A slice of π Schmooze

Science Schmooze 3.14.21

Hello Science Fans,

Wow there's been a lot going on.  This year the debate over DST is getting almost as much mention as how we lost an hour of sleep last night.  Mars continues to inspire and surprise.  Of course I would be remiss if I didn't mention that today is 𝞹 day.   Did you know that Larry Shaw and the explOratorium founded π day?  Here's a few more articles worth knowing about.  It has been a long year since this.

It seems that it is a never ending struggle to ensure that facts, not misinformation, are shared and are used to inform our decisions.  In these times citizen scientists are filling science research gaps of all kinds that still need to be filled.  These are great ways to involve family and friends in good science!  I think it is important to keep in mind that science is done and accomplished by people from all walks of life.  Next month is Citizen Science Month.

In the seemingly never ending debate, it has been well established that vaccines works and we'd all be better off if they were available to all of us.   Let's be honest and think ahead a little bit…  Sure there are problems getting the vaccine out to a population of over 300 million folks, including developing, testing, and manufacturing it, but  Skipping the vaccine line is not only unethical, it ignores the greater needs of many and only makes it harder for people trying to help and do the right thing.  In case you missed Dr. Paul Offit last week this is worth a watch.  Here's a particularly interesting and encouraging article on teen fact-checkers trying to battle bad information.  They are taking on more than covid and worth paying attention to!

Of course there are many opportunities for us to all learn new and cool stuff as well science that we may have missed!  Here are a few that I think are worth checking out this coming week… 

Speaking of debates… 

This looks like a particularly interesting series…  The UCSF Spring 2021 climate change and health speaker series

Here are some other items that I think might be of interest… 

Atlantic Ocean, Subtle Shifts Hint at Dramatic Dangers , Dr. Oz Guest Hosting ‘Jeopardy!’, When should you end a conversation? Probably sooner than you think, A few words about Neandertals, and the Neuroscience Of Placebo Effects

Well, this is my first shot at the new format for the Science Schmooze. The rollout and making it work has been due to the tireless efforts of Bob Siederer and Kishore Hari. It is thanks to them that the SciSchmooze is what it is. Last month I did mentioned everyone who works on the Schmooze. I failed to mention that we are an all volunteer group. We keep the costs of production low so that we have been able to fund any costs through a few donations. Consequently in over 15 years of the Schmooze it has never charged for a subscription or for listing a presentation. We’re not going to change that anytime soon!

Have a great week learning cool new and old stuff. 

herb masters

“If all printers were determined not to print anything till they were sure it would offend nobody, there would be very little printed.” -- Benjamin Franklin

Upcoming Events:
Click to see the next two weeks of events in your browser.

Monday, 03/15/2021

Recent progress towards nuclear fusion in the laboratory - Livestream - 03/15/2021 03:30 PM
SLAC Colloquium

The demonstration of nuclear fusion in the laboratory and eventual utilization as an unlimited energy source has been a grand challenge for physicists and engineers for 70 years. All life on earth depends on this process that powers our sun. The realization as an industrial energy source would have a tremendous impact on our society and would be the ultimate technique to combat climate change. In this talk, I will survey the National approach in the area of inertial confinement fusion and will summarize the very recent achievements in this field that include an increase in fusion energy yield by a factor of 100 since the first experiments begun on the National Ignition Facility about a decade ago. Several avenues towards fusion ignition and high yield are beginning to emerge where experiments on LCLS’s Matter in Extreme Conditions instrument are expected to make major contributions to advance the field.

See weblink for Zoom information.

Instrumentation in Astronomy: Building Cameras to Take Pictures of Extra-Solar Planets - Livestream - 03/15/2021 04:00 PM
What Physicists Do @ Sonoma State University

Speaker: Dr. Isabel Lipartito, Lockheed Martin Focalplane

Digital Transformation in the Energy Sector - Livestream - 03/15/2021 04:00 PM
Stanford Energy Seminar

The drive to deliver affordable, reliable and ever-cleaner energy is fueled by our ability to fully harness the potential of digital technologies. And the challenges go far beyond the tech. This seminar explores the technological and cultural site of digital transformation in the energy sector, from challenging conventional thinking to innovating at scale to cultivating continuous learning absent of organizational lines.

Speaker: Alysia Green, Chevron

Register at weblink to receive connection information

The New Nuclear Arms Race, Its Dangers, and How to Turn it Around - Livestream - 03/15/2021 04:15 PM
UC Berkeley

The United States and Russia are engaged in the first phases of a new nuclear arms race. With the recent shredding of arms-control agreements, this race may proceed unfettered and could lead to unprecedented dangers to humanity. As scientists we are obliged to understand the dynamics of this race and its dangers, and to lead in averting the rush to oblivion.

