Science

2020 Mar 03

Who Discovered Evolution?

6:00pm

Location: 

Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford St., Cambridge

Charles Darwin is commonly cited as the person who “discovered” evolution. But, the historical record shows that roughly seventy different individuals published work on the topic of evolution between 1748 and 1859, the year that Darwin published On the Origin of Species. These early thinkers, now almost entirely forgotten, included biologists, geologists, horticulturists, physicians, clergymen, atheists, philosophers, teachers, and poets.

William Friedman will discuss the ideas of these pre-Darwinian evolutionists, place Darwin in a broader historical context, and...

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2020 Feb 27

The Ancient Maya Response to Climate Change: A Cautionary Tale

6:00pm

Location: 

Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford St., Cambridge

Ancient Maya civilization suffered a major demise between the tenth and eleventh centuries. The causes continue to be investigated and debated. Paleoenvironmental research over the past twenty years has revealed that the demise coincided with a prolonged, intensive drought that extended across the region, providing compelling evidence that climate change played a key role in the collapse of the Maya. Billie Turner will examine this evidence and the complex social and environmental conditions that affected Maya societies.

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2020 Feb 26

Olfaction in Science and Society

6:00pm

Location: 

Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford Street, Cambridge

The sense of smell plays a critical role in human behavior, from warning us of potential dangers to attracting us to certain foods, places, and people. Harvard scientists Catherine Dulac and Venkatesh Murthy study the molecules, cells, and brain circuits that underlie olfaction and the social behaviors that aromas can elicit. In this program, they will engage in a conversation with internationally recognized olfactive expert Dawn Goldworm to discuss how neurobiological research on olfaction relates to our everyday experiences.

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2020 Feb 20

Infectious Cancers in Tasmanian Devils

6:00pm

Location: 

Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford St., Cambridge

The Tasmanian devil is the world’s largest living carnivorous marsupial. This species was once abundant in Australia, but today is only found on the island of Tasmania, where it is at risk of extinction due to two rare, contagious cancers. Mark Margres will discuss how this species is adapting in response to these diseases, whether there is any hope for the Tasmanian devil to avoid extinction, and what can be learned about human cancers from studying the disease in other animal species.

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2020 Feb 11

What Makes Chocolate "Good?"

6:00pm

Location: 

Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford St., Cambridge

The social and environmental values underlying artisanal chocolate production have become increasingly important in its marketing. Good taste is paramount, of course, but how does one measure "social goodness," and what additional value does it add for the consumer? Chocolate makers’ interests often diverge from those of cacao producers, and industry stakeholders have not clearly addressed these concerns. Carla Martin will examine the cacao-chocolate industry and highlight the often conflicting goals that can create gaps in social and environmental responsibility.

A...

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2020 Feb 08

I Heart Science

10:00am to 4:00pm

Location: 

Harvard Museum of Natural History, 26 Oxford St., Cambridge

Awaken your love of science with activities led by Harvard scientists, graduate students, and enthusiastic explorers. Meet scientists who investigate fossils, microbes, and carnivorous plants. Hear short talks on current research at Harvard. Explore fermenting microbes in action as they perform in a musical art installation! Bring your own collections to show to local shell and minerals clubs. This program has something for everyone and is appropriate for children and adults of all ages.

Note: Regular museum admission rates apply.

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2020 Feb 10

Fixed: The Science/Fiction of Human Enhancement

5:00pm

Location: 

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

From Botox to bionic limbs, the human body is more upgradable than ever. But how much can we alter and still be human? The award-winning documentary Fixed: The Science/Fiction of Human Enhancement explores the social impact of human biotechnologies. Fixed rethinks “disability” and “normalcy” by exploring technologies that promise to change our bodies and minds forever. Join us for a discussion about the ethics of gene editing and disability.

