July 9, 2014

Tuesday, July 22, 8PM @ the Bell House, FREE! Secret Science Club presents Marine Biologist and Explorer David Gruber

Light it up! Marine Biologist and National Geographic Explorer David Gruber lures the Secret Science Club into the depths—uncovering the secrets of the seas and technicolor reefs in his quest for biofluorescent creatures. On a series of recent high-tech expeditions, Gruber and colleagues uncovered dozens of cryptically aglow sharks, rays, eels, and other fishy beasts. 

Don’t miss a nanosecond of this glow-in-the-dark, tripped-out talk! 

Before & After
--Groove to incandescent tunes
--Stick around for the tidal Q&A
--Try our cocktail of the night, the Skin of the Shark That Bit Me

This next submersive edition of the Secret Science Club meets Tuesday, July 22, 8 pm @ the Bell House149 7th St. (between 2nd and 3rd avenues) in Gowanus, Brooklyn. Subway: F or G to 4th Ave.

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

June 24, 2014

Cool Lasker Contest!

Happy summer, everyone!

Before briefly heading off to Secret Science Club's underground laboratory, we wanted to give a heads up about this cool challenge:

Calling all med students, PhD students and post-docs in biomedical research, and grad students in public health and other health professions! Our pals at the Lasker Foundation want your great ideas on how to build public support for medical research. Enter their essay contest for a chance to win $10,000! Get the details here. Deadline: August 8, 2014

The Secret Science Club dives back into the Bell House on Tuesday, July 22. Stay tuned for details!

May 22, 2014

Tuesday, June 10, 8PM @ the Bell House, FREE! Secret Science Club & the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation present the 2014 Lasker Public Lecture with Award-Winning Cancer Researcher Charles Sawyers

Each of us is made of trillions of cells. It's scary to think that just one cell or a tiny group gone wrong can bring down our whole being. But that's how cancerous cells work—their genes mutate, and then they go rogue, multiplying and refusing to die.

Charles Sawyers is a molecular monster slayer, fighting on the front lines in the battle against deadly cancers. In clinical trials of new cancer drugs, he has observed dying patients dramatically improve, and he has also witnessed relapses when resistance to new drugs develops. Cancer cells are tragically, maddeningly crafty. But scientists like Sawyers are crafty, too, and recent advances allow them to study and defeat cancer cells in ways unthinkable in the past.

With colleagues, Dr. Sawyers pioneered one of the first-ever targeted molecular drugs for cancer treatment, and he recently developed one of the newest—translating lab discoveries into clinical trials and life-extending therapies. At the Secret Science Club, Dr. Sawyers explores the science “From Cancer Genomics to Cancer Drugs” and asks: What causes cells to mutate and turn into cancerous rogues? How has mapping the human genome changed cancer research? What future therapies are part of the hunt for new cures? Will cancer one day be a controllable condition?

Charles Sawyers is chair of the Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and professor in the Cell and Developmental Biology Program and Department of Medicine at the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences. Dr. Sawyers has received numerous accolades, including the Lasker-Debakey Clinical Medical Research Award (often hailed as the American Nobel Prize) for his work on the development of a molecularly targeted treatment for chronic myeloid leukemia, the Doris Duke Distinguished Clinical Scientist Award, and the 2013 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences. He is past president of the American Association for Cancer Research and serves on the National Cancer Advisory Board.

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!

--Imbibe our scientifically inspired cocktail, the Cell-o-bration!
--Groove to clinically approved tunes
--Stick around for the ever-evolving Q&A

The Secret Science Club meets Tuesday, June 10, 8 pm @ the Bell House, 149 7th St. (between 2nd and 3rd avenues) in Gowanus, Brooklyn. Subway: F or G to 4th Ave.

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

May 7, 2014

Tuesday, May 20, 8PM @ the Bell House, FREE! Secret Science Club presents “It’s a Jungle in There” with Microbiologist & Author Martin Blaser

Say hello to your little friends—all 100 trillion of them. Microbiologist Martin Blaser explores the human microbiome (the 1,000 or so microbial species that inhabit our noses, mouths, guts, and skin); the health benefits conferred by our inner ecosystem; the dangers of overusing antibiotics; how obesity, asthma, diabetes, and even mood swings may be linked to changes in our microbiota; and—yes!—fecal transplants. 