Speaker: Robert Goldston, Princeton University

Wonderfest: Woman in Motion + Searching for Solar System Life - Livestream - 03/15/2021 08:00 PM

Hailing frequencies open! Woman in Motion (2019) tells the inspiring story of Nichelle Nichols, recipient of NASA's Public Service Award and portrayer of Lt. Uhura, Communications Officer for the glorious starship Enterprise (2019 + 2.5 centuries). Movie Nation's Roger Moore says that this compelling documentary "underscores Nichols' undeniable contribution to broadening NASA's horizons and drumming up interest in STEM education among minority students all over America." Moore also describes the film as "warm, sentimental, and delightful ... transcending its natural 'Star Trek' fan appeal." Alongside the movie, in a livestream video that starts at 8pm PST, we'll enjoy the insights of another woman in motion: planetary scientist Erin Redwing will describe her own "search for new (solar system) life" through research at the University of California.

See weblink for instructions to access the documentary prior to the talk

Tuesday, 03/16/2021

The National Campaign to Vaccinate America - Livestream - 03/16/2021 09:00 AM
Commonwealth Club - Online Event

Dr. Bechara Choucair, White House COVID Response Team, will describe the Biden administration's national vaccination campaign to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States.

Moderator: Robert Lee Kilpatrick

See weblink for biographies and registration links.

Next Stop: Hyperloop in Switzerland - Livestream - 03/16/2021 10:00 AM

Learn how Switzerland is envisioning and advancing the future of mobility. Join us for our live panel with a very special message from the President of the Swiss Confederation Guy Parmelin and a conversation between Swiss Hyperloop stakeholders.

Our four-part series, Next Stop: Approaching the Future of Mobility, intends to bring together experts from the United States and Switzerland to examine new methods of transportation and innovations in mobility and technology. Supported by the valuable inputs of mobility experts, Micromobility, Mobility Simulation, Hyperloop and Autonomous Vehicles will make up the four research topics of this series. Each of these topics will be introduced in detail and will feature a mix of panel discussions and presentations of thought-leaders, exhibitions from leading startups, insights into the most innovative new vehicles, networking opportunities and more. Second Stop: Hyperloop.

How do we envision the future of mobility, and how do we make it a reality? The Swiss public and private sectors are working together towards making vacuum-based transportation a reality in the near future. With the support of the Swiss Government, mobility and transportation stakeholders are advancing future technologies that could soon revolutionize travel. 

Join the conversation with experts from Switzerland to learn more about the future of transportation and how these new services can be integrated into the urban mobility landscape. 

This is the second conversation of the four part series Next Stop: Approaching the Future of Mobility that surfaces ideas and insights from mobility experts in four main areas: micromobility, simulation of mobility, hyperloop, and autonomous vehicles. This series is a collaboration between the Swiss Federal Railways (SBB), and swissnex San Francisco, and will feature a mix of panels and presentations with thought-leaders, presentations from leading startups, insights into the most cutting-edge new vehicles, networking opportunities, and more.

Register at weblink to receive connection information

Bouverie in Bloom - Livestream - 03/16/2021 12:00 PM
Audubon Canyon Ranch

Discover Bouverie Preserve’s spring blooms and sharpen your plant ID skills. Learn how fire and grazing is helping to promote the native plants that grow at Bouverie Preserve.

Speaker: Jennifer Potts, Bouverie Preserve

Decarbonization in the Real World - Livestream - 03/16/2021 03:00 PM
Columbia University

Leaders around the world have set goals to dramatically cut carbon emissions to achieve net zero. The stakes are exceedingly high - the next decade will be crucial to stem catastrophic climate impacts associated with a 1.5 to 2 degree Centigrade rise in global climate. But how do we get there? Join Laurie Fitzmaurice and Peter Kelemen as they discuss the stakes, and the realities around the push to decarbonize our planet.

Speakers: Laurie Fitzmaurice, Columbia University; Peter Kelemen, Columbia University

Register at weblink to receive connection information

TTbar Deformations, S-matrix, and Density of States - Livestream - 03/16/2021 04:30 PM
Stanford Applied Physics/Physics Colloquium

Theories in two space-time dimensions provide playground for exploring geometry of the "Theory Space" - the collection of all quantum field theories. Recently introduced "TTbar deformations" of 2D quantum field theories bring insight into the structure of that space. These are special deformations, "irrelevant" in the renormalization group sense and thus likely altering the local structure of the theory. At the same time, the TTbar deformations generate robust and even solvable theories. Of special interest are the deformations of integrable field theories, where they can be related to deformations of the associated factorizable S-matrix, and the theory can be treated using the powerful tool of the Thermodynamic Bethe ansatz. Preliminary results suggest that the deformed theories typically develop Hagedorn-like density of states, similar to that in the string theories.

Speaker: Alexander Zamolodchikov, Rutgers University

See weblink for connection instructions

Basic Science Lights the Way: Shedding Light on Black Holes - Livestream - 03/16/2021 05:00 PM
UC Berkeley

The 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics rewarded decades of research - some done at Berkeley - into the theory and detection of black holes. Learn what we know and still don’t know about these mysterious supermassive objects, including the one in the middle of our galaxy.

This talk features Chung-Pie Ma, Raffaella Margutti, and Michael Medford, moderated by Jessica Lu.