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2019 Dec 11

Curbing Gun Violence: Strategies for Change

12:00pm to 1:00pm

Location: 

Online webcast from The Forum at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Nearly 40,000 people died from gun-related injuries in the U.S. in 2017 -- the most in 20 years. And while mass shootings grab headlines, they account for a small part of gun-related murders in the country. Urban gun violence remains a tremendous --  and too often overlooked -- burden on underserved communities. And suicides persist as accounting for the majority of U.S. gun deaths. As the seventh anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting approaches, this Forum event will examine contrasting facets of gun violence in America. Seeking to move the discussion past...

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2019 Dec 03

Recreational Marijuana and CBD: Public Attitudes, Science and the Law

12:00pm to 1:00pm

Location: 

Online webcast from The Forum at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

In the last decade, Americans’ relationship with cannabis has transformed: today, dozens of states have legalized marijuana for medical or recreational use and American farmers can grow hemp on an industrial scale. Meanwhile, shoppers can find cannabidiol (CBD), which is derived from cannabis but does not produce a “high” like marijuana, in everything from oils to vapes, chocolate bars, cosmetics—even dog treats. Some say CBD can relieve stress, pain, anxiety, and more, with no side effects. But the evidence for many of these claims is limited, and state and federal laws around the sale...

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2019 Dec 13

Making Pig-to-Human Transplantation a Clinical Reality with CRISPR Genome Editing

4:00pm to 5:00pm

Location: 

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

Xenotransplantation is a promising strategy to address the shortage of organs for human transplantation, though concerns about pig-to-human immunological compatibility and the risk of cross-species transmission of porcine endogenous retroviruses (PERVs) have impeded the clinical application of this approach. In this lecture, Luhan Yang, cofounder and chief scientific officer of eGenesis will explain how CRISPR is being used to create pigs with advanced immunological modifications to address immunological and functional compatibility issues.

This event is free and open to the...

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2019 Dec 04

Civilizing the Internet of Things

4:00pm to 6:00pm

Location: 

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

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a deeply interconnected ecosystem of billions of devices and systems that are transforming commerce, science, and society. IoT technologies can be used to disrupt, exploit, bias, bully, and intrude as well as to make our lives safer, more efficient, and more convenient. Join Francine Berman, Edward P. Hamilton Distinguished Professor in Computer Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, in an exploration of the larger social and environmental ecosystem needed to develop an IoT that maximizes benefits, minimizes risk, and promotes individual protections...

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2019 Dec 02

Science and Cooking Public Lecture: "Dialogue between Science and Cooking at El Celler de Can Roca. Evolution"

7:00pm to 9:00pm

Location: 

Harvard Science Center, Lecture Hall C, 1 Oxford St., Cambridge

This lecture is part of the Science and Cooking Public Lecture series, which pairs Harvard professors with celebrated food experts and renowned chefs to showcase the science behind different culinary techniques.

“Dialogue between Science and Cooking at El Celler de Can Roca. Evolution”
Featuring:

  • Joan Roca (@CanRocaCeller), El Celler de Can Roca, Girona, Spain, best restaurant in the world 2013 and 2015
  • Heloise Vilaseca (@heloiselois), director of R&D, El Celler de Can Roca, Girona, Spain
  • Dimou...
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2019 Nov 06

The Diffusion and Adoption of Welfare-Enhancing Innovations

4:00pm to 6:00pm

Location: 

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

Todd Rogers is a behavioral scientist and professor of public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. Using his two decades of work in behavioral policy as a base, he will discuss his current research into what leads to welfare-enhancing innovations and practices. In particular, he aims to help scholars and practitioners design, identify, and invest in innovations that are likely to successfully scale.

This event is free and open to the public. 

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2019 Nov 18

Pulsatility and the Search for Life

4:15pm to 6:00pm

Location: 

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

Pulsation permeates the universe at every scale, from heartbeats to pulsars. Join the artist Dario Robleto and the astrophysicist Abraham (Avi) Loeb, both of whom engage deeply with pulsatility in their work, for a conversation on how the arts and sciences can explore a common set of understandings.

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

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