Director of NYU’s Human Microbiome Program and Muriel G. and George W. Singer Professor of Translational Medicine at the NYU School of Medicine, Dr. Blaser is the author of Missing Microbes: How the Overuse of Antibiotics Is Fueling Our Modern Plagues. He has recently been a featured scientist on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, CNN, and NPR, and in the New Yorker and New York Times.

Before & After 
--Try our bugged-out cocktail of the night, the Super Organism 
--Wiggle to grooves that wriggle 
--Stick around for the scintillating Q&A 
--Snag a signed copy of Dr. Blaser’s spanking-new book, Missing Microbes: How the Overuse of Antibiotics Is Fueling Our Modern Plagues 

This multicellular edition of the Secret Science Club meets Tuesday, May 20, 8 pm @ the Bell House, 149 7th St. (between 2nd and 3rd avenues) in Gowanus, Brooklyn. Subway: F or G to 4th Ave. 

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

April 14, 2014

Tuesday, April 22, 8PM @ the Bell House, FREE! Secret Science Club presents Psychologist & Author Steven Pinker on the Better Angels of Our Nature

Have humans become less violent? The news—war, crime, terrorism—seems to contradict that notion. But experimental psychologist Steven Pinker crunches the empirical data and concludes we live in the most peaceful era in the existence of our species. Believe it or not, rates of violence are down. Combining science and history, Dr. Pinker explores the psychological and social forces that tend humans toward violence—or nonviolence. And he examines how our aggressive impulses are counterbalanced by our “better angels” (e.g. empathy, self-control, and the ability to reason). 

Harvard College Professor and Johnstone Family Professor of Psychology at Harvard University, Steven Pinker conducts scientific research on language and cognition. His popular and critically acclaimed books include The Language Instinct, How the Mind Works, The Blank Slate, The Stuff of Thought, and most recently The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined. He writes frequently for the New York Times, Edge, Slate, and the New Republic. Take his pop quiz!

Before & After
--Try the Earth Angel, our flighty cocktail of the night!
--Groove to super cerebral tunes
--Stick around for the thought-provoking Q&A
--Snag a signed copy of Steven Pinker's latest book, The Better Angels of our Nature!  

This edition of the Secret Science Club meets Tuesday, April 22, 8 pm @ the Bell House, 149 7th St. (between 2nd and 3rd avenues) in Gowanus, Brooklyn. Subway: F or G to 4th Ave. Doors open at 7:30 pm. Please bring ID: 21+. No cover.

Note: Early arrival to this event is advised. Capacity is limited and entry is first-come, first-served.

April 7, 2014


Congratulations to all the winners and oddly wonderful contestants at our 2014 Carnivorous Nights Taxidermy Contest!  And a ferocious thanks to our judges Robert Marbury, Joanna Ebenstein, and Tony Rodgers; our volunteers; the owners and staff of the Bell House; and everyone who came out to support. The night was immortalized by the Village Voice in a slideshow. How beastly!

2014's Grand Master of Carnivorous Nights Taxidermy: Takeshi Yamada
First prize—Grand master, Takeshi Yamada, fearsome multiheaded monster, eek!

Second Prize—Kelly Owen, jeweled jackalope and rat dolls

Third Prize—Shasta Donegan, taxidermy opossum

Best in Bones Award—Tanis Meyer Thornton, “Resurrection of the Lamb"

Terribly Interesting Award—Mike Zohn, blue whale penis

Kick Ass Award—Daisy Tainton, cat monster battling beetle on horseback

Belle of the Ball Award—Mark Splatter, wet specimen titled “El Topo”

First in Panache Award—Richard Sauntomauro, ring-tailed lemur

You've got Chutzpah Award—Elizabeth Cohen, “Nicademus the Evil Jackalope”

Urban Outdoorsman Award—Steven Rinella, "The Remains of the Hunt" (skulls and rug of invasive Himalayan tahr)

