February 14, 2019

Secret Science Club presents Microbiologist & Ebola Researcher Kartik Chandran, MONDAY, February 25, 8PM @ the Bell House, FREE!

Ebola is one of the most lethal viruses on the planet. Fifty to ninety percent of Ebola patients die once infected, and over 500 have succumbed in the current outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Microbiologist Kartik Chandran knows the Ebola virus well. He compares it to a clever thief that picks molecular locks, breaks into the body’s cells—and then wreaks havoc. And yet… despite Ebola's virulent nature, some untreated patients manage to fight off the infection and survive. Why?

By discovering exactly how Ebola breaks into cells in the first place and working with engineered antibodies from the blood of Ebola survivors, Kartik Chandran and his team are on their way to defeating the deadly virus—and developing a potential cure for all Ebola strains.

At the next Secret Science Club, Dr. Chandran takes on Ebola and other emerging viruses. He asks:
--How do viruses like Ebola take over healthy cells?
--How did Ebola make the jump from wild animal hosts to human populations?
--What molecular mechanisms and experimental therapies are scientists deploying to fight Ebola?

Kartik Chandran is a professor of microbiology and immunology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the Harold and Muriel Block Faculty Scholar in Virology. He has conducted groundbreaking research on the molecular warfare between cells and invading viruses, and works to harness that research to develop antiviral treatments, focusing on filoviruses, such as Ebola virus and Marburg virus, and hantaviruses, such as Sin Nombre virus and Hantaan virus. Dr. Chandran and his research have been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, The Atlantic, and National Geographic, and on BBC news, MSNBC, and Through the Wormhole.

BEFORE & AFTER
--Imbibe our cocktail of the night, the Love Virus (drink in the love—and pass it on!)
--Groove to infectious beats
--Stick around for the scintillating Q&A

This edition of Secret Science Club meets Monday, February 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 St.

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

This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

January 13, 2019

Secret Science Club presents Evolutionary Biologist & Explorer Evon Hekkala, THURSDAY, January 17, 8PM @ the Bell House, FREE!

Secret Science Club goes WILD with biologist & explorer Evon Hekkala

Evolutionary biologist Evon Hekkala has searched for man-eating crocodiles in Madagascar, mined museum collections for DNA in ancient animal mummies, and discovered “extinct” creatures surviving right under our noses. Her goal? Uncovering the mysteries of evolution and finding rare, cryptic, and lost species and saving them from oblivion. 

At the January edition of Secret Science Club, Dr. Hekkala discusses:
--genetic sleuthing and the origins of rare species
--trekking through fossil-filled caves in search of a lost (and gigantic) crocodile
--using museum specimens to understand how species respond to climate change
--why crocodile specimens hung in the shops of ancient alchemists ... hmmmmmmm

Before & After 
--Groove to untamable tunes
--Sink your teeth into the Q&A
--Sample the Death Roll, our mean-and-green cocktail with a twist!

Evon Hekkala is a wildlife researcher & evolutionary biologist at the American Museum of Natural History and a professor of biological sciences at Fordham University. Her research has been featured in the New York Times, Atlantic, Forbes, and New Yorker, and on the National Geographic channel.

This edition of the Secret Science Club meets Thursday, January 17, 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!

This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

December 22, 2018

Science Is Coming! Support Secret Science Club as We Launch Our 2019 Season

Donate to SSC's New Year's pledge drive and support Secret Science Club 2019.

No matter the season, Secret Science Club is a place where science rockets into the night and shines.

This year Secret Science Club has gone on an amazing, curiosity-fueled ride, presenting public talks on astrophysics, microbiology, brain science, paleontology, robotics, climate & environmental science, the genome, and more. We want our 2019 season to be even more awe-inspiring and science-filled!

Please join us in celebrating science as a vital part of culture & public life and standing up for science as we head into the future.

To make a donation and support Secret Science Club 2019, visit our secure pledge page. You can get cool pledge prizes, too (T-shirts, totes, secret SSC swag, and more!). For those of you who don't want pledge rewards, click here for faster check out.

Thanks to all the brilliant scientists who presented at SSC this year, the amazing people at the Bell House, our talented friends at Symphony Space, our kind & dedicated volunteers and advisors, and our wise partners at the Albert & Mary Lasker Foundation, the Metropolitan Opera, EST/Sloan, and the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs. And thanks to you—our indomitable, wonderful, ever-curious audience members.

