Science & Technology Gallery

May 7, 2015 From a human perspective, honeybees are certainly one of the most important insects in the world. In addition to pollinating one-third of the food crops consumed by humans, bees have also helped people satisfy their sweet tooth cravings through honey production for centuries. Honeybees are highly social, fascinating colonial insects. This spring, the Harvard Museum of Natural History is welcoming... more
Apr 14, 2015 One of the most important scientific challenges in early eighteenth-century Europe was the search for a reliable way to determine longitude at sea. Using a free interactive program called “WorldWide Telescope,” Alyssa Goodman, Professor of Astronomy, Harvard University; Research Associate, Smithsonian Institution, will demonstrate in this free, public and illustrated lecture, how various historic... more
Mar 10, 2015 Modern humans and our closest-living ape relatives differ in developmental and reproductive biology, as well as in lifespans, but evolutionary anthropologists do not know when these distinctive characteristics evolved. It might seem that our development is invisible in the fossil record, but much can be learned from the faithful records of birth and growth embedded in teeth. In this free, public... more
Mar 5, 2015 The necropolis of Saqqara in Egypt is the burial site of kings, commoners, and animals considered sacred by the Egyptians: bulls, cows, ibises, falcons, baboons, cats, and dogs. The Catacombs of Anubis in North Saqqara contain the mummified remains of approximately eight million animals, primarily dogs. In this free, public and illustrated lecture, Paul Nicholson, Professor in Archaeology,... more
Mar 5, 2015 Lesley University welcomes psychologist Daniel Goleman, author of “Emotional Intelligence,” as the 2015 Sonnabend Fellow and a featured speaker during Lesley’s weeklong Creativity Forum, which presents renowned guest lecturers such as choreographer Twyla Tharp, astronaut Mae Jemison and educator Pedro Noguera. Dr. Goleman was trained as a psychologist at Harvard University, and became a science... more
Mar 5, 2015 Physician, NASA astronaut and scientist Mae Carol Jemison headlines Lesley University’s weeklong Creativity Forum, which features renowned guest speakers such as choreographer Twyla Tharp, psychologist Daniel Goleman and educator Pedro Noguera. Dr. Jemison was the first woman of color to travel in space when she went into orbit aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavor in 1992. She advocates for the... more
Feb 26, 2015 Tahiti, Bermuda, Madeira, Bali. Everyone loves islands, but no one loves them more than an evolutionary biologist. From the dwarf elephants of Crete to the carnivorous caterpillars of Hawaii and the snaggly-fingered aye-aye of Madagascar, islands present a cornucopia of biodiversity. Darwin drew much of his inspiration from island stopovers on his fabled Beagle voyage, as did Alfred Russel... more
Feb 25, 2015 Many of the Egyptian objects in Western museums were acquired during the heyday of the antiquities trade market in Egypt from the 1880s to 1930s. The scale of this trade was staggering, but its mechanics and networks are poorly known. In this public, illustrated lecture, Kim Ryholt, Professor of Egyptology and Director, The Papyrus Carlsberg Collection and Project, University of Copenhagen,... more
Feb 18, 2015 Warfare is a nearly universal trait of human societies that has influenced the evolution of human societies at least since the dawn of history. By some definitions, warfare is uniquely human; no other species engages in armed combat using manufactured weapons. But in other respects, human warfare bears much in common with intergroup aggression in a range of species, from ants to chimpanzees. In... more
Feb 11, 2015 With bizarre woodpecker-like primates, dwarf humans, and flightless birds over nine feet high, islands are havens for some of the most unusual living creatures on our planet. Why are islands such hotspots of biodiversity and how does evolution work within these isolated pockets of life? Islands: Evolving in Isolation is a new Harvard Museum of Natural History exhibition that unravels the... more
Feb 5, 2015 Mon Tiwari and D'Mathew Ferreira talk to Lesley University professor David Morimoto and the president of Green Cambridge Quinton Zondervan about the fight to save the silver maple forest in the Alewife Reservation and the importance of green spaces to urban areas. This documentary was produced during the fall semester of the 2014 School Year Production Program. more
Feb 4, 2015 Some of the most spectacular cataracts, falls, and gorges on Earth are found in the lower Congo River, in the heart of central Africa, near the twin Congolese capitals of Kinshasa and Brazzaville. This stretch of the river is also home to over 300 different species of fish, many with unique adaptations—including bizarre morphologies—that enable them to survive in an environment with intense... more
Jan 29, 2015 Harvard University's 1650 charter founded a multicultural educational setting when it committed the new institution "to the education of the English and Indian Youth of this Country in knowledge and godliness." The Harvard Yard Archaeology Project contributes to renewing that commitment by seeking deeper knowledge of seventeenth-century Harvard College and the Native American and English students... more
Jan 28, 2015 Jane Lubchenco was the first woman to be appointed Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Drawing on her experience at the helm of NOAA from 2009 to 2013, Lubchenco will discuss how this government agency advances and utilizes scientific research on weather, climate, and oceans to guide its services... more
Jan 22, 2015 We live on a mature planet shaped by four billion years of evolution and environmental change. But what was Earth like in its youth and adolescence? To find out, Harvard Professor of Natural History, Andrew Knoll travels to remote locations in search of rocks that reveal the deep history of Earth and the life it supports. Focusing on 600–800 million-year-old rocks exposed on the Arctic island of... more
Jan 21, 2015 The eruption of the Mount Toba supervolcano in the Indonesian island of Sumatra 74,000 years ago brought about an era of severe environmental degradation that decimated populations of Neanderthals and modern humans. Archaeological evidence suggests that modern humans survived this era by creating cooperative intergroup social networks and behaving like tribes. Neanderthals on the other hand,... more
Jan 20, 2015 Over the last decade, natural gas extracted from shale rock formations (shale gas) has become an important source of energy in North America. These abundant natural gas resources offer tremendous economic potential and are reshaping the landscape of energy production, including fossil, nuclear, and renewable energy options. Natural gas is also the lowest-emission fossil energy option available... more
Jan 15, 2015 Today’s digital technologies enable museums to “unlock” their cabinets and share their treasures online. Pamela Soltis, Distinguished Professor and Curator, Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida, will discuss how access to digital data and images of natural history collections is becoming a game changer in the understanding of plant evolution. From enabling novel research on... more
Jan 14, 2015 Billions of plant and animal specimens are found in natural history collections around the world. The result of nearly 250 years of scientific investigation, discovery, and inventory of living and fossil organisms, these collections provide an irreplaceable record of the history and diversity of life on Earth and are fundamental to understanding its evolution. James Hanken, Director of the Museum... more
Jan 14, 2015 Embrace your love of science! Explore fossils of long-extinct animals. Try your hand at sketching a mammal, excavating a mock dinosaur dig, or discovering life in a rotting log. Meet a live scorpion and tarantula. Bring a rock, mineral, or shell to be identified by members of the Boston Mineral Club or the Boston Malacological Club. Talk with scientists and graduate students studying topics... more
Jan 13, 2015 Whales have long been valued as a source of oil and whalebone. Treated as a commodity throughout history, they are increasingly recognized for their complex forms of communication, even culture, and the ecological role they play in the ocean. Joe Roman, Sarah and Daniel Hrdy Visiting Fellow in Conservation Biology, Harvard University; Fellow at the Gund Institute for Ecological Economics,... more