Two Talks: Popping the Science Bubble - Livestream - 03/16/2021 05:30 PM
Berkeley Public Library

Chemical Recycling of Plastics

Speaker: Steven Hanna, UC Berkeley

From Chocolate to Steel: The Materials Science Behind Everyday Life

Speaker: Clarissa Bhargave, UC Berkeley

Fascinating Mushroom Spores - Livestream - 03/16/2021 07:00 PM
Mycological Society of San Francisco

We will look at form and function of spores, how they get into the environment and what more we can discover about them.

Speaker: Else Vellinga, UC Berkeley

See weblink for Zoom information

Citizen Science Astronomy for Classrooms - Livestream - 03/16/2021 07:00 PM
Chabot Space and Science Center

Learn about how students are using the Unistellar eVscope smart telescopes to engage in citizen science and exoplanet research! With the eVscope a novice astronomer can partake in exciting astronomy observation even from the heart of a city thanks to intelligent Light Pollution Reduction.

Our team (University of Southern Queensland, Unistellar, American Modeling Teachers Association, and Global Hands on Universe) is developing a novel citizen science astronomy observing research program at K-14 schools in collaboration with the SETI Institute using small Unistellar eVscope smart telescopes. The program will develop an inquiry-based astronomy and exoplanet curriculum influenced by the successful Modeling Instruction pedagogy. Efforts for this project will target K-14 schools and education centers in the United States, Australia, and other parts of the world when possible.

Combining astronomy citizen science with a dedicated inquiry-based astronomy curriculum may improve both astronomy research as well as STEM education. For exoplanet research, the team will utilize strategic follow-up campaigns for NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) to keep ephemerides “fresh” using the Unistellar citizen science network. For STEM education, we will explore the benefits and disadvantages of engaging teachers and students in exoplanet and astronomy research with these eVscopes. The American Modeling Teachers Association, Global Hands on Universe, and the SETI Institute will assist with curriculum outreach and development, as well as community raising for the project with education centers.

Desired outcomes from this project include: a combination of professional and citizen science observations to enhance exoplanet and other astronomy research; improve teacher recruitment, morale, and retainment; increase student STEM skills and motivation; and improve astronomy and science education and interest to the general public.

Speaker: Dan Peluso, Univ. of Southern Queensland

Wednesday, 03/17/2021

Robotics and human-computer interaction - Livestream - 03/17/2021 12:00 PM
Berkeley Institute for Data Science

Robotics in the Data Science Era

Speaker: Lydia Kavraki, Rice University

Towards Naturalistic Task Representation in Health and Disease

Speaker: Angela Radulescu, New York University

See weblink for Zoom link

Ask the Scientist - Kate Stafford - 03/17/2021 02:00 PM
Estuary & Ocean Science Center

How do scientists go from OMG to PhD? How do they turn their passion for science into their profession? What advice do they have for future scientists?

If you are a 5th-12th grade student, undergraduate, teacher or parent, join us to ask these questions and more in a Q&A session with our weekly Seminar speakers on Wednesdays from 2 - 2:30 PM.

Parents must give permission for children under 18 to participate. 

Register to attend at website.

Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of Humans - Livestream - 03/17/2021 03:00 PM
Commonwealth Club - Online Event

Jennifer Doudna has changed the life-science field. In 1987, she and her collaborators created CRISPR, an easy-to-use tool that can edit DNA, and opened a brave new world of medical miracles. Conversely, the invention of CRISPR raised many moral questions. With the device, scientists can now detect and destroy DNA, hypothetically making humans less susceptible to viruses, preventing depression, enhancing individual height or muscles or IQ.

In his new book The Code Breaker, famed biographer Walter Isaacson follows Doudna from when she first learned what “the double helix” is all the way to her winning the 2020 Nobel Prize. Driven by a passion to understand how nature works and to turn discoveries into inventions, Doudna has become a leader in the scientific field, often wrestling with the moral issues that arise from her discovery.

Join us as Walter Isaacson traces a thrilling detective tale that involves the most profound wonders of nature, from the origins of life to the future of our species.

Moderator: Kishore Hari, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

Eavesdropping in the Arctic on singing bowheads and a changing climate - Livestream - 03/17/2021 03:30 PM
Estuary & Ocean Science Center

The Arctic is an incredibly special region with a suite of endemic species that are well adapted to the polar night and icy environment. This extreme habitat has created an animal of extremes: the bowhead whale. Bowhead whales spend their entire lives in the Arctic, can live 200 years, and they have the thickest blubber, and longest baleen of any whale. They also sing throughout the winter in thick ice and complete darkness. Passive acoustic recordings of bowhead whales in the Arctic have revealed that bowhead whale singing behavior is also superlative -- many tens of distinct songs are sung by a population in a single season. Why there is such a high diversity and turnover in bowhead whale songs is unknown but suggests that the environment in which they have evolved may be driving this novelty. This environment is, however, changing rapidly. The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the globe. The most obvious evidence of this is the dramatic decrease in seasonal sea ice. Changes in sea ice have resulted in changes in the overall soundscape of the Arctic: more wind and wave noise, more human noise, and novel sounds from Arctic invaders. All of these elements are changing the acoustic world in which the bowhead, and other Arctic animals, live.