Cheers to everyone for supporting SSC's mission! Happy holidays!

Secret Science Club is a program of Science Live Productions, Inc, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, and your donations are tax deductible to the full extent permitted by law.

For more information, contact secretscienceclub[at]gmail.com

December 9, 2018

It’s a Wonderful (Quantum) Life, Secret Science Club presents Physicist & Author Chad Orzel, WEDNESDAY, December 12, 8PM @ the Bell House, FREE!

Holly Jolly Physics Finale!
Raise a glass to all that’s weird and wonderful in our world with Physicist & Author Chad Orzel at the Secret Science Club’s holiday edition!

Quantum physics is often thought of as abstract, exotic, and a little bit freaky. While classical physics gives us sensible laws governing the macroscopic world—why a ball rolls downhill and how a plane flies—quantum physics gives us particles that are actually waves, “spooky” action at a distance, and Schrodinger’s unlucky cat. The subatomic world is a shifty, uncertain place. But never fear, physicist Chad Orzel is here to unpack the quantum weirdness.

At this holiday edition of the Secret Science Club, Dr. Orzel jumps off from his new book Breakfast With Einstein to explore the quantum phenomena that animate our everyday reality. Don’t miss a nanoparticle of this awesome talk!

Before & After 
--Groove to entangled tunes
--Stick around for the cosmic Q&A
--Try our subatomic cocktail of the night, the Uncertainty Principle (once you drink it, anything could happen!)

Chad Orzel is a professor of physics at Union College, a pop-science writer, and the co-creator of a series of TED-Ed videos on quantum physics that have been viewed millions of times. He is the author of four books, including the best-selling How to Teach Quantum Physics to Your Dog and his latest Breakfast With Einstein: The Exotic Physics of Everyday Objects (named one of the “Best Science Books of 2018” by the Times of London).

This holiday edition of the Secret Science Club meets Wednesday, December 12, 8pm @ the Bell House, 149 7th St. in Gowanus, Brooklyn (between 2nd and 3rd avenues). 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!

This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

November 9, 2018

Monday, November 19, 8PM @ the Bell House, FREE! Secret Science Club & the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation present the 2018 Lasker Public Lecture with Developmental Biologist Ruth Lehmann

Our bodies—and the bodies of all animals—are fascinating and complex. The human body is made of over 35 trillion cells, and there are hundreds of different types: Brain cells, Blood cells. Muscle cells. The list goes on. All are essential to our living, breathing, functioning selves. But among those cells, there is only one kind that is considered “immortal:” the germ cells. Formed in the embryo, these all-powerful cells produce the eggs and sperm that carry our DNA, and allow us to keep on grooving, generation after generation.

At the next Secret Science Club, biologist Ruth Lehmann explores the mysterious lives of cells and their role in reproduction.  She asks:  What’s up in the embryo? How and when do germ cells form? In what ways are these “immortal” cells radically different from other cells in the body? How do germ cells get romanced into making eggs and sperm? Is there a matchmaking molecule?

Ruth Lehmann is a developmental biologist at the NYU School of Medicine, where she is Director of the Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine, Chair of the Department of Cell Biology, Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Professor of Cell Biology, an Investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and Director of the Lehmann Lab. The author of over 150 scientific papers, Dr. Lehmann is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

BEFORE & AFTER 
--Sample our cocktail of the night, the Germ of an Idea 
--Shimmy to everlasting tunes
--Stick around for the scintillating Q&A

This edition of the Secret Science Club, the 2018 Lasker Public Lecture in honor of Al Sommer, 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.Yay!

The Secret Science Club featuring Ruth Lehmann meets Monday, November 19, 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.

October 3, 2018

Secret Science Club presents “The Riddler” with Puzzle Master & Author Oliver Roeder, Tuesday, October 16, 8PM @ the Bell House, FREE!

We’ve got your number! Come celebrate math, logic, and probability at the next Secret Science Club.

Puzzle master, game theorist and FiveThirtyEight columnist, Oliver Roeder shares the tricks to statistical thinking and every-day math, while beguiling us with puzzles from his new book, The Riddler.

