April 27, 2016

Tuesday May 3, 7:30PM, Secret Science Club (North) presents Marine Biologist Fernando Bretos @ Symphony Space

Secret Science Club is diving into Symphony Space for a special event...

Tuesday, May 3, 7:30PM, Secret Science Club (North) presents Marine Biologist Fernando Bretos @ Symphony Space, $20 ($15 with code SECRET15)

Ocean currents and ecosystems don’t acknowledge embargoes. Home to endangered manatees, crocodiles, sea turtles and sharks, Cuba’s underwater environments are ecological wonders. For two decades, marine biologist Fernando Bretos has worked alongside Cuban biologists, studying the island’s remarkable sea creatures, coral reefs, and the ocean ecosystems that bind us all together. 

At the next Secret Science Club (North), step into liquid with Fernando Bretos as he dives deep into Cuba’s underwater world.

Before & After: Grab a rum punch, sway to the sounds of salsa and son, and stick around for the post-talk Q&A!

Snag tickets for $15 here with code SECRET15, by phone at 212.864.5400, or in person at the Symphony Space box office. 

Fernando Bretos is director of the Cuba Marine Research and Conservation Program, curator of ecology at the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science in Miami, and director of Trinational Initiative for Marine Science and Conservation in the Gulf of Mexico and Western Caribbean, a program to restore coastal and marine resources shared by Cuba, Mexico and the United States. For over 15 years, he has worked in Cuba on marine biodiversity expeditions, coral reef health assessments and research on green sea turtles. He was a featured scientist on CNN’s The Wonder List and the award-winning PBS documentary, Cuba: The Accidental Eden.

This wet-and-wild edition of Secret Science Club (North) meets Tuesday, May 3, 7:30pm @ Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway @ 95th St in Manhattan. Subway: 1, 2, or 3 to 96th Street. 

Doors open at 7pm. This is an all-ages event!

Photo credits: Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science; Fernando Bretos

April 15, 2016

Monday, April 25, 8PM, Secret Science Club presents Primatologist & Author Frans de Waal on "Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?" at the Bell House, FREE!

In his new book Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? primatologist and best-selling author Frans de Waal takes a deep look at animal cognition and the many kinds of intelligence in the animal world—from tool-making crows and self-aware apes to discriminating elephants and octopuses that are slippery (in more ways than one). 

At the next Secret Science Club, Frans de Waal asks: How does intelligence evolve? What clues about the human mind are revealed by studying animal cognition? What mental skills do animals have that we are just beginning to understand?

Frans de Waal has explored how animals think for over three decades. His pioneering work with chimps and bonobos demonstrated that other species can be as conniving, conciliatory, compassionate, and politically minded as humans. Director of the Living Links Center at Yerkes National Primate Research Center and professor of primate behavior in the department of psychology at Emory University, Dr. de Waal is the author of numerous best-selling books including Our Inner Ape, The Age of Empathy, Bonobos, and Chimpanzee Politics, as well as over 150 scientific papers, and essays in the New York Times, Science, Nature, and Scientific American. His work has been widely covered in the media, and he has appeared as a featured scientist on Colbert, NOVA, and the TED Radio Hour.

Before & After
--Hot off the presses! Snag a signed copy of Frans de Waal's new book, Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?
--Groove to wild tunes
--Sample our cogitating cocktail of the night, the Smartini
--Stick around for the mind-blowing Q&A

This edition of the Secret Science Club meets Monday, April 25, 2016, 8 pm @ the Bell House, 149 7th St. (between 2nd and 3rd avenues) in Gowanus, Brooklyn. Subway: F or G to 4th Ave; R to 9th St. 

Doors to the main hall open at 7:30PM. Please bring ID: 21+. No cover. (We're expecting a big crowd, so get there early!)

COMING UP!
Tuesday May 3, 7:30pm @ Symphony Space
Secret Science Club (North) presents marine biologist Fernando Bretos (Get tickets here and use code SECRET15 to get $15 tickets)

Tuesday May 10, 8pm @ the Bell House 
Secret Science Club presents physicist and cosmologist Sean Carroll, free

March 28, 2016

Spring into Science!