Speaker: Kate Stafford, Senior Principal Oceanographer, University of Washington

Register at weblink to receive Zoom information

What is pyrogeography and how can it help us coexist with wildfire? - Livestream - 03/17/2021 04:00 PM
Energy and Resources Group

With increasing area burned and homes lost in California, we must somehow adapt to, and coexist with, wildfire in the coming decades.  In my talk I will review what we have learned as the field of pyrogeography has progressed, as well as where uncertainties still exist.  In the context of modeling, a key challenge is to include realistic patterns of both climate change and human activity in our future projections.  In the context of policy, a key challenge is to integrate scientific findings into guidance for land use and urban planning.

Speaker: Max Moritz, UC Santa Barbara

See weblink for connection information

Full-Spectrum Science Online: Making Color - 03/17/2021 04:00 PM

There are many ways to make color - from neon signs to oil slicks to rainbows, and more - and we'll explore some of them here. Learn about light, how it's made, and how it interacts, and take home materials to build your own spectroscope. You’ll see color in a whole new light!

Speaker: Ron Hipschman

See weblink for YouTube and Facebook connection links

Help from Abroad: China-based Donors and International Partners Help U.S. Hospitals Fight COVID-19 - Livestream - 03/17/2021 06:00 PM
Commonwealth Club - Online Event

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused myriad changes, but one of special significance has been the little-publicized flow of aid to the United States from China-based Americans, Chinese organizations and citizens, and even the Chinese government itself. This has taken the form of donations of personal protective equipment (PPE), cash and valuable services. Diverse organizations such as MedShare International, Flexport.org and the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai have entered into agreements and partnerships to benefit U.S.-based hospitals, such as San Francisco’s own Chinese Hospital.

Join us for a discussion with representatives of the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai (AmCham Shanghai), Chinese Hospital, Flexport.org, MedShare International and San Francisco State University; the program will be moderated by KPIX's Betty Yu.

Panelists: David Basmajian, Takeda Pharmaceuticals; Jason Chernock, MedShare; Eric Talbert, San Francisco State University; Dave Hartman, Flexport.org; Dr. Jian Zhang, Chinese Hospital; Betty Yu, KPIX, Moderator

AI Trust: Adversarial Attacks on AI ML models and defenses against attacks - Livestream - 03/17/2021 07:00 PM
SF Bay Association of Computing Machinery

Machine learning (ML) is making incredible transformations in critical areas such as finance, healthcare, and defense, impacting nearly every aspect of our lives. Many businesses, eager to capitalize on advancements in ML, have not scrutinized the security of their ML systems.Cyber-attacks can penetrate and fool AI systems. Trusted AI systems provide ability to detect and provide protection against adversarial attacks while understanding how issues with data quality impact system performance. With the rapid developments of artificial intelligence (AI) and deep learning (DL) techniques, it is critical to ensure the security and robustness of the deployed algorithms. Recently, the security vulnerability of DL (Deep Learning) algorithms to adversarial samples has been widely recognized. The fabricated samples can lead to various misbehaviors of the DL models while being perceived as benign by humans. Successful implementations of adversarial attacks in real physical-world scenarios further demonstrate their practicality. Hence, adversarial attack and defense techniques have attracted increasing attention from both machine learning and security communities and have become a hot topic in recent years. We will present the attack and defense method. We will also demonstrate these attacks on real life business models published on Public cloud and explain remediations one should consider.

Speaker: Bhairav Mehta, Microsoft

Register at weblink to receive connection information

Celebrating Stephen Hawking: How Black Holes are Not Quite Black - Livestream - 03/17/2021 08:00 PM
San Francisco Amateur Astronomers

Scientists and science enthusiasts are still mourning the passing of Stephen Hawking, one of the great minds and spirits of our time.  In this introductory talk, Andrew Fraknoi will briefly summarize Hawking’s life, and talk about the importance of his scientific work.  He’ll focus particularly on Hawking’s work merging the world of the big and heavy (described by Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity) with the world of the small and light (described by quantum mechanics). Then he’ll describe how this merger led to the idea of mini black holes, “Hawking Radiation,” and the bizarre notion that black holes don’t have to be fully black.   No background in science or math will be required, but be prepared to have your mind boggled.

Speaker: Andrew Fraknoi retired as the Chair of the Astronomy Department at Foothill College in 2017. He currently teaches non-credit astronomy classes through the University of San Francisco Fromm Institute and San Francisco State’s OLLI program.

YouTube link or Facebook.  Zoom link available at weblink.

Editor's Note: The meeting starts at 7:30.  The presentation starts at 8:00.

Thursday, 03/18/2021

Midday Science Cafe - Leveraging the Quantum Realm: How Small Physics Solves Big Problems - Livestream - 03/18/2021 12:00 PM
Science @ Cal

What does the world look like on the smallest scales? In this Midday Science Cafe, you'll hear from two scientists conducting experiments in the quantum world to quickly tackle problems on a real-world scale -- problems that would otherwise take centuries to solve! We'll hear from Dr. Sara Mouradian who will introduce what makes the quantum world different from the world we live in and how researchers build quantum technologies by trapping atoms and controlling them with lasers. Dr. Kasra Nowrouzi will discuss the approach at the Advanced Quantum Testbed at Berkeley Lab, where researchers design and build quantum computer systems to function in environments colder than outer space.

