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Inside Stories

A lively conversation exploring the news behind the news of today’s top science stories.

This evening series explores the inside stories of research and innovation addressing today’s challenges. Each month we’ll be hosting technologists, innovators, artists, and thinkers in an hour-long conversation on timely issues and areas of innovation. From bend to bedside solutions and advances in disease prevention to urban planning and mobility innovations, the series and its topics will be responding to the moment.

Free event.
Seating is Limited. Advance registration is recommended.

The James Webb Space Telescope Project

Just one year after its launch, the James Webb Space Telescope is already gathering an astounding amount data from space leading to new discoveries and generating compelling images.

Hear from members of the JWST team as they share all aspects of bringing the complex project from concept to operation.

Moderated by Rutuparna Das of the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian, panel members will reflect on the opportunities and challenges associated with a large, collaborative engineering project, explain how JWST images are generated and analyzed, and give insight into how this tool and data might expand our understanding of the Universe.

6:30 – 7:00 PM Explore simulations and create a shared context for the conversation
7:00 – 9:00 PM Panel discussion


Guest Moderator: Rutuparna Das

Astrophysicist and Science Communicator, Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian

Panelist: Mike Menzel

Mission Systems Engineer, James Webb Space Telescope, Goddard Space Flight Center

Panelist: Joe Depasquale

Senior Data Imaging developer, STScI

Panelist: Mercedes López-Morales

Astrophysicist, Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian

Past Sessions

Development of the Covid Vaccine in Record Time

The first human cases of COVID-19 were reported in December, 2019. On December 14, 2020, less than a year later the first vaccination shots were being administered in the United States. Today, the race continues to develop new vaccines to combat the ever-evolving variants of the virus.

Join us for an evening with two leaders in the field: Melissa Moore of Moderna and Dan Barouch of Harvard Medical Schools. Both researchers were intimately involved in the development of the first vaccines, and took different paths to get there.

We’ll discuss the stories from behind the scenes of the record-breaking vaccine development process and look to the future of what is next, from new variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus to Monkey Pox. A short reception with our panelists in the museum’s galleries will follow the program.


Moderator: John Durant

Director, MIT Museum

Panelist: Melissa Moore

Chief Scientific Officer, Scientific Affairs, Moderna

Panelist: Dan Barouch

Instructor, Harvard Medical School