April 19, 2017

March for Science NYC!



Do you feel like science is under siege? Yeah… just a little bit. Well, this weekend you can let everyone know how you feel. Science supporters are taking it to the streets with a march on Washington and satellite marches planned in 517 cities around the world, including our very own…

Secret Science Club supports the “March for Science NYC
Saturday, April 22, Earth Day, 2017
Rally: 10:30am, Central Park West @ 62nd St
March: 11:30am, Central Park West @ 71st to Broadway @ 51st

We urge everyone to come out!
        --Stand up for science and evidence-based policy!
        --Celebrate inquiry, exploration, and curiosity!
        --Speak up for the importance of critical thinking & science education!

Express yourself with signs, slogans, art, photography, costumes, or just your presence. Whatever you do, bring your smart self. Science on!

All the details on the “March for Science NYC” can be found here.

Info on the Washington march and other satellite marches is here.

The “March for Science NYC” starts at 10:30am, Saturday, 4/22, with a rally at Central Park West and 62nd Street in Manhattan. The march begins at 11:30am with the route heading from Central Park West @ 71st Street down to Columbus Circle and then on to Broadway @ 51st Street.

See you there!

April 6, 2017

Secret Science Club presents Mathematical Physicist Robbert Dijkgraaf, Monday, April 17, 8 PM @ the Bell House, FREE!

Count down the seconds to the next Secret Science Club when we explore “Black Holes & the End of Space and Time” with Physicist Robbert Dijkgraaf!

Einstein’s theory of relativity showed that gravity and the evolution of the cosmos can be understood through the geometry of space and time. But some of the most dramatic predictions of that theory, such as black holes and the Big Bang, challenge that idea. When combined with quantum mechanics, the solution points to a deeper underlying description of reality where space and time are . . . but an illusion.

Did the Big Bang create time? Do space and time switch places inside a black hole?
 
And that’s not all! Robbert Dijkgraaf examines how the strangest, deepest questions about the nature of the Universe sometimes yield the most unexpected and practical solutions to human problems. In a just-reissued reprise of one of the seminal arguments for the importance of basic scientific research, Dr. Dijkgraaf celebrates The Usefulness of Useless Knowledge.

Robbert Dijkgraaf is professor of physics and director of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. His research focuses on string theory and the interface between mathematics and particle physics. The former president of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, he is a recipient of the Spinoza Prize, the highest scientific award in the Netherlands. A popular TV presenter, he starred in the science show Hoe?Zo! and gives frequent public talks.

Before & After
--Get looped (temporally) with our mind-bending cocktail of the night, the Time Collins
--Groove like its 1999 … or 2599 … or 1699! And get lost in space-time with out-of-this-world tunes
--Snag a signed copy of The Usefulness of Useless Knowledge with an introductory essay of epic dimensions by Robbert Dijkgraaf
--Stick around for the celestial Q&A

This timeless edition of the Secret Science Club meets Monday, April 17, 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!

February 15, 2017

Secret Science Club presents Evolutionary Biologist & Tropical Explorer Corrie Moreau
Thursday, March 2, 8PM @ the Bell House, FREE!

Think human society is filled with unusual behavior? Try the empire of the ants. With over 13,000 species, these highly social beasties engage in everything from weaving and warfare to farming and vampirism.

At the next Secret Science Club, evolutionary biologist and myrmecologist Corrie Moreau burrows into the intriguing lives of ants: their evolution, their intense symbiotic relationships with other species, their teeny tiny microbiomes, and their strange social structures and abilities. Dr. Moreau asks: Why do ants have a female-dominated society? Why are the tropics an evolutionary hotbed for ants? How are members of an ant colony like specialized cells in the human body? What are Dracula ants?

Corrie Moreau is an associate curator and professor at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. She studies the evolution and diversity of ant species, ant co-evolution with flowering plants and symbiosis, as well as the microbial species that live on and inside ants. Dr. Moreau has conducted field research in Peru, Ecuador, Borneo, Australia, and Madagascar. She combines her work in the field with molecular methods and next-generation sequencing to probe the ant genome. Her research has been featured in the New York Times, National Geographic News, Smithsonian, and Mental Floss, and on NPR and Brain Scoop.

Before & After
--Try our exploratory cocktail of the night, the Island of Dr. Moreau
--Groove to antennae-tapping tunes
--Stick around for the hive-minded Q&A

This biodiverse edition of the Secret Science Club meets Thursday, March 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!