Register at weblink to receive connection information

My Love Affair with the Brain - screening - 03/18/2021 01:00 PM
Albany FilmFest

Honoring Women's History Month, Marian Diamond Day, and Brain Awareness Week, we are proud to present a virtual screening of My Love Affair with the Brain: The Life and Science of Dr. Marian Diamond, an award-winning documentary that brings the viewer right into the heart of science and into a deeper understanding of your own brain via an intimate and inspirational portrait of one of the founders of modern neuroscience.

Meet Dr. Marian Diamond, and prepare to be smitten. We learn of her groundbreaking scientific accomplishments, all the more remarkable because she began during an era when so few women entered science at all. We also learn about the warm and thoroughly charming woman herself, who describes her 60+ year career researching the human brain as “pure joy.” It is no exaggeration to say that Dr. Diamond changed science, and society at large in dramatic ways over the course of her career. Even just watching the film has changed lives - students, teachers, children, parents, seniors, each in their own way. It is the “Diamond Effect” - a master teacher leading viewers to a better understanding of their own brains, and a deeper engagement with learning and with life itself.Stay after the film for Q&A with filmmakers Catherine Ryan and Gary Weimberg!

Registration free, but required

STEM Leadership & the Women Who Power It - 03/18/2021 04:00 PM
Silicon Valley Education Foundation

In celebration of Women’s History Month, the Silicon Valley Education Foundation (SVEF)  is hosting a virtual event of influential women in STEM from multiple industries. Join us for inspiring conversations and hear about journeys of perseverance, challenge, and success.

Please visit link for more information and to register.

Turning the Oxygen and Vitamin Dials - Livestream - 03/18/2021 05:00 PM
Cafe Scientifique Silicon Valley

Oxygen is both vital and toxic for life. A mismatch of oxygen supply and demand underlies countless clinical conditions ranging from inborn errors of metabolism (e.g. mitochondrial disease) to the leading causes of death (e.g. stroke, heart attacks, and respiratory disease). We strive to unlock the mysteries of how the human body senses and responds to variations in oxygen levels. Using systems-level approaches, we plan to identify metabolic conditions which benefit from turning the “oxygen dial” to low or high oxygen. This will lay the groundwork to understanding the role of oxygen in aging and age-associated conditions. By viewing metabolism through the lens of oxygen, we hope to understand disease pathologies and pave the path for new therapies.

Speaker: Isha Jain, UC San Francisco

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What Would US Climate Policy Look Like if People and Planet Truly Mattered? - Livestream - 03/18/2021 06:00 PM
Golden Gate Audubon Society

In this talk, Basav Sen will discuss what a progressive internationalist agenda for US climate policy must look like in the years ahead for the US to truly become a good-faith partner to the rest of the world in addressing the climate crisis. He will dispel the myth that “Trump was the sole problem,” and that somehow returning to Obama-era policies will be good enough. He will examine various aspects of how the US engages with the rest of the world on climate - global impact of domestic emissions, US contributions to global climate mitigation and adaptation, US fossil fuel exports, bilateral and multilateral trade agreements, military and national security policy, and immigration - to demonstrate how US policy has always been at odds with true global cooperation and solidarity, and to propose what a truly internationalist climate policy might look like.

Speaker: Basev Sen, Institute for Policy Studies

See weblink for connection information

Building a Better World through Tech for Collaboration - Livestream - 03/18/2021 06:00 PM
Computer History Museum

Kicking off the 2021 Fellow Awards, CHM will honor collaborative software pioneer and entrepreneur Raymond Ozzie.

Ozzie will be presented with the CHM Fellow Award, joining distinguished past honorees, such as Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak, NASA mathematician and “hidden figure” Katherine Johnson, internet pioneer Tim Berners-Lee, and ENIAC programmer Jean Bartik.

Ozzie has devoted his life to connecting people with computers and building collaborative tools, from PLATO educational software to the iconic Lotus Notes. In 2006, Ozzie succeeded Bill Gates as Microsoft’s CTO and chief software architect, leading the company to develop the Azure cloud service and helping define the modern digital workplace. He has started several companies developing innovative forms of collaboration software, including Iris Associates, Groove Networks, Talko, and most recently, Blues Wireless to focus on IoT communications. 

Ozzie’s story and accomplishments will be honored through storytelling, tributes, and a dynamic panel discussion about the present and future of tech for collaboration.

Register at weblink to receive connection information.

NightSchool: Extreme Science - Livestream - 03/18/2021 07:00 PM
California Academy of Sciences

Not all science is done in the lab. Scientists go to great lengths, and sometimes extremely dangerous ones, to get answers to their questions. Hear the thrilling tales of several researchers and how they approach their work by land, sea, and air.