Secret Science Club is on hiatus for the month of March. Here's what's coming up in April and May!

Monday April 25, 8pm @ the Bell House
Secret Science Club presents primatologist Frans de Waal, free

Tuesday May 3, 7:30pm @ Symphony Space
Secret Science Club (North) presents marine biologist Fernando Bretos (Get tickets here and use code SECRET15 to get $15 tickets)

Tuesday May 10, 8pm @ the Bell House 
Secret Science Club presents physicist and cosmologist Sean Carroll, free

February 8, 2016

Tuesday, February 23, 8PM, Secret Science Club presents Biological Anthropologist & Love-ologist Helen Fisher on the "Anatomy of Love" @ the Bell House, FREE!

Love...  it's the inspiration for googly-eyed hand-holding, drunk texting, drive-thru wedding chapels, and nights of endless brooding. Love is uncontrollable, elusive, essential, joyful and heart-wrenching. So what does science say about love? At the next Secret Science Club, we’re about to find out…

Biological anthropologist Helen Fisher has written (and re-written) the book on love. She asks: Does romantic love have evolutionary roots? Why do we split up and stray? Can love be detected in a brain scan? How often do hookups turn into relationships? What are the signs of love addiction? Is Tinder a source of love at first sight—or cognitive overload?

Helen Fisher is a senior research fellow at the Kinsey Institute and a member of the Center for Human Evolutionary Studies in the Department of Anthropology at Rutgers University. She studies the evolution, brain systems, and cross-cultural patterns of romantic love, mate choice, marriage, “cheating,” and divorce. She is the author of five books: Why Him? Why Her?, Why We Love, The First Sex, The Sex Contract, and Anatomy of Love, and has been a featured scientist on the TED Radio Hour, NPR’s On Being, the Colbert Report, and Anderson Cooper 360. Dr. Fisher is the chief scientific advisor to Match.com, supervising the design and interpretation of the annual Singles in America national survey.

Before & After
--Snag a signed copy of Helen Fisher’s all-new updated classic, Anatomy of Love
--Sway to sappy seductive grooves
--Try our captivating cocktail of the night, the Mia Amore
--Stick around for the passion-filled Q&A

This love-soaked edition of the Secret Science Club meets Tuesday, February 23, 2016, 8 pm @ the Bell House, 149 7th St. (between 2nd and 3rd avenues) in Gowanus, Brooklyn. Subway: F or G to 4th Ave; R to 9th St. 

Doors open at 7:30 pm. Please bring ID: 21+. No cover. Just bring your smart self!

January 27, 2016

SOLD OUT! Thurs, Feb 11, 7:30PM, Secret Science Club (North) presents Neuroscientist and Smell-ologist Leslie Vosshall @ Symphony Space

Sniff out new discoveries! Secret Science Club is heading over to Symphony Space in Manhattan for a special event ...

Thursday, February 11, 7:30pm, Secret Science Club (North) presents Neuroscientist Leslie Vosshall @ Symphony Space, $20 (Shh… use code SECRET15 to get $15 tickets.)

Baking cookies. Smoke. Salty skin. The world is filled with smells suggesting danger, the presence of food—and mating opportunities. How many aromas can we detect? According to groundbreaking research by neuroscientist (and smell-ologist) Leslie Vosshall, humans can distinguish more than 1 trillion scents—far more than previously thought. 

Dr. Vosshall has a passion for the sense of smell. As head of the Laboratory of Neurogenetics and Behavior at Rockefeller University, she probes the brains, olfactory pathways, and DNA of creatures from fruit flies to Homo sapiens. She asks: Is love in the eye of the beholder—or in the schnoz? How do different animals detect smell and how do scents influence behavior? 

Before & After
--Imbibe our seductively perfumed specialty cocktails
--Sway to sweet-smelling tunes
--(If you dare) inhale (and attempt to identify) our mysterious scent samples
--Be nosy! Hang out for the post-talk Q&A

Snag tickets for $15 here with code SECRET15, by phone at 212.864.5400, or in person at the box office. 

