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

January 10, 2018

Secret Science Club North presents Physicist Daniel Whiteson and Cartoonist Jorge Cham, Monday, January 29, 8PM @ Symphony Space

Adjust your trajectory … Secret Science Club is blasting off to Symphony Space for a special edition!

Monday, January 29, 8PM, Secret Science Club North presents We Have No Idea: A Guide to the Unknown Universe with Physicist Daniel Whiteson and Cartoonist Jorge Cham @ Symphony Space (Use code SECRET15 to get $15 tickets.)

Scientists know only about 5 percent of what makes up the cosmos. The rest? It’s still a mystery. Experimental Physicist Daniel Whiteson and Cartoonist Jorge Cham take us on a whirlwind tour (with live drawing) through everything we don’t know about the Universe—from dark matter and dark energy to what happened before the Big Bang. Why does time only move forward? How come there's so much space in outer space? Is there life beyond our own planet? Explore these mind-bending questions and more at the next Secret Science Club North!

Jorge Cham is the creator of Piled Higher and Deeper (PhD Comics) and a recovering roboticist. Daniel Whiteson is an experimental particle physicist at the University of California at Irvine, who conducts research at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. Jorge and Daniel have created wildly popular and viral videos on gravitational waves and the discovery of the Higgs Boson. We Have No Idea is their first book together.

Before & After
--Contemplate the Universe with cosmic cocktails at our Space Station bar
--Groove to music of the spheres
--Stick around for the far-out Q&A
--Snag a signed copy of Jorge and Daniel’s brilliant new book, We Have No Idea: A Guide to the Unknown Universe.

Get $15 tickets for “We Have Know Idea: A Guide to the Unknown Universe” here with code SECRET15 and enter the code at checkout. You can also use the code at the Symphony Space box office (call 212.864.5400 or visit in person).

This starry-eyed edition of Secret Science Club North meets Monday, January 29, 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.

January 5, 2018

TUESDAY, January 9, 8PM @ the Bell House, FREE! Secret Science Club presents Biologist, Snake-ologist, and Explorer Frank T. Burbrink

Frank T. Burbrink has traveled the world, researching snakes and discovering new species. On the island of Madagascar, he and his colleagues have studied an astonishing array of snakes, occupying every ecological niche, from freshwater to treetops. And these snakes have a variety of beautiful forms: A few have noses shaped like leaves. Others have skin the color of bumblebees. Still others are dusty red and cat-eyed.

Around the globe, snakes exhibit mind-boggling variation, from garter snakes to reticulated pythons. Some live off little termites. Others can kill and devour an antelope. Dr. Burbrink asks: How does an animal with a seemingly simple head-and-tube body have so many different forms? What exactly are “species” and how do they diversify? And what threats—even existential ones—are facing snakes in the wild?

Frank T. Burbrink is associate curator in the Division of Vertebrate Zoology at the American Museum of Natural History, principal investigator at the Sackler Institute for Comparative Genomics, and associate professor at the Richard Gilder Graduate School. The author of over 100 research papers, he has conducted fieldwork in Madagascar, Brazil, Panama, Japan, and the United States. He studies the evolutionary history of reptiles and amphibians, their ecology, and genetics. His research has been featured in the New York Times, Gizmodo, BBC News, and on The Limit Does Not Exist podcast.

Before & After
--Try our exploratory cocktail of the night, the Sidewinder
--Twist & slink to serpentine tunes
--Stick around for the sssssscintillating Q&A

The next biodiverse edition of the Secret Science Club meets Tuesday, January 9, 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!

December 20, 2017

Let's Light It Up! Secret Science Club is on a Mission

You can help launch science out of the darkness and into the light. Donate to SSC's end-of-year pledge drive and support Secret Science Club 2018.

In the wee hours before dawn on the longest night of the year (14 hours, 44 minutes, 42 seconds in NYC), we were reflecting on 2017 while preparing to launch Secret Science Club's 2018 season.  

At this year's SSCs, we've gone on an amazing ride from the farthest galaxies to the nanoscale - and into the depths of the human mind. We've plumbed the deep structure of the Earth and taken data-driven dives into the world of ants, viruses, biomechanics, black holes, and the nature of time.
 
