October 20, 2014

Saturday, October 25, 8PM, Secret Science Club beams up to MASS MoCA for a special screening of Particle