January 31, 2017

Secret Science Club presents Philosopher, Cognitive Scientist & Author Daniel Dennett, Tuesday, February 7, 8PM @ the Bell House, FREE!

How did we come to have minds and consciousness? For centuries, this question has puzzled and intrigued psychologists, physicists, poets, and philosophers, who have wondered how the human mind developed its ability to create, explain, and imagine.

At the next Secret Science Club, philosopher & cognitive scientist Daniel Dennett explores the evolution of mind. Drawing on his just-released book, From Bacteria to Bach and Back, Dr. Dennett asks: What is consciousness? How did the brain evolve? How are memes “thinking tools”? Did words and language create the modern mind? Is your soul made of tiny robots?

Daniel C. Dennett is professor of philosophy and co-director of the Center for Cognitive Studies at Tufts University. He is the author of over a dozen books including Darwin’s Dangerous Idea and Consciousness Explained, as well as over 400 scholarly articles on aspects of the mind, published in journals ranging from Artificial Intelligence and Behavioral and Brain Sciences to Poetics Today.

Before & After
--Prime your thinking with an Intuition Pump, our cocktail of the night
--Sway to neuro-grooves, and stick around for the Q&A
--Hot off the presses! Snag a signed copy of Daniel Dennett’s wondrous new book, From Bacteria to Bach and Back: The Evolution of Minds.

This brainy edition of the Secret Science Club meets Tuesday, February 7, 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. We're expecting a big crowd, so get there early!

January 4, 2017

Bow-WOW! Tuesday, January 10, 8PM @ the Bell House, FREE! Secret Science Club presents Cognitive Scientist, Dog Researcher & Author Alexandra Horowitz

Ever wonder what it would be like to be inside the mind of a dog? Dog cognition researcher and author Alexandra Horowitz explores how dogs perceive the world through their most spectacular organ—the nose—and how we humans can put our own underused sense of smell to work in surprising ways.

Jumping off from her new book Being a Dog: Following the Dog into a World of Smell and over a decade of canine research, Dr. Horowitz delves into the astonishing load of information dogs acquire from a single sniff of air, the anatomy of a dog’s snout and the human nose, and the ability of tracking dogs to sniff out everything from fire ants to their owners’ declining glucose levels.

Alexandra Horowitz is director of the Dog Cognition Lab at Barnard College. She has written for the New York Times, New Yorker, and Smithsonian, and she has been a featured scientist on NPR and NOVA ScienceNOW. She is the author of the New York Times best-seller Inside of a Dog, On Looking, and most recently Being a Dog.

Before & After
--Try the hair of the dog that bit you! Our cocktail of the night, the Finnegan & Upton, is named for the canine pair that inspires Dr. Horowitz’s research.
--Groove to the sounds of scents
--Stick around for the sweet-smelling Q&A
--Snag a signed copy of Alexandra Horowitz’s new book, Being a Dog

This next tail-wagging edition of the Secret Science Club meets Tuesday, January 10, 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!

January 2, 2017

It’s Secret Science Club's New Year's Pledge Drive! Support Secret Science Club in 2017 . . . and Beyond

RED ALERT! Join our New Year's pledge drive and support Secret Science Club in 2017.

Secret Science Club is serious and passionate about science communication. As we enter the new year, we are as committed as ever to keeping our regular monthly events free and expanding our low-cost, high-quality programming to feed the need for more public science events.

In 2016, Secret Science Club went on an amazing, curiosity-fueled ride through astrophysics, brain science, evolution, undersea worlds, artificial intelligence, the genome, and more. We want 2017 to be even more mind-blowing, awe-inspiring, and science-filled.

To make a donation and support Secret Science Club 2017, visit our secure pledge page. You can snag cool pledge rewards, too (T-shirts, secret SSC swag, and more!). For those of you who don’t want pledge rewards, click here for faster check out.

Secret Science Club is a 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 stand up for science as we head into the future. Thanks for your generous support of SSC's mission. Science for all!

Stay tuned for upcoming Secret Science Club events at the Bell House and Secret Science Club (North) events at Symphony Space.

December 14, 2016

Winter Solstice Edition! Wednesday, December 21, 8PM @ the Bell House, FREE! Secret Science Club presents Astrophysicist Charles Liu

Secret Science Club is ending 2016 with a Big Bang! Blast off into deep space and celebrate science (and the holidays) with all-star astrophysicist Charles Liu.