This edition of Secret Science Club (North) meets Thursday, February 11, 7:30pm @ Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway @ 95th St in Manhattan. Subway: 1, 2, or 3 to 96th Street. 

Doors open at 7pm. This is an all-ages event!

January 18, 2016

Monday, January 25, 8PM, Secret Science Club presents Cognitive Psychologist & Dolphin Researcher Diana Reiss at the Bell House, FREE!

Ever wonder what it would be like to encounter an alien intelligence? Psychologist and marine mammal researcher Diana Reiss knows how it feels. Dr. Reiss has been researching dolphins for over 30 years, and while she has experienced moments of interspecies understanding, the mind of the dolphin remains as mysterious and exciting as ever.

Dolphin brains are large and their social lives are complex, but how far does dolphin intelligence go? Using clicks, whistles, and body motions, dolphins clearly communicate among themselves. So far though, scientists have little idea what they might be saying. To investigate, Dr. Reiss designed a pioneering underwater keyboard for dolphins to facilitate communication with human researchers. Dr. Reiss asks:
--How do we study the mind of an animal so different than us?
--Can new technology help us crack the code of dolphin communication?
--What role do scientists play in the protection of dolphins and their habitats?

Diana Reiss is a professor in the Department of Psychology at Hunter College and the Biopsychology and Behavioral Neuroscience Program at the CUNY Graduate Center. Dr. Reiss's research focuses on cetacean cognition, communication, and the evolution of intelligence. Much of her work focuses on vocal communication and vocal learning in dolphins using observational and experimental approaches. Dr. Reiss was scientific advisor for the Oscar-winning film The Cove, and author of the book, The Dolphin in the Mirror.

Before & After
--Try our chatty cocktail of the night, the Click & Whistle
--Groove to sounds of the surf, sea shanties, and whale song
--Stick around for the ebb & flow of Q&A

This deep-diving edition of the Secret Science Club meets Monday, January 25, 8 pm @ the Bell House, 149 7th St. (between 2nd and 3rd avenues) in Gowanus, Brooklyn. Subway: F or G to 4th Ave; R to 9th Street.

Doors open at 7:30 pm. Please bring ID: 21+. No cover. 

December 10, 2015

Secret Science Club's End-of-Year Pledge Drive!

RED ALERT! Join our end-of-year pledge drive and support Secret Science Club 2016. SSC PLEDGE DRIVE ENDS SUNDAY, JANUARY 17 AT 5PM.

Secret Science Club is serious and passionate about science communication. As we approach our 10th anniversary, we're as committed as ever to keeping our regular monthly events free, and we're determined to expand our low-cost, high-quality programming to feed the need for more public science events.

This year Secret Science Club has gone on a fabulous, curiosity-fueled ride through astrophysics, brain science, evolution, the microbiome, and more. We want 2016 to be even more mind-blowing, awe-inspiring, and science-filled.

To make a donation and support Secret Science Club 2016, visit our secure pledge page. You can give in your own name or in honor of a friend (or snag a limited-edition T-shirt!). For those of you who don’t want pledge rewards, click here for faster check out.

PLUS! Secret Science Club is now a fiscally sponsored project of Science Live Productions, Inc, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. That means your donations are tax deductible!

Join us in celebrating science as a vital part of culture and public life, and thanks for your generous support of SSC's mission. Science for all!

See you in 2016!

November 30, 2015

Wednesday, December 2, 8PM, Secret Science Club presents Biologist & Animal Behavior Specialist Simon Garnier at the Bell House, FREE!

What is intelligence? Good question . . . Safely encased in our human skulls, our 85 billion neurons gather information, form thoughts, and dictate our actions. But is that the only kind of smarts? Biologist Simon Garnier studies animals that use a more external operating system and exhibit highly coordinated group behavior—or collective intelligence. Think army ants, schools of fish, flocks of birds, the Borg (gulp).

Director of the Swarm Lab and professor of biology at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, Simon Garnier researches ant-mimicking robot swarms, bridge-building army ants, and socially networked slime molds to learn how intelligent collective behaviors and decision-making emerge in groups of social animals. He also considers the question of self-organization in nature—in everything from cells to human crowds. Simon Garnier’s work has been widely covered in the media, and he has been a featured scientist on Science Friday, the Guardian technology video series, National Geographic, Scientific American, and Mashable.

