Oooh Harvard is doing some pretty interesting free seminars. I love things like this and wish these types of things could happen more often. Science doesn’t deserve to get locked into an ivory tower.
Most of the topics are pretty popular right now, but someone aren’t, and this is all really cool, guys :D. The topics and their dates are (along with my commentary)
Antibiotic Resistance: Super drugs for superbugs (9/25)
I’m kind of sad this one’s already passed, because antibiotic resistance is pretty damn important. The CDC on antibiotic resistance.
Earth Formation: The making of planet Earth (10/2)
….I’m a biologist, I have little clue, I’m sorry!
Sparking Scientific Curiosity: (R)evolutions in the way we teach and learn (10/9)
Communicating science is one of the things I think isn’t taught particularly often and is often not emphasized enough, which is kind of why I’m glad Harvard is doing this entire thing after all :D.
Dancing Bees to RoboBees: How honeybees behave and why we need them. (10/16)
Bees are blasted awesome and totally help in the production of most of the fruits we eat. Loosing them would be really sad.
Talking Back to the Brain: How neuroscientists use light to uncover the language of neurons (10/23)
Oh, optogenetics! This is really blasted cool. The basic idea is to genetically engineer a light-sensitive ion-channel into specific neurons, and then activate said ion channel with light.
Here’s a video that explains more: http://video.mit.edu/watch/optogenetics-controlling-the-brain-with-light-7659/
The Life of a Genetically Modified Organism (GMO): From the laboratory to your dinner table (10/30)
So. I’m probably one of the most GMO-friendly people you’ll ever meet, especially since I’m pretty much a hippie in every other direction. Frankly, I don’t have an issue with the general concept, just issues over the patenting issues and stuff like that.
Big Data in the Postgenome Era: What can the human genome sequence do for you? (11/6)
Generate a lot of papers?
….Yes, I realize a lot of people are putting a lot of computers into finding interesting genes, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they also discover that green jelly beans cause acne.
I mean, I hope someone finds something cool in there, but I…doubt most of the “cool” things found initially will pan out. We have a fuckton of data we just don’t understand.
Math in Nature: Finding order in chaos (11/13)
Vihart made an interesting series of videos on Fibonacci numbers and plants. Part 1 is here.
Extreme Weather and Climate Change (11/20)
Ooh, this topic. Don’t get me started on climate change…..
More info at sitn.hms.harvard.edu