Nate Hill Jumped the Shark Award--Joshua Goldstein and his squirrel Reginald

Judge’s Payback Award—Wilder Duncan, Dancing lambs”

March 12, 2014

Calling All Creatures . . . The Secret Science Club presents the "Carnivorous Nights Taxidermy Contest," Sunday, April 6, 7:30 PM @ the Bell House, $12

The Secret Science Club presents the 7th (sorta-, kinda-, not-exactly-annual) "Carnivorous Nights TAXIDERMY CONTEST" @ the Bell House, Sunday, April 6, 7:30 pm. $12 advance, $15 at the door

Calling all science geeks, nature freaks, and rogue geniuses! Your stuffed squirrel got game? Got a beaver in your brownstone? Bring your beloved beast to the Bell House and enter it to win. 

Show off your moose head, python skeleton, rabbit relics, and other amazing specimens. Share your taxidermy (and its tale) with the world. Compete for prizes and glory! 

Eligible to enter: taxidermy (bought, found, homemade), biological specimens, articulated skeletons and skulls, jarred specimens--and beyond (way beyond). 

Entrants: Contact secretscienceclub@gmail.com to register. 

Spectators: Don't miss a beastly second of this wild night. . . 

Tickets: Advance tickets are available for purchase here

Hosted by: Dorian Devins & Margaret Mittelbach of the Secret Science Club 

Judging by: Robert Marbury of the Minnesota Association of Rogue Taxidermy, Tony Rodgers of the Metropolitan Museum of Art & Joanna Ebenstein of the Morbid Anatomy Library and Museum 

Kicked Off by: Our patron beast,the illustrious Rump Ape, wrangled by first-ever Carnivorous Nights grand master Andrew Templar 

--Groove to ferocious tunes 
--Imbibe savage specialty drinks 
--Get lucky and take away furry-and-fanged door prizes

This special edition of the Secret Science Club meets Sunday, April 6 at 7:30 pm @ the Bell House, 149 7th St. (between 2nd and 3rd avenues) in Gowanus. Subway: F or G to 4th Ave; R to 9th St. Doors open at 7 pm. Please bring ID: 21+ . $12 adv, $15 door.

March 6, 2014

Tuesday, March 11, 8PM @ the Bell House, FREE! Secret Science Club presents Cognitive Scientist and Author Paul Bloom on the Origins of Good and Evil

Are we blank slates at birth when it comes to right and wrong, or is there some innate system of guidance baked into our very beings? Can we instinctively separate heroes from villains? Do we have a tendency toward compassion? How about hard-wiring for revenge? Developmental psychologist Paul Bloom demonstrates that human beings are born with a moral compassit's just not perfectly calibrated. 

In his latest book, Just Babies: The Origins of Good and Evil, Dr. Bloom examines the morality of infants, chimps, and psychopaths, drawing on insights from psychology, behavioral economics, and evolutionary biology (as well as observations from Darwin and Louis C.K.) 

Professor of psychology and cognitive science at Yale, Paul Bloom researches how children and adults understand the physical and social world, with a special focus on morality, religion, fiction, and art. The author of over 100 scientific papers and numerous books, Dr. Bloom writes for the New Yorker, New York Times, Atlantic, and Slate

Before & After
--Try our morally compromised cocktail of the night, the "Right Amount of Wrong" 
--Sway to seemingly altruistic grooves 
--Stick around for the uninhibited Q&A
--Snag a signed copy of Paul Bloom's wickedly good new book!

This edition of the Secret Science Club meets Tuesday, March 11, 8 pm @ the Bell House149 7th St. (between 2nd and 3rd avenues) in Gowanus, Brooklyn. Subway: F or G to 4th Ave; R to 4th Ave/9th St.

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

February 9, 2014

Wednesday, February 12, 8PM @ the Bell House, FREE! Secret Science Club presents Primatologist and Conservation Biologist Mary Blair

Homo sapiens may be a lonely genus. But just a short climb up the taxonomic ladder, we have plenty of relatives. Worldwide, there are more than 600 species of apes, monkeys, lemurs, and other primates, with most species living in tropical forests. Primatologist Mary Blair explores jungles from Central America to Vietnam to survey rare and endangered primates in their wild homes—and to work for their preservation and survival.