Before & After
--Try our hive-minded cocktail of the night, the Perfect Swarm
--Wiggle to grooves that wriggle
--Stick around for the scintillating Q&A

This crowd-sourced edition of the Secret Science Club meets Wednesday, December 2, 8 pm @ the Bell House, 149 7th St. (between 2nd and 3rd avenues) in Gowanus, Brooklyn. Subway: F or G to 4th Ave; R to 9th Street.

Doors open at 7:30 pm. Please bring ID: 21+

No cover. Just bring your smart self!

November 15, 2015

Smashing! Monday, November 23, 8PM, Secret Science Club presents Particle Physicist Kyle Cranmer @ the Bell House, FREE!

Particle physicist Kyle Cranmer beams into the Bell House!

Take a spin through the science at the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator with physicist Kyle Cranmer—from the discovery of the elusive Higgs boson (one of the fundamental particles that make up the Universe) to the ongoing search for dark matter. After a two-year break, the atom-smashing Large Hadron Collider is now back for Season 2—running at nearly double its previous energy, hurling 600 million protons together every second, and reaping juicy, cosmos-hacking data.

Just back from LHC headquarters in Geneva, Kyle Cranmer asks:
--What is the process that LHC researchers use to search for new particles and new physics?
--What exactly is the Higgs boson? How is it challenging our understanding of the Universe and fundamental laws of nature?
--What about dark matter—the invisible stuff calculated to make up 27 percent of the Universe?
--What are physicists looking for next? What mysteries remain?

Kyle Cranmer is a professor at NYU's Center for Cosmology and Particle Physics and NYU's Center for Data Science. He is part of the team at the Large Hadron Collider that first detected the Higgs boson—the subatomic particle thought to be responsible for the existence of mass in the Universe. He is the recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers and the National Science Foundation Career Award. His research was featured in the award-winning documentary Particle Fever, and he has been a featured scientist on StarTalk Live with Neil DeGrasse Tyson.

Before & After
--Groove to high-energy tunes
--Stick around for the quantum Q&A
--Try our quarky cocktail of the night, the Atom Smasher

This subatomic edition of the Secret Science Club meets Monday, November 23 @ The Bell House, 149 7th St. (between 2nd and 3rd aves) in Gowanus, Brooklyn. Subway: F or G to 4th Ave, R to 9th St.

Doors open at 7:30 pm. Please bring ID: 21+. No cover. Just bring your smart self!

October 14, 2015

Kick it into warp drive! Tuesday, October 27, 8PM, Secret Science Club presents Astrophysicist Jason Kalirai @ Symphony Space

Grab your space boots! Secret Science Club is rocketing to Symphony Space in Manhattan for a special event...

Tuesday, October 27, 8pm, Secret Science Club (North) presents Astrophysicist Jason Kalirai @ Symphony Space, $20 (Shh… use code SECRET15 to get $15 tickets.)

It’s 100 years since Einstein presented his General Theory of Relativity—changing forever how we think about space and time—and ushering in discoveries beyond even Einstein’s wildest imagination. Blast off with astrophysicist Jason Kalirai to explore where Einstein’s theory has led since 1915—from supermassive black holes to the evolution of the Universe itself.

Astrophysicist at the Space Telescope Science Institute and Project Scientist for the James Webb Space Telescope, NASA’s next flagship observatory, Jason Kalirai takes us on a stunning visual tour of the cosmos.  

Don't miss a nanosecond of this out-of-this-world talk!

Before & After: Countdown to launch with cosmic cocktails from our Space Station bar and groove to interstellar tunes!

Snag tickets for $15 here with code SECRET15, by phone at 212.864.5400, or in person at the box office. 

This special edition of Secret Science Club (North) meets Tuesday, October 27, 8pm @ Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway @ 95th St in Manhattan. Subway: 1, 2, or 3 to 96th Street. 

Doors open at 7:30pm. This is an all-ages event!

