Registration is requested for all programs, which start at 7 p.m. in the Aquarium’s Simons IMAX® Theatre unless otherwise noted. Programs last approximately one hour. Most lectures are recorded and available for viewing on the lecture series archive page.

Call 617-973-6596 with questions about our lectures, RSVPing, or for more information.

Ari Daniel lecture

Stories in Science: Vessels of Power and Possibility

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Ari Daniel, Senior Digital Producer, NOVA; Senior Producer, Story Collider; Independent Science Reporter

Please join us in the Simons IMAX Theatre lobby for a cash bar of beer and wine from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

In a world increasingly cluttered by news feeds, social media, phone apps, and podcasts, it can be difficult to sift through all the noise. Ari Daniel, a scientist turned journalist, describes the power contained within stories and how he uses techniques like narrative and storytelling to communicate a wide array of science topics to a broad audience. He will explain how different mediums offer different opportunities, and how he has used radio, video, and live storytelling to make scientists more human and science come alive.

About Ari Daniel

Ari has always been drawn to science and the natural world. As a kid, he packed his green Wildlife Treasury box full of species cards. As a graduate student, Ari trained gray seal pups (Halichoerus grypus) for his master’s degree at the University of St. Andrews, and helped tag wild Norwegian killer whales (Orcinus orca) for his Ph.D. at MIT and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

These days, as Senior Digital Producer for NOVA and an independent science reporter for outlets including public radio, Ari works with a species he’s better equipped to understand – Homo sapiens. He has reported on science topics across five continents. He is a co-recipient of the AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Gold Award for his radio stories on glaciers and climate change in Greenland and Iceland. Ari also co-produces the Boston branch of Story Collider, a live storytelling show about science.

Joanie klepas

How to Fall in Love with a Coral

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Joanie Kleypas, Senior Scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, and Founder of Raising Coral Costa Rica

Coral reefs were once thought of as indestructible, but we are now losing corals at an ever-faster pace. Halting the loss of coral reefs depends on two major lines of action: keeping global temperature rise to less than 1.5°C and actively restoring coral reefs through propagation of climate-resilient corals and “replanting” them on damaged reefs. Joanie Kleypas will provide the latest information on the coral reef crisis and discuss her project in Costa Rica to raise corals and how it has changed her relationships with coral reefs and people.

About Joanie Kleypas

Joanie thinks a lot about the oceans, coral reefs, and climate change. She has worked on coral reefs for more than 30 years, including trying to understand how climate change and ocean acidification will shape the future state of coral reefs. She has worked for years with oceanographic modelers to look for “climate refugia” for coral populations. She continues to pursue that work, but the refugia are getting smaller and it’s clear that traditional ways to conserve coral reefs will not be enough. So she recently started an active reef restoration project on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. Getting back in the water has been a positive and practical way to work on solutions for coral reefs. The project is also proving to be surprisingly effective in communicating about climate change with the public.

Author Sy Montgomery with Sy the octopus

How to Be a Good Creature

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Sy Montgomery, naturalist and author of the National Book Award finalist “Soul of an Octopus” and the recently released “How to Be a Good Creature”

Knowing someone who belongs to another species—or even another phylum—can be transformative. Come meet some of the 13 individual animals—from her first dog, a Scottish terrier, to two emus she met in the Australia Outback, to a giant Pacific octopus at New England Aquarium—who transformed the life of best-selling author, adventurer, and naturalist Sy Montgomery.

Montgomery counts animals among her best teachers, mentors, and friends. These creatures helped her find her passion, taught her the meaning of family, and gave her the gifts of forgiveness and gratitude. In this talk, she shares stories and images from her most recent best-seller, a memoir of the 13 animals who lent this book its title and showed her, by their example, how to be a good creature.

About Sy Montgomery

To research books, films, and articles, Sy Montgomery has been chased by an angry silverback gorilla in Zaire and bitten by a vampire bat in Costa Rica, worked in a pit crawling with 18,000 snakes in Manitoba and handled a wild tarantula in French Guiana.

She has been deftly undressed by an orangutan in Borneo, hunted by a tiger in India, and swum with piranhas, electric eels, and dolphins in the Amazon. She has searched the Altai Mountains of Mongolia’s Gobi for snow leopards, hiked into the trackless cloud forest of Papua New Guinea to attach radio collars to tree kangaroos, and learned to scuba dive in order to commune with octopuses.

She has also worked closely with New England Aquarium. Her international bestseller “The Soul of an Octopus” was researched largely at Aquarium. One of her books for younger readers, “Amazon Adventure,” stars Aquarium Senior Aquarist Scott Dowd and showcases his conservation work in Brazil with Project Piaba.  Sy just returned from Peru, where she researched a book on giant manta rays with Kerstin Forsberg, an Aquarium Marine Action Conservation Fund Fellow.

Sy’s 28 books for both adults and children have garnered many honors. “The Soul of an Octopus” was a 2015 finalist for the National Book Awards and has been translated into nine languages. “The Good Good Pig,” a memoir of life with her pig Christopher Hogwood, is also an international bestseller. Her work with man-eating tigers, the subject of her book “Spell of the Tiger,” was made into a National Geographic television documentary she scripted and narrated. Also for National Geographic TV, she developed and scripted “Mother Bear Man,” about her friend Ben Kilham, who raises and releases orphaned bear cubs, which won a Chris Award. Among her dozens of honors are several lifetime achievement awards for humane education and three honorary degrees.

These programs are made possible due to the generous support of the Lowell Institute. Founded in 1836 with a mission to inform the populace regardless of gender, race, or economic status, the Lowell Institute has reached thousands of Boston-area residents by sponsoring free public lectures and other educational programs.
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