Before & After 
--Groove to out-of-this-world tunes
--Stick around for the cosmic Q&A
--Try our winter solstice cocktail, the Darkest Night
--Enter our goodbye-to-2016 tin foil hat contest! (Details below.)
Charles Liu is professor of astronomy at City University of New York's CSI, director of the Macaulay Honors College at CSI, and associate at the Hayden Planetarium and American Museum of Natural History. An extragalactic observational astronomer, he researches colliding galaxies, starburst galaxies, and the history of the universe. He is the newly elected Education Officer for the American Astronomical Society (huzzah!) and a StarTalk Radio All Star.

PLUS! Tin Foil Hat Contest! In an allegedly post-fact world filled with fake news and conspiracies, how can you best protect yourself? With a tin foil hat, of course! But not one that's drab and dull ... no! You're planning on donning the most stylish psycho-protective gear in town. That's why Secret Science Club is challenging you to make a tin foil hat that protects your mind from thought incursion AND looks great! Bring your head-turning headpiece to SSC at the Bell House on Wednesday, December 21 OR post your picture on Twitter with the hashtag #TinFoilHat2016 by midnight on Tuesday, December 20. (No Twitter? No prob. Send your best pic to secretscienceclub@gmail.com) Prizes for the most awesome tin foil hats in live and cyberspace categories!

The Winter Solstice edition of the Secret Science Club featuring astrophysicist Charles Liu meets Wednesday, December 21, 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!
 
COMING UP IN 2017!
**January 10: Canine Cognition Researcher & Author Alexandra Horowitz on “Being a Dog”
**February 7: Philosopher, Cognitive Scientist & Author Daniel Dennett on “The Evolution of Minds”
 

November 16, 2016

Monday, November 21, 8PM @ the Bell House, Secret Science Club presents Evolutionary Biologist Rafael Maia, FREE!

Tinder for the birds? Take flight at the next Secret Science Club with evolutionary biologist Rafael Maia, as he discusses the crazy (really crazy) mating behaviors of birds and how they are the products of evolutionary adaptation. He explores color, song, courtship displays, and weird body morphology, and connects it all to his own research on iridescence, the shimmering rainbow-like colors seen in soap bubbles, oil slicks and, yes, bird feathers

Rafael Maia works on “solving evolution’s mysteries, one feather at a time …” His research combines biology, physics, and materials science to understand the evolution and diversification of ornamental traits evolving under sexual and social selection. Dr. Maia is the Simons Foundation Junior Fellow in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology at Columbia University.

Before & After
--Raise a glass for science with our cocktail of the night, the Birds of a Feather
--Shimmy to tunes that shimmer and soar
--Stick around for the lofty Q&A

This in-flight edition of the Secret Science Club meets Monday, November 21, 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. Just bring your smart self!

November 15, 2016

SOLD OUT! Secret Science Club (North) presents The Selfish Gene & Beyond with Richard Dawkins, Tuesday, November 15, 8pm @ Symphony Space,

SOLD OUT! Join evolutionary biologist and best-selling author Richard Dawkins to commemorate the 40th anniversary of The Selfish Gene. In this classic work, Richard Dawkins gives a gene's-eye view of evolution that is both imaginative and powerful.
 
Are our bodies merely vehicles for ensuring the immortality of our genes? How can selfish genes support kindness and altruism? Why does our understanding of the evolution of life matter? 

The anniversary celebration continues and expands as Richard Dawkins discusses a lifetime of thinking and writing about science, and we commemorate the 30th anniversary of the publication of The Blind Watchmaker, the 20th anniversary of Climbing Mount Improbable, and the 10th anniversary of The God Delusion.

As our knowledge of the genome grows by leaps and bounds in the 21st century, Richard Dawkins continues to change and challenge our view of Earth's life-forms and our own human experience.

Before & After
--Raise your glass! Visit our Mixology Lab, and sample a "Gene Fizz" 
--Snag a signed copy of a special anniversary edition of Richard Dawkins' The Selfish Gene; and don't miss the Q&A!

Richard Dawkins is emeritus fellow of New College, Oxford, and was the University of Oxford's inaugural Charles Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science (1995-2008). He is a fellow of the Royal Society and best-selling author of such acclaimed works as The Selfish Gene, The Extended Phenotype, The Blind Watchmaker, The God Delusion, Unweaving the Rainbow, The Ancestor's Tale, The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution, The Magic of Reality, An Appetite for Wonder, and Brief Candle in the Dark: My Life in Science.