October 1, 2015

Tuesday, October 13, 8PM, Secret Science Club presents Cognitive Philosopher & Author Alva Noë at the Bell House, FREE!

Tech + Art + Brains = ? 
Secret Science Club presents Cognitive Philosopher Alva Noë on Strange Tools: Art and Human Nature

Chimps and a few other animals can use simple tools. When given a brush, elephants and even pigs have been known to paint on occasion. But only humans use tools as if they were born with them, and only humans are obsessed with making and experiencing art—from Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa to Banksy’s wall rats, from Shakespeare's Macbeth to HBO's Game of Thrones. In his new book, Strange Tools: Art and Human Nature, cognitive philosopher Alva Noë asks: What is art? Why do we make it? Why does it matter to us? What does it tell us about human nature, biology, the brain, and consciousness?

Alva Noë is a professor of philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley, and member of the Institute of Cognitive and Brain Sciences. He writes for NPR’s 13.7 Cosmos & Culture blog, and his previous books include Out of Our Heads: Why You Are Not Your Brain, and Other Lessons from the Biology of Consciousness and Action in Perception.

Before & After
--Sway to pleasure-inducing neuro-grooves
--Bibo ergo sum! Sip our tricky cocktail of the night, the Logical Fallacy.
--Snag a signed copy of Alva Noë’s provocative new book, Strange Tools: Art and Human Nature
--Stick around for the singular, scintillating Q&A

This edition of the Secret Science Club meets Tuesday, October 13, 8PM @ the Bell House, 149 7th St. (between 2nd and 3rd avenues) in Gowanus, Brooklyn. Subway: F or G to 4th Ave, R to 9th St.

Doors open at 7:30 pm.  Please bring ID: 21+. 

No cover. Just bring your smart self! 

Photo of Alva Noë: Serena Campanini/AGF/Writer Pictures

September 14, 2015

Tuesday, September 22, 8PM, Secret Science Club presents Primatologist Patricia Chapple Wright @ the Bell House, FREE!

Go wild at the next Secret Science Club with primatologist and explorer Patricia Chapple Wright...

Madagascar is a strange place. It’s sometimes called the 8th continent due to its unique evolution and physical isolation. Ninety percent of its wildlife is found nowhere else, and its lemurs are Earth’s most diverse group of primates. With no monkeys to compete with, Madagascar's lemurs evolved into over 100 species, from the 3.5-inch Berthe’s mouse lemur (the smallest primate in the world) to the now-extinct giant sloth lemur (which weighed as much as a gorilla).

When primatologist Patricia Chapple Wright first visited Madagascar in the 1980s, she discovered the golden bamboo lemur, so called because of the golden fur on its head and belly and a habit of eating cyanide-laced bamboo shoots that would kill any other primate. At that time, the lemur's rain forest habitat was on the verge of being chopped down. To save the lemurs, Dr. Wright lobbied the Malagasy government and local villagers—as well as conservationists around the world. Her efforts led to the creation of Ranomafana National Park, where she's been studying the social and family behaviors of wild lemurs for three decades, and advocating for the preservation of Madagascar’s endangered wildlife.

Winner of the MacArthur “Genius Grant” and the 2014 Indianapolis Prize for her extraordinary contributions to wildlife conservation, Dr. Wright is one of the world’s foremost experts on lemurs, professor of anthropology at Stony Brook University, and founder of Centre ValBio Research Station in Madagascar. She is the author of over 150 scientific papers, as well as the books High Moon Over the Amazon: My Quest to Understand the Monkeys of the Night and For the Love of Lemurs: My Life in the Wilds of Madagascar. She has organized and led over 40 expeditions to study the world’s primates. She and her field research have been featured on film in Michael Apted’s Me and Isaac Newton and the 3-D IMAX movie, Island of Lemurs.

Before & After
--Try our wild cocktail of the night, the Nocturnal Prowler
--Swing by your tail to almost-human grooves
--Stick around for the eye-popping Q&A

This lemur-tastic edition of the Secret Science Club meets Tuesday, September 22, 8 pm @ the Bell House, 149 7th St. (between 2nd and 3rd avenues) in Gowanus, Brooklyn. Subway: F or G to 4th Ave; R to 9th St.

