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!