No matter the season, Secret Science Club remains a place where science steps out into the night and shines.

You can help light it up in 2018!  

SSC people, you are our rocket fuel. From the energy you put into coming to our live science events to the engaged listening and incredible questions, we are awed by you every month. When we see you coming out - braving all weather - to hear a talk on astrophysics, microbes, or ocean life, it inspires us to keep going and do more.  

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

To make a donation and support Secret Science Club 2018, 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 both the Albert & Mary Lasker Foundation and EST/Sloan. And thanks to our indomitable, wonderful, curious audience members.

Cheers to everyone for supporting SSC's mission!

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 2, 2017

SUNDAY, December 10, 8PM @ the Bell House, FREE! Secret Science Club presents OCEANS OF WONDER with Marine Biologist Ed DeLong

SINK INTO THE HOLIDAYS . . . Dissolve into the ocean’s vastness and explore its multitudes of unsung, unseen life. Just a liter of water from the surface of the sea contains 10 billion microbes and as many as 20,000 species—all invisible to the human eye and unknown to science until recent decades.

Marine biologist Ed DeLong pioneered research on these "microscopic forests of the sea," unveiling new species with remarkable abilities and elucidating their genomes. Despite their vanishingly small size, ocean microbes are the engines of an enormous food chain. They produce a significant portion of the world’s oxygen and are the largest source of genetic diversity on Earth. Learning how microbes interact with ocean ecosystems—and each other—is leading to discoveries, not only about the nature of the planet, but also new ways of making fuels, treating disease, and predicting the impacts of climate change.

A professor of oceanography at the University of Hawaii Manoa, Ed DeLong researches the ocean microbiome and its metagenomics. He is the author of over 200 scientific papers, and his fieldwork has taken him to Antarctica, the Sargasso Sea, and the Drake Passage. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Science, the American Academy of Microbiology, the U. S. National Academy of Science, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the European Molecular Biology Association. Dr. DeLong is co-director of the Simons Collaboration on Ocean Processes and Ecology (SCOPE) and president-elect of the International Society for Microbial Ecology.

BEFORE & AFTER
--Try our holiday cocktail of the night, the Ebb & Flow
--Sink into benthic grooves
--Stick around for the free-floating Q&A!

This deep-diving holiday edition of the Secret Science Club meets Sunday, December 10, 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.

November 8, 2017

Secret Science Club presents ILLUSIONS OF MIND with Neuroscientists & Authors Susana Martinez-Conde & Stephen Macknik, Monday, November 20, 8PM @ the Bell House, FREE! (This month’s SSC is sponsored by our pal Gerry!)

Is your mind playing tricks on you? Only all the time. False motion. Tricks of perspective. Shifting colors. Such perceptual hiccups (and the beguiling illusions they inspire) are more than just trippy. They offer a window into the inner workings of our brains and their evolution.


So what’s going on in our brains when our eyes deceive us?

In this synapse-stretching talk, coinciding with the release of their new book, Champions of Illusion, brain scientists Susana Martinez-Conde and Stephen Macknik explore the “cognitive wonderland” of visual perception—where what we “see” is not always what it seems.

Professors at SUNY Downstate Medical Center, Susana Martinez-Conde and Stephen Macknik study the brain using illusions and magic. They are the authors of Sleights of Mind and write the “Illusion Chasers” column for Scientific American: Mind. Their scientific research has been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Wired, and on NPR and NOVA. They are the founders of the Best Illusion of the Year Contest, which invites visual scientists, artists, mathematicians, and magicians to create new, astonishing illusions.

Before & After

--Sample our cocktail of the night, the Sleight of Mind—conjured by the Bell House mixologists

--Groove to cunning tunes and stick around for the crafty Q&A

--Snag a signed copy of Susan Martinez-Conde & Stephen Macknik’s magical new book, Champions of Illusion: The Science Behind Mind-Boggling Images and Mystifying Brain Puzzles

This eye-popping edition of the Secret Science Club meets Monday, November 20, 2017, 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!