Doors open at 7:30 pm. Please bring ID: 21+. No cover. Just bring your smart self.

August 4, 2015

Tuesday, August 18, 8PM, Secret Science Club & the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation present the
"2015 Lasker Public Lecture in Honor of Al Sommer" with Neuroscientist Gregory Petsko at the
Bell House, FREE!

WARNING... the year is 2050... your brain is undergoing malfunction... memory evacuation will begin in 5...4...3...  memory evacuation now in progress.  No new memories can be stored. 

Sounds like a bad sci-fi plot? You may as well quit worrying about the Zombie Apocalypse. What's really coming is a massive collision between the human brain and America's changing demographics. As the population ages, we're facing a tsunami of neurodegenerative diseases, and the incidence of Alzheimer's is projected to double. Yikes. 

To prepare for (and possibly change) this brain-boggling future, neuroscientist Gregory Petsko is researching the mechanisms underlying neurodegenerative conditions and working to develop new drugs. He asks: What's the connection between Alzheimer's, ALS and Parkinson's? What treatments are being investigated? Why do some very elderly people NOT get Alzheimer's? Are there scientifically proven ways of improving and protecting our cognitive health? 

The Mahon professor of neurology and neuroscience at Weill Cornell Medical College and director of the Appel Alzheimer's Disease Research Institute, Gregory Petsko writes frequently about science and culture, and has been a featured scientist at TED and TEDMED, and on PBS's NOVA. 

Before & After
--Sample our wet-wired cocktail of the night, the Memory Palace 
--Groove to synapse-stimulating tunes
--Stick around for the scintillating Q&A

This edition of the Secret Science Club is sponsored by the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation. The Foundation works to foster the prevention and treatment of disease and disabilities by honoring excellence in basic and clinical science, educating the public, and advocating for support of medical research. Yeah! 

The next Secret Science Club meets Tuesday, August 18, 8pm @ the Bell House, 149 7th St. (between 2nd and 3rd avenues) in Gowanus, Brooklyn. Subway: F/G to 4th Ave, R to 9th St.  

Doors open at 7:30 pm.  Please bring ID: 21+. No cover. Just bring your smart self!

June 30, 2015

Beyond Pluto? Tuesday, July 14, 8PM, Secret Science Club presents Planet Hunter Jeremy Kasdin @ the Bell House, FREE!

Secret Science Club rockets into the Milky Way with Planet Hunter Jeremy Kasdin

As NASA’s New Horizon’s mission makes its closest approach to Pluto on July 14, Secret Science Club asks: What’s next? What planets and dwarf planets exist beyond our solar system? Are any like Earth?

“The Universe is teeming with planets,” says Princeton’s Jeremy Kasdin. But astronomers have only been able to detect potentially Earth-like planets through indirect observation. Kasdin and his NASA colleagues want to change that with a revolutionary space-based telescope and starshade. With this new observatory, scientists could get snapshots of some of the billions of exoplanets located in the habitable zones of other solar systems. They could also discover which exoplanets have biomarkers—qualities that are friendly to life, such as water, oxygen, and atmospheres.

What’s out there? Jeremy Kasdin is principal investigator for the “Exo-Starshade” project, part of NASA’s Exoplanet Exploration Program, professor of aerospace engineering at Princeton University, and head of Princeton’s High Contrast Imaging Laboratory. He researches space optics, spacecraft design and control, and astrodynamics.

Before & After
--Countdown to launch with our Plutopalooza cocktail (it will knock you into orbit)
--Groove to tunes from alien worlds and dimensions
--Stick around for the interplanetary Q&A

This out-of-this-world edition of the Secret Science Club meets Tuesday, July 14, 8pm @ the Bell House149 7th St. (between 2nd and 3rd avenues) in Gowanus, Brooklyn. Subway: F or G to 4th Ave, R to 9th St.

Doors open at 7:30 pm.  Please bring ID: 21+. No cover. Just bring your smart self!

Photo of Jeremy Kasdin: Peter Murphy; Image of Exo-Starshade: NASA/JPL