphs of Mexico’s revolution, including the development of a landmark constitution—one of the first in the world to enshrine social rights.

    ...

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    Lecture: “Designing Detroit: A Decade of Change and Transformation”

    Location: 

    Harvard Graduate School of Design, Gund Hall, Piper Auditorium, 48 Quincy Street, Cambridge

    Join Rip Rapson, president of the Kresge Foundation, and urban planners and designers Maurice Cox and Toni L. Griffin in a discussion about the complex design, economic and political innovations required to create transformational change for the city that helped create the American Dream.

    Learn more about Lecture: "Designing Detroit: A Decade of Change and Transformation."

    Read more about Lecture: “Designing Detroit: A Decade of Change and Transformation”

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