This special edition of Secret Science Club North meets @ Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway @ 95th St in Manhattan. Subway: 1, 2, or 3 to 96th Street. Doors for both events open at 7:30pm.

November 3, 2016

It's Official!

The ballots have all been cast… the votes are in… it’s really and truly official. Secret Science Club has been chosen as NYC’s “Best Nerd Hang.” Thanks for voting for science, New York, and thanks to our good friends at the Village Voice for making Secret Science Club part of the Best of NYC® 2016.

October 20, 2016

Tuesday, October 25, 8PM @ the Bell House, Secret Science Club presents Social Neuroscientist Jon Freeman, FREE!

Snap judgments? Hey, we all make them about each other. The truth is when we see new faces, we categorize them in milliseconds. Our brains can have a person boxed and labeled before we’re even aware. Are they guilty or not guilty? Would they get your vote? Do you fear or trust them? Are they angry? Happy?

So what’s going on in our brains while these split-second, unconscious stereotypes and evaluations are being processed? Social and experimental psychologist Jon Freeman is looking to find out. He asks:
-- What are the neural and perceptual mechanisms underlying stereotypes?
-- Why are facial cues so important?
-- Can our unconscious first impressions actually morph the way we “see,” or perceive, someone?
-- What are the consequences of our unconscious initial judgments?

Director of the Social Cognitive & Neural Sciences Lab and assistant professor of psychology at NYU, Jon Freeman uses brain imaging, behavioral techniques, and computational modeling to study the mechanisms underlying how we see and understand other people, including social categories and group membership, personality traits, and emotion. Recently, he was named to Forbes'30 Under 30 in Science” and was a featured scientist on Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman. He is the author of over 60 scientific papers and the developer of the data collection and analysis software, MouseTracker. 

Before & After
--Get "BRAAAAAINS," our wet-wired, zombie-stereotyping cocktail of the night
--Submit to our dopamine-spiked neuro-grooves
--Stick around for the thought-provoking Q&A

This edition of the Secret Science Club meets Tuesday, October 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. 

September 29, 2016

Mon, Oct 10, 8PM, Secret Science Club (North) presents Linguist and Author John McWhorter with "Words on the Move" @ Symphony Space

SPECIAL EVENT! Secret Science Club (North) presents Linguist & Author John McWhorter with Words on the Move, Monday, October 10, 8PM @ Symphony Space, $25. (Use code SECRET15 to get $15 tickets.)

Are you LITERALLY driven mad by imprecise word usage? Are you flustrated by neologisms, or are you language fluid?
Do you cringe at mispronunciations, or are they like LOL chill? Are emojis words? 

Think the friction between red states and blue states is rough? Try checking out the culture wars over "proper English." Linguist and master observer of American culture, John McWhorter examines and parses our shape-shifting language in this special talk coinciding with the release of his new book Words on the Move---and explores why some of the tensions over Lingua Americana may be central to our identities and views about culture and race in America.  

Before & After
--Try our cocktails of the night, the "Old-fashioned Grammarian" and the "YAAASSSSS!"
--Take our language quiz for a chance to win pithy prizes
--Sway to wordplay-inspired tunes
--Stick around for the Q&A, and snag a signed copy of John McWhorter's new book, Words on the Move

John McWhorter is a linguist and professor at Columbia University. He writes for Time, The Wall Street Journal, The Root, Politico, The New Republic, and The Atlantic, and he is a frequent guest on NPR, CNN, and MSNBC. His popular and critically acclaimed books include The Power of Babel, Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue, What Language Is, and most recently, Words on the Move: Why English Won't---and Can't---Sit Still (Like, Literally).

Get $15 tickets for John McWhorter 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 loquacious edition of Secret Science Club (North) meets Monday, October 10, 8PMSymphony 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.

Photo Credit: Eileen Barrosa--Columbia University (John McWhorter)

September 13, 2016

Tuesday, September 20, 8PM @ the Bell House, Secret Science Club presents Deep-Sea Biologist Mercer Brugler, FREE!

Take the plunge! Just returned from exploring undersea canyons and corals with the deep-diving Alvin research submarine, marine biologist Mercer Brugler shares secrets of the seafloor at the next Secret Science Club.