Ages 21+

After Dark Online: Shifting Spring - 03/18/2021 07:00 PM

What is the meaning of spring? It may seem clear: a seasonal shift as the days lengthen and warm, blooms start to appear on trees, and birds and bees get busy. But the signs of spring may be different for different people, organisms, and ecosystems - and they may vary from year to year, influenced by climate change and other factors.  

In this After Dark, part of our series Conversations about Landscape, we’ll be joined by scientists who observe nature through different lenses, from the community-driven science project iNaturalist to long-term scientific observations of landscapes and plankton in San Francisco Bay, and find out what their observations reveal about shifting seasons and the broader impacts of climate change on landscapes, ecosystems, and human communities.

See weblink for YouTube and Facebook Live links

Breaking Space News - Livestream - 03/18/2021 07:00 PM
Chabot Space and Science Center

What’s going on in space? Chabot’s Breaking Space News live stream shines a light on recent and upcoming events in space exploration, astronomy, and any other startling or amazing things going on in the solar system and universe beyond.

Watch on Facebook and YouTube

Where Jeff Bezos' Great Grand-daughter Will Go for Her Honeymoon: The Top Tourist Sights of the Solar System - Livestream - 03/18/2021 07:30 PM
Saratoga Foothill Club

Astronomer and educator Andrew Fraknoi will take you to the most intriguing future “tourist destinations” among the planets and moons in our cosmic neighborhood.

Stops will include the 4,000-mile lava channel on Venus, the towering Mount Olympus volcano on Mars (three times the height of Mount Everest), the awesome Verona Cliffs on the moon Miranda (which are the tallest “lover’s leap” in the solar system), and the recently discovered salt-water steam geysers on Saturn’s intriguing moon Enceladus (nicknamed “Cold Faithful.”). The tour will finish with the latest images of the eerie vistas on Pluto.

Speaker: Andrew Fraknoi retired in 2017 as the Chair of the Astronomy Department at Foothill College.

Purchase a ticket through website.

Friday, 03/19/2021

From Plant Scents to Perfumes - Livestream - 03/19/2021 11:00 AM
UC Botanical Garden

Plant scents from flowers, fruits, leaves, or tree barks are composed of complex mixtures of volatile organic compounds. People have used these fragrant mixtures since ancient times to produce lotions, oils and perfumes. While contemporary perfumes and other scented products consist, to a large extent, of synthetic materials, the inspiration for their components came mostly from natural compounds. In this presentation, we’ll look at the compositions of some familiar plant scents, including their functions, and at typical structures of some of the compounds that compose them. From plant scents, we’ll continue on to fragrances and products that people today use in their daily lives, such as shampoos, soaps, or expensive perfumes.

Speaker: Margareta Séquin

Register at weblink to receive Zoom information

Wildflowers of the Bay Area - Livestream - 03/19/2021 12:00 PM
Peninsula Open Space Trust

Wildflower season in the Bay Area is upon us, but even seasoned hikers and naturalists can get confused by the diversity of beautiful flowers we have in our area. To help us hone or native wildflower knowledge, Peninsula Open Space Trust has invited Andrea Williams, Director of Biodiversity Initiatives at the California Native Plant Society (CNPS), to provide an overview of the most common wildflowers in our area during this free, online webinar. She’ll go over how to identify these flowers, provide some ideas of where to find them, and share interesting natural history details about each. We’ll also share a bit about the work of the California Native Plant Society to protect our state’s amazing plant biodiversity.

After this event, you should be able to go out on your favorite nature walks with a new appreciation for this seasonal miracle. If you’d like an additional resource, check out POST’s wildflower guide. We will leave our guests with an important message to spread to your social networks: tread carefully during wildflower season! Trampling areas of wildflower blooms for photo opportunities is creating long-term damage in some of our state’s most beloved natural areas. Do your part to make sure these natural resources are taken care of for future generations!

Register at weblink to receive connection information

The Detection and Confirmation of Gravitational Waves - Livestream - 03/19/2021 07:30 PM
Tri-Valley Stargazers

Predicted in 1915 by Albert Einstein, gravitational waves are tiny oscillations in the actual fabric of space and time. It took a collaboration of scientists and universities more than fifty years to develop the technology to reliably isolate these faintest of signals from the cosmic background. Known as the LIGO project, in 2015 both existing LIGO observatories nearly simultaneously detected the gravitational waves emitted from the merging of two black holes more than a billion years ago. Join us to learn the inside scoop on just how this amazing feat was accomplished and how it led to its three main collaborators being awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics.