Before & After
--Try our calculating cocktail of the night, the Double Down
--Groove to music of the spheres
--Stick around for the quantum Q&A
-- Snag a signed copy of Oliver Roeder's new book, The Riddler: Fantastic Puzzles from FiveThirtyEight

Oliver Roeder is a senior writer and puzzle editor at FiveThirtyEight, where he explores numbers in the news and presents brain-stretching math and logic puzzles. He holds a PhD in economics with a focus on game theory. Previously, he ran the quantitative research team at NYU’s Brennan Center for Justice. The Riddler is his first book.

This sequential edition of the Secret Science Club meets Tuesday, October 16, 8 pm @ the Bell House, 149 7th St. in Gowanus, Brooklyn (between 2nd and 3rd avenues). 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!

September 15, 2018

Secret Science Club presents Biologist and “X-Lab” Director Joao Xavier, Wednesday, September 19, 8PM @ the Bell House, FREE!

When Antonie van Leeuwenhoek first saw bacteria through a microscope in 1683, he was amazed—tiny “animalcules” invisible to the naked eye were all around us. No one had known. Yet they were legion. Centuries on, major microbial mysteries are still being uncovered and continue to amaze….

At the next Secret Science Club, we dive into the world of one-celled organisms with modern-day micronaut Joao Xavier. At his “X Lab,” evolution happens virtually overnight—and microbes grow faster, stronger, and stranger.

More than a mere curiosity, the evolution, ecology, and social behavior of these "wee little beasties" could have major implications: One of the microbes Dr. Xavier studies, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, is considered one of the 10 most dangerous antibiotic-resistant bacteria on the planet. Knowing how these social microbes evolve, form communities, and “talk” to other cells could lead to new treatments for deadly infections.

Joao Xavier is a computational biologist, associate faculty member, and director of the “X Lab” at the Sloan Kettering Institute, the experimental research arm of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. He uses computer models and experiments to research social interaction and evolution in disease-causing bacteria, biofilms, the ecological processes and metagenomics of gut microbiota, and how cancer cells interact with noncancerous cells. A recipient of a New Innovator Award from the National Institutes of Health, he has been a featured scientist in the New York Times, Quanta, and Wired.

Before & After
--Try our (r)evolutionary cocktail of the night, the (Microbial) Resistance
--Wiggle to grooves that wriggle!
--Stick around for the scintillating Q&A

This experimental and “prettily a-moving” edition of the Secret Science Club meets Wednesday, September 19, 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!

August 21, 2018

Secret Science Club presents “Beyond Jurassic Park” with Paleontologist & Ant-ologist Phillip Barden Tuesday, August 28, 8PM @ the Bell House, FREE!

At the next Secret Science Club, bugged-out paleontologist Phillip Barden talks about prehistoric "vampire ants from hell" and the evolution of social insects.

He asks: What do 100-million-year-old amber fossils tell us about the history of life? How are new imaging techniques such as X-ray based CT-scanning revolutionizing our understanding of species—both living and extinct?

Phillip Barden is an evolutionary biologist and assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He researches social insects, the fossil record, and comparative genomics. His field research has taken him to Australia, India, and Guyana. His work has been featured in the New York Times, Smithsonian Magazine, LiveScience, and New Scientist.

Before & After
--Sample our Cretaceous cocktail of the night, the Amber Alert
--Groove to tunes from lost worlds
--Stick around for the scintillating Q&A

This fossil-friendly edition of Secret Science Club meets Tuesday, August 28, 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 7:30PM. Please bring ID: 21+. No cover. Just bring your smart self.

July 5, 2018

Secret Science Club is on hiatus for the month of July. 

We'll be back at the Bell House in Brooklyn on Tuesday, August 28. See you then!

May 23, 2018

Secret Science Club presents Astrophysicist & Author Adam Frank, MONDAY, June 18, 8PM @ the Bell House, FREE!

Secret Science Club presents Light of the Stars: Alien Worlds and the Fate of the Earth with Astrophysicist & Author Adam Frank, Monday, June 18, 8PM @ the Bell House, FREE!

Astrophysicist, author, and NPR contributor Adam Frank explores exoplanets and off-world atmospherics to gain a better understanding of how Earth is evolving—from the life-giving rise of oxygen 3 billion years ago to the existential threat posed by climate change today.

In this far-out talk, coinciding with the release of his new book Light of the Stars, Adam Frank looks at gases on Mars, robotic missions to other planets, and mathematical calculations about the possibility of life elsewhere in the Universe—all for the purpose of gaining cosmic perspective on the fate of our own planet.