The assistant director for research and strategic planning at the American Museum of Natural History’s Center for Biodiversity and Conservation, Mary Blair conducts lab- and field-based research on the evolutionary biology of primates and how changes in habitat and human activities affect their populations. On her most recent expedition, she wrote about prowling Vietnamese forests at night in search of slow lorises and waking to the the eerily flutelike calls of gibbons for the New York Times’ “Scientist at Work” column. Dr. Blair teaches at Columbia University and the Richard Gilder Graduate School, and is a recent recipient of a fellowship from the National Science Foundation to study wildlife trade and illegal trafficking. 

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

This wild edition of the Secret Science Club meets Wednesday, February 12, 8 pm @ the Bell House149 7th St. (between 2nd and 3rd avenues) in Gowanus, Brooklyn. Subway: F or G to 4th Ave; R to 4th Ave/9th St.

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

Photo Credits: Mary Blair, by Khuong Thang; Pygmy Slow Loris, Courtesy of David Haring/Duke Lemur Center

February 3, 2014

Blast Off to Planet Earth! Thursday, February 13, Secret Science Club collides with the Crossroads Project @ Symphony Space

Pick up your fervent brain and your wild beating heart . . . Secret Science Club is stepping out for a night of pre-Valentine's revelry and illumination! 

Join us as we head uptown for a one-night-only special event . . . 

Thursday, February 13, 7:30PM, $20 
Physicist Robert Davies and the acclaimed Fry Street Quartet converge at Symphony Space for the NYC debut of the Crossroads Project.

"Transformative . . . impassioned .... a powerful collaboration . . ." 
Fusing art, science, and new music, Dr. Davies and crew take a profound look at the state of the planet in what can only be described as an intensely immersive experience. Davies' scientific presentation is masterfully merged with the music of composer Laura Kaminsky and projected visual artworks in an ever-evolving, explosive exploration of Earth systems and the human condition. 

Join the Secret Science Club at the pre-party at 7 pm and get your drink on with special guests Gavin Schmidt of NASA and biogeochemist William Schelesinger of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, who will be on hand before and after to interact, along with artists, the composer, and musicians. 

Tickets are just $20 with code SCIENCE at symphonyspace.org or 212.864.5400. PLUS! You get a free Lagunitas micro-brewed beer (IPA, PILS, or Lil Sumpin) with your ticket if you use the code (courtesy of the Bar Thalia)! Be still, my beating heart! SOLD OUT!

WHERE: Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway @ 95th St in Manhattan. Subway: 1, 2, or 3 train to 96th Street. 

WHEN: Pre-party 7 pm, Crossroads Project 7:30 pm, Thursday, February 13 

See you there!

January 8, 2014

Wednesday, January 15, 8PM @ the Bell House, FREE! Secret Science Club presents Physicist Max Tegmark + Our Mathematical Universe

Mind = Blown. Is math a human invention? Or is there something mathematical about nature itself? Max Tegmark doesn't think the universe is just described by math—he proposes the universe IS math. Take a joyride to another dimension with one of the world’s leading theoretical physicists as he explores the multiverse, "quantum weirdness," computer models of the brain, and the probability of life in other galaxies

A professor of physics at MIT, Max Tegmark has authored and co-authored over 200 scientific papers and been a featured scientist on Science Channel’s Through the Wormhole, BBC’s Horizon, and BBC/NOVA’s Parallel Worlds, Parallel Lives. Dr. Tegmark has just completed his first book, Our Mathematical Universe: My Quest for the Ultimate Nature of Reality. Yeah!

Calculated cocktails, exponential grooves, mindblowing Q&A + book signing

This edition of the Secret Science Club meets Wednesday, January 15, 8 pm @ the Bell House149 7th St. (between 2nd and 3rd avenues) in Gowanus, Brooklyn. Subway: F or G to 4th Ave.

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