Speaker: Ted Blank, NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador

See weblink for instructions to access Zoom

Saturday, 03/20/2021

Dan Gluesenkamp: The Franciscan Manzanita Story: from Saving 'one last plant' to Protecting California's Bountiful Biodiversity - Livestream - 03/20/2021 10:00 AM
Friends of the Regional Parks Botanical Gardens

For more than a century, the Franciscan manzanita has been surprisingly central to key moments in California botany: it’s “Perils of Pauline” history stars trailblazing woman botanists, includes the 1906 earthquake and ghoulish nighttime raids on Gold Rush cemeteries, and features walk-on roles in the fight to save the Regional Park Botanic Garden and establish California’s Native Plant Society. Long thought extinct since the 1940s, in 2009 we discovered a mother plant growing at the Golden Gate Bridge and began urgent work to save this singular plant and special species. This talk explores the history of the Franciscan manazanita, it’s rediscovery, and the dedicated humans who work to save it once again, forever. It is a story of politics and public perception, as much as botany and beauty. The story also raises essential questions in conservation: what is wild, what is a species, why and how much should we spend to save a shrub? Sharing these lessons and exploring these questions together, we will then talk about how they inform the urgent efforts to save all of California’s remarkable biodiversity.

Speaker: Dan Gluesencamp, California Institute for Biodiversity

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The Chocolate Tree - Livestream - 03/20/2021 10:00 AM
UC Botanical Garden

Does chocolate really grow on trees? Join our Saturday morning Zoom program to learn about the wonderful cacao tree (Theobroma cacao) and its native habitat, the tropical rainforests of Mesoamerica. Discover some of the history of this beloved fruit, how its seeds are turned into chocolate, and why monkeys are one of its best friends. (This program is geared for a youth audience.)

Register at weblink to receive Zoom instructions.

Virtual Telescope Viewing - Livestream - 03/20/2021 09:00 PM
Chabot Space and Science Center

Join our resident astronomers on Facebook Live every Saturday evening live from Chabot’s Observation deck!

Each week, our astronomers will guide us through spectacular night sky viewing through Nellie, Chabot‘s most powerful telescope. Weather permitting we will be able to view objects live through the telescopes and our astronomers will be available for an open forum for all of your most pressing astronomy questions.

Sunday, 03/21/2021

Water Management, Climate Change, and Salmon Health: The Story of the Sacramento River - Livestream - 03/21/2021 01:30 PM
Seymour Science Center

Perhaps nowhere else in the world is water resource management and fisheries management so connected as in California. A vast array of dams and reservoirs in the state provide freshwater for public use, but also impact the health of salmon. For example, in the Sacramento River, the spawning grounds for the endangered winter-run Chinook salmon are solely reliant on the cold water released from Shasta Reservoir upstream. How climate change will impact the ability of upstream reservoirs to sustain water resources for fish and public use remains an important question in California, with implications for drought-prone regions around the world.

Join Miles Daniels as he discusses his research exploring the connections between water management, climate change, and salmon health.

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Complexity Weekend May 201 Cohort - 03/21/2021 07:00 PM
Online Online

We are excited to announce that we have just opened up the Participant registration for our May 21-23rd 2021 Complexity Weekend! We hope you can join this May 2021 cohort. 

The Pre-Weekend phase will begin in March 2021 and continues up until the interactive team-forming Weekend event starts on May 21st 2021. This Pre-Weekend phase will familiarize everyone with the community, tools, and ideas of Complexity Weekend. 

We’ve got an awesome lineup of Facilitators and are excited to have Dave Snowden as our Keynote speaker. 

We encourage participation from all time zones and levels of familiarity with Complexity.

Please share with your colleagues and anyone else who might be interested and let us know if you have any thoughts or questions by going to our website or emailing. Thank you!

Monday, 03/22/2021

The Life Cycle of Galaxies - Livestream - 03/22/2021 12:00 PM
Royal Observatory, Edinburgh

Our most powerful telescopes reveal a universe filled with galaxies that come in a dizzying range of shapes, sizes, colours, and environments. How this diverse population arose over 14 billion years from the primordial Universe is a fascinating and complex story that astronomers are only now beginning to piece together. It's a story worthy of a Hollywood movie, including lurking villains, dangerous neighborhoods, and powerful explosions that put a Michael Bay movie to shame. In this talk, I'll tell the life story of galaxies as we now understand it, by combining multi-wavelength galaxy surveys and state of the art supercomputer simulations.

Speaker: Romeel Davé

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Imaging quantum spin liquid behavior in single-layer 1T-TaSe2 - Livestream - 03/22/2021 02:30 PM
UC Berkeley

Quantum spin liquids (QSLs) are a novel state of matter predicted to arise in quantum antiferromagnets where magnetic frustration or quantum fluctuations are strong enough to prevent magnetically ordered states even down to the lowest temperatures. QSLs are believed to exist in strongly correlated Mott insulators, and are thus related to unconventional superconductivity. Much work on QSLs has focused on triangular lattices where frustration is strong. An example is the bulk Mott insulator 1T-TaS2 which has attracted attention as a QSL candidate due to localized d-orbitals in the Ta atoms that form a triangular lattice in this material. This scenario, however, is complicated by interlayer coupling and possible different stacking orders in the bulk, thus motivating investigation into related single-layer materials.