Adam Frank is co-founder of NPR’s 13.7: Cosmos and Culture blog and an astrophysics professor at the University of Rochester, where he researches star formation, exoplanets, and astrobiology. He is the author of Light of the Stars: Alien Worlds and the Fate of the Earth.

Before & After
--Try our cocktail with a kick, the Interplanetary Punch
--Groove to music of the spheres
--Stick around for the scintillating Q&A
--Snag a signed copy of Adam Frank's stellar new book, Light of the Stars   

This intergalactic edition of the Secret Science Club meets Monday, June 18, 8 pm @ the Bell House, 149 7th St. in Gowanus, Brooklyn (between 2nd and 3rd avenues). 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!

May 22, 2018

Fuel up your spaceship! Secret Science Club North presents Astrophysicist David Spergel, WEDNESDAY, June 13, 7:30PM @ Symphony Space

Grab your rocket pack and adjust your trajectory! Secret Science Club is traveling to the edge of time and space (Manhattan!) for a special edition.  

Wednesday, June 13, 7:30PM, Secret Science Club (North) presents Superstar Astrophysicist David Spergel @ Symphony Space, $25. (Use code SECRET15 to get $15 tickets.)


Astrophysicist David Spergel won the 2018 Breakthrough Prize for his work mapping the infant Universe. Observations of ancient light in the "Cosmic Microwave Background" produced the mind-boggling fact that the Universe is 13.8 billion years old and unveiled the reality that ordinary matter makes up a mere 5 percent of the cosmos. Now, David Spergel is looking to answer the next big questions: What happened in the moments just after the Big Bang? What is dark energy, the unseen force that seems to drive the expansion of the Universe?

Director of the Center for Computational Physics at the Flatiron Institute and professor of astronomy at Princeton University, David Spergel is currently co-chair of the science team for WFIRST, NASA's next major outer-space telescope mission. In addition to the Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics, Dr. Spergel received the MacArthur ("Genius") Award, NASA's exceptional service medal, the Dannie Heineman Prize for Astrophysics, and the Shaw Prize in Astronomy. He and his work have been featured in the New York Times, Scientific American, Wired, and beyond. He was named one of the "25 Most Influential People in Space" by Time magazine. 

Before & After
--Try our cosmic cocktail of the night, the Expanding Universe
--Sway to space-age grooves
--Stick around for the far-out Q&A 

Get $15 tickets here with code SECRET15 and enter the code at checkout. You can also use the code at the Symphony Space box office by calling 212.864.5400 or visiting in person. (Please note that each ticket is subject to a $5 service fee.) 

This out-of-this-world edition of Secret Science Club North meets Wednesday, June 13, 7:30PMSymphony 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!

May 7, 2018

Human Body in Space! Secret Science Club presents Out-of-This-World Geneticist Chris Mason, Tuesday, May 15, 8PM @ the Bell House, FREE!

What happens to the human body when an astronaut blasts into orbit? Chris Mason wanted to know down to the molecular level. So he studied a pair of twins—one earthbound and one in space. In 2015, astronaut Scott Kelly spent 11 months on the International Space Station, while his identical brother Mark hung out on Earth. As part of the NASA Twins Study, Dr. Mason led the research comparing the twins’ “omics” (gene expression, transcriptome, metagenome, and more). 

At the next Secret Science Club, Chris Mason explores the physiological impacts of space travel, and how future research & technologies will be used to monitor, protect, and potentially repair astronauts’ cells and bodies during long space missions to the ISS, Mars, and beyond.

Chris Mason is an award-winning geneticist and associate professor at Weill Cornell Medicine, as well as director of the WorldQuant Initiative for Quantitative Prediction. His NYC-based laboratory explores research topics, ranging from cancer genetics to microbe diversity in subway systems to the comparative DNA and RNA of working astronauts. The author of over 150 scientific papers, Dr. Mason was named one of the Brilliant Ten by Popular Science and his work has been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Time, and National Geographic and on PBS, CNN, and beyond. He is the co-founder of four biotechnology start-up companies and serves as an advisor to many others.

Before & After
--Sample our cocktail of the night, the Mars 2020
--Groove to interplanetary tunes
--Stick around for the scintillating Q&A

This edition of the Secret Science Club meets Tuesday, May 15, 8 pm @ the Bell House, 149 7th St. in Gowanus, Brooklyn (between 2nd and 3rd avenues). 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!

