Harvard Science Book Talks

assorted science book covers

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Harvard Science Book Talks are a collaboration between the Harvard University Division of Science, Cabot Science Library, and Harvard Book Store.

The series features lectures by, and conversations with, authors of recently published books on science-related topics, written with a non-specialist audience in mind. Some of the authors we invite are academics or research scientists, while others are science writers and journalists. We are casting a wide net across areas of human endeavor which are grouped under the aegis of Science. We are interested in the history, philosophy, methodology, and cultures of the various science fields: their triumphs and failures, their controversies, biographies of the people involved, important discoveries, and great feats of human imagination and ingenuity. We are equally interested in in-depth explorations of various topics in a manner that makes science accessible to the curious non-specialist. Our goal is to inform, inspire, entertain, provide food for thought, and encourage audiences to engage in public discourse about science, the role that it canand doesplay in our society, and its potential for furthering human progress.

Next talk: Nov 10 @7:00PM
Janna Levin, "Black Hole Survival Guide" 
Janna Levin

The talks, held at Harvard Science Center, are followed by a small reception and book signing in Cabot Science Library.  On rare occasions, we may also hold special, ticketed, events in other venues. For more information and to be added to our notification list, please contact us at science_lectures@fas.harvard.edu.

Most talks are recorded: please go over to our YouTube channel or use the links, below.
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2020/21
  • Nov 10 @7:00PM: Janna Levin, "Black Hole Survival Guide"  [virtual talk; more info]
  • Oct 20: James Rodger Fleming, "First Woman: Joanne Simpson and the Tropical Atmosphere" [more info]
  • Oct 13: Christof Koch, in conversation with Gabriel Kreiman"The Feeling of Life Itself: Why Consciousness Is Widespread but Can't Be Computed"  [more info]
  • Oct 6: Cumrun Vafa, "Puzzles to Unravel the Universe" [more info]
  • Sep 30, Katia Moskvitch, in conversation with Dan Hooper, "Neutron Stars: The Quest to Understand the Zombies of the Cosmos" [this talk was canceled due to technical difficulties: we apologize for the inconvenience!]
  • Sep 18:  Edward D. Melillo, in conversation with Charles Mann, "The Butterfly Effect: Insects and the Making of the Modern World" [more info]
  • Sep 4: Rita Colwell, "A Lab of One's Own: One Woman's Personal Journey Through Sexism in Science"  [more info]
  • July 23: Hope Jahren, in conversation with Barbara Kingsolver, "The Story of More"  [more info]
  • July 14: Sarah Stewart Johnson, in conversation with Deborah Blum, "The Sirens of Mars: Searching for Life on Another World" [more info]
2019/20 2018/19 2017/18