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Lunch & Learn Series CSF 2023

Drop in for a mid-day feast for the mind during Cambridge Science Festival.

Hungry to learn? We have an array of lunchtime programs during the festival. Come to one or all.

You are welcome to bring lunch for this program—please gather in the Museum lobby where you will receive a wristband allowing you to bring food into the Exchange space. Please note that no food or drinks are allowed in the Museum galleries.

This program is presented as part of the 2023 Cambridge Science Festival. Admission is free.

Listening to the Universe: An Introduction to Gravitational-Waves

In 2015, nearly 100 years after Albert Einstein predicted their existence, gravitational-waves were discovered by the LIGO observatories. Eight years later, tens of gravitational-wave sources have been discovered, changing the way we can explore the Universe and some of its most extreme objects. Come hear the latest news about gravitational waves and black holes.

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Salvatore Vitale

Associate Professor of Physics, MIT

Collections Spotlights

Join MIT Museum curators for a behind-the-scenes look at a few of their favorite objects from our vast collection.

During these talks, we’ll explore early synthetic material from the Arthur D. Little Company, including the first seamless garment and a lead balloon that was able to float, learn about a nautical chart from the 1820s and dig into the citizen science and data collection behind early mapping efforts on the ocean, and find out how six French architectural drawings caused an international sensation when they were brought to MIT in 1902.

Jonathan Duval

Assistant Curator

Elisabeth (Libby) Meier

Assistant Curator

Florencia Pierri

Assistant Curator

Who's the Villain? Raising the Stakes in Children's Literature

In fiction, writers and readers often focus on the hero’s journey. But protagonists don’t always start as heroes. They’re reluctantly shaped and molded by the obstacles they face along the way. What’s a good story without an equally strong antagonist? Join MIT MLK visiting scholar Christine Taylor-Butler for a discussion on the role of villains in children’s storytelling and the multiple forms used in advancing the plot and raising the stakes. The motivations or lack thereof might surprise you.

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Christine Taylor-Butler

Author, MLK Visiting Scholar, MIT

The Conductor’s Jacket

A conductor’s jacket able to measure the physiology and movements of musicians was created by Teresa Nakra during her doctoral research at the MIT Media Lab with Professors Tod Machover and Rosalind Picard. Conductor Keith Lockhart wore the jacket during Tech Night at the Boston Pops in 1998, with animated sensor data projected above the orchestra. It is now part of the Museum’s collection.

In this presentation, explore the ideas embedded in the jacket design and watch a demonstration of the signals generated by a professional classical musician.

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Teresa Nakra

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Joanna Kurkowicz