Cruise with Dr. Brugler as he explores the unusual and beautiful life-forms that thrive on the ocean floor. Dive to ocean depths where no light penetrates and chemicals bubbling from cold seeps fuel strange ecosystems and undersea microbes convert methane into food via chemosynthesis.

An evolutionary biologist specializing in the deep sea, black corals, and anemones, Mercer Brugler is assistant professor at City Tech-CUNY and research associate at the American Museum of Natural History. In addition to two deep dives in the storied Alvin, he has participated on several missions with deep-diving remote-operated research vehicles. He is one of the only people on Earth to have visited Bear Seamount, a 100-million-year-old extinct undersea volcano. Dive!

Before & After
--Quench your thirst with our grog of the night, the Strange Blue World. Drink up, me hearties!
--Groove to deep-sea shanties
--Stick around for the waves of Q&A

The next submersive edition of the Secret Science Club meets Tuesday, September 20 at 8 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 7:30 pm. Please bring ID: 21+. No cover.

August 30, 2016

Secret Science Club (North) presents Linguist John McWhorter & Evolutionary Biologist Richard Dawkins, Fall 2016 at Symphony Space!

Secret Science Club will be back at the Bell House in Brooklyn with our regular monthly talks starting September 20. Stay tuned for details! Meanwhile, heading into Manhattan...
 
Secret Science Club (North) is teaming up with Symphony Space for two special, ticketed events this fall!

***Secret Science Club (North) presents Words on the Move with Linguist John McWhorter, Monday, October 10, 8PM @ Symphony Space, $25. (Use code SECRET15 to get $15 tickets.)

Think the friction between red states and blue states is rough? Try checking out the culture wars over "proper English." Linguist and master observer of American culture, John McWhorter parses our shape-shifting language in this talk coinciding with the release of his new book Words on the Move---and explores why some of the tensions over Lingua Americana may be central to our identities and views about culture and race in America.  

Before & After: Try our cocktails of the night, the "Old-fashioned Grammarian" and the "YAAASSSSS!"; take our language quiz for a chance to win pithy prizes; sway to wordplay-inspired tunes; stick around for the Q&A; and snag a signed copy of John McWhorter's latest book.

John McWhorter is a linguist and professor at Columbia University. He writes for Time, The Wall Street Journal, The Root, Politico, The New Republic, and The Atlantic, and he is a frequent guest on NPR, CNN, and MSNBC. His popular and critically acclaimed books include The Power of Babel, Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue, What Language Is, and most recently, Words on the Move: Why English Won't---and Can't---Sit Still (Like, Literally).

Get $15 tickets for John McWhorter 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). 


***Secret Science Club (North) presents The Selfish Gene with Richard Dawkins, Tuesday, November 15, 8pm @ Symphony Space, $25. ($15 with code SECRET15)

Join evolutionary biologist and best-selling author Richard Dawkins to commemorate the 40th anniversary of The Selfish Gene. In this classic work, Richard Dawkins gives a gene's-eye view of evolution that is imaginative, powerful, and stylistically brilliant.

Are our bodies merely vehicles for ensuring the immortality of our genes? How can selfish genes support kindness and altruism? Why does our understanding of the evolution of life matter? As our knowledge of the genome grows by leaps and bounds in the 21st century, Richard Dawkins continues to change and challenge our view of Earth's life-forms and our own human experience.

Before & After: Visit our Mixology Lab, and sample a "Gene Fizz"; sway to natural selections and (r)evolutionary sounds; snag a signed copy of the special anniversary edition of Richard Dawkins' The Selfish Gene; and don't miss the Q&A!

Richard Dawkins is emeritus fellow of New College, Oxford, and was the University of Oxford's inaugural Charles Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science (1995-2008). He is a fellow of the Royal Society and best-selling author of such acclaimed works as The Selfish Gene, The Extended Phenotype, The Blind Watchmaker, The God Delusion, Unweaving the Rainbow, The Ancestor's Tale, The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution, The Magic of Reality, An Appetite for Wonder, and Brief Candle in the Dark: My Life in Science.

Get $15 tickets for Richard Dawkins 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). 

Secret Science Club North 
meets @ Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway @ 95th St in Manhattan. Subway: 1, 2, or 3 to 96th Street. Doors for both events open at 7:30pm.

For more information about the Secret Science Club, contact secretscienceclub@gmail.com

Or visit us on the Web at http://secretscienceclub.blogspot.com 

Photo Credit: Eileen Barrosa--Columbia University (John McWhorter)