April 9, 2018

Love Is the Drug! Secret Science Club presents Neuroscientist Bianca Jones Marlin, THURSDAY, April 12, 8PM @ the Bell House, FREE!

What’s on Bianca Jones Marlin's mind? In a groundbreaking study, Dr. Marlin showed how and where the hormone oxytocin—sometimes called the “love drug”—changes the brain. At the next Secret Science Club, she explores love, trauma, family bonds, epigenetics, and how brain research may lead to new treatments and cures.

Bianca Jones Marlin is a neuroscientist and postdoctoral researcher at Columbia University’s Zuckerman Institute. In 2017, she received the STAT Wunderkinds award, recognizing the brightest young minds in life science, and was named a Simons Foundation Junior Fellow. In 2016, she received the Lindsley Prize from the Society for Neuroscience for her work on oxytocin and how the brain adapts to caring for newborns. Dr. Marlin and her research have been featured in the Guardian, National Geographic, Scientific American, Los Angeles Times, and Discover.

Before & After
--Try our experimental cocktail of the night, the Love Potion 9.0
--Groove to synapse-swinging tunes
--Stick around for the scintillating Q&A!

This brainy edition of the Secret Science Club meets Thursday, April 12, 8 pm @ the Bell House, 149 7th St. in Gowanus, Brooklyn (between 2nd and 3rd avenues). 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!

March 13, 2018

Secret Science Club presents Social Neuroscientist Jay Van Bavel on “Our Partisan Brains” Monday, March 19, 8PM @ the Bell House, FREE!

Jay Van Bavel is a social neuroscientist who explores the tribal tendencies in all of us. Lately he has been looking at political groups and partisanship in particular. Can our political ideologies influence not only how we vote, but also how we perceive reality?

At the next Secret Science Club, we explore:
  • What is the social brain and how did it evolve?
  • Are some people more genetically disposed to be “groupish” than others?
  • How does the social brain affect decision-making—at both conscious and unconscious levels?
  • What does neuroscience have to say about how our political ideologies originate?
  • What conditions cause rival groups to work together? What drives groups farther apart?
Jay Van Bavel is associate professor of psychology & neural science at NYU and director of the Social Perception and Evaluation Lab. His research examines how collective concerns—group identities, moral values, and political ideologies—can shape even the most basic elements of perception and evaluation. His work has been featured in the New York Times, Scientific American, Wall Street Journal, Quartz, and Washington Post.

Before & After
--Try our cocktail of the night, the Dark & Brain Stormy
--Groove to synapse-synching tunes
--Stick around for the cogent Q&A

This mind-bending edition of the Secret Science Club meets Monday, March 19, 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!

February 15, 2018

Welcome to the Collective! Secret Science Club presents Biologist & Director of the Swarm Lab Simon Garnier, Monday, February 19, 8PM @ the Bell House, FREE!

Flock (don’t run) to the Secret Science Club with Biologist, Artificial Intelligence Expert, and Robot Commander Simon Garnier
MONDAY, February 19, 8PM @ the Bell House, FREE!

Bee Hives. Ant Colonies. Flocks of Birds. Schools of Fish. Animals that move—and even seem to think—as collectives exhibit uncanny behavior, swarming, murmurating, ebbing and flowing almost like liquids. Such natural phenomena have inspired scientists to create swarms of small robots that swim, crawl, and fly en masse. Alone, each of these robots is none too smart. But as a group? Their collective intelligence could solve all kinds of problems.

In the future, robot swarms might build habitats on Mars, conduct search-and-rescue missions, or (gulp) autonomously attack enemies. At the next Secret Science Club, biologist Simon Garnier explores the history and potential of swarm robotics.

Director of the Swarm Lab and professor of biology at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, Simon Garnier researches robot swarms, army ants, and socially networked slime molds to learn how intelligent collective behaviors (and not so intelligent ones) emerge in groups. He also considers the question of self-organization in nature—in everything from cells to human crowds. Dr. Garnier 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
--Pulse and flow with synchronized grooves
--Stick around for the scintillating Q&A

This crowd-sourced edition of the Secret Science Club meets Monday, February 19, 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!

Photo Credit: Alex Wild