I will discuss our recent studies on single-layer (SL) 1T-TaSe2 that provide evidence for 2D QSL behavior. We have characterized the electronic structure of SL 1T-TaSe2 (grown via molecular beam epitaxy) by means of scanning tunneling microscopy/spectroscopy (STM/STS), angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy (ARPES), and first-principles calculations. We observe Mott insulating behavior in SL 1T-TaSe2, including novel orbital texture not seen in bulk samples. Vertical heterostructures formed by a single 1T-TaSe2 layer placed on top of metallic 1H-TaSe2 exhibit Kondo behavior, providing direct evidence for a triangular array of local spins in SL 1T-TaSe2, a prerequisite for the QSL behavior. Moreover, in SL 1T-TaSe2 we observe long-wavelength super-modulations that are explained quantitatively by a QSL-based spinon Fermi surface instability.

Speaker: Wei Ruan, UC Berkeley

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Astronomy on Tap Los Angeles - Livestream - 03/22/2021 06:30 PM
Astronomy on Tap

Join us at 6:30PM PDT, Monday, March 22nd for a virtual Astronomy on Tap, streamed over YouTube Live. We’ll hear from Dr. Max Gronke: “Ice & Fire: How Hot and Cold Plasma Coexist around Galaxies” and from Laura-May Abron: “2021: A Climate Change Odyssey”. In addition, we will host interactive astronomically-themed pub trivia.

See weblink for YouTube link.

Deep Dive into AI and Deep Learning Infrastructure with Lambda Labs - Livestream - 03/22/2021 07:00 PM
SF Bay Association of Computing Machinery

We are currently seeing exponential growth in the compute requirements for state of the art Deep Learning models as well as a rise in production environments for the application of these DL models as can be seen with the year starting out with Microsoft's Turing Natural Language Generation model (17 billion parameters) and ending with Open AI's GPT-3 (175 billion parameters). Designing/choosing optimized AI infrastructure based on the use case (may it be hyperparameter search, large scale distributed training, production inference etc.) is becoming just as important as designing better DL models for the efficiency of an organization. The talk will include a discussion on the infrastructure choices that are available for deep learning and how the infrastructure setups are trying to keep up with the computing requirements.

Speaker: Mitesh, Lambda Labs

Tuesday, 03/23/2021

Serving a large number of ML models at low latency - 03/23/2021 11:50 AM
Magnimind Academy

The Northern Resident Orcas and Bringing Corky Home - Livestream - 03/23/2021 07:00 PM
American Cetacean Society

Wednesday, 03/24/2021

Trust Valley Meets Silicon Valley - Livestream - 03/24/2021 08:00 AM

Overcoming Political Polarization - Livestream - 03/24/2021 10:00 AM
Post Carbon Institute

The world’s first solo wing-foil ocean crossing - Livestream - 03/24/2021 11:00 AM
Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

Mining Opal in Koroit, Australia - Livestream - 03/24/2021 07:00 PM
Peninsula Gem & Geology Society

SETI Talks: The search for Life on Mars with Perseverance - Livestream - 03/24/2021 07:00 PM
SETI Institute

Wonderfest: Laser Micro-imaging and Mental Time Travel - Livestream - 03/24/2021 08:00 PM

Thursday, 03/25/2021

Labside Chats: A Conversation with a Scientist : Suzanne Alonzo - Livestream - 03/25/2021 11:00 AM
Seymour Science Center

Medical Devices by UroDev and IntelliFlow for People with Disabilities - Livestream - 03/25/2021 12:00 PM

Reconsider the Coot - The Reproductive Antics of a Common Marsh Denizen - Livestream - 03/25/2021 04:30 PM
San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory

A Camera for the Invisible: Bringing the Higgs Boson into Focus - Livestream - 03/25/2021 05:00 PM
SLAC Public Lecture

March LASER Event - Livestream - 03/25/2021 06:00 PM
LASER Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous

Hardcore Natural History: Connections between land and sea: What can we learn from our beaches - Livestream - 03/25/2021 06:00 PM
Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History

After Dark Online: Second Nature - 03/25/2021 07:00 PM

NightSchool: The Great Gray Whale Migration - Livestream - 03/25/2021 07:00 PM
California Academy of Sciences

A Jaguar's Field of Dreams - If you build it, they will come (& other lessons from the U.S. - Mexico border) - Livestream - 03/25/2021 07:00 PM
US Geological Survey Public Lecture Series

Saturday, 03/27/2021

Science Saturday: Bees, Wasps, Honey, and Hives - Livestream - 03/27/2021 10:00 AM
Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History Pacific Grove

Solar Safe Water For All - Livestream - 03/27/2021 11:00 AM
Chabot Space and Science Center

Virtual Telescope Viewing - Livestream - 03/27/2021 09:00 PM
Chabot Space and Science Center

Monday, 03/29/2021

UC Berkeley Condensed Matter Physics Lecture - Livestream - 03/29/2021 02:30 PM
UC Berkeley

Symbolic Systems Forum : Learning to See the Physical World - Livestream - 03/29/2021 02:30 PM
Stanford Symbolic Systems Forum

What black holes can teach us about superconductors - Livestream - 03/29/2021 04:00 PM
What Physicists Do @ Sonoma State University

Brad Page, CEO of the Global CCS Institute - Livestream - 03/29/2021 04:00 PM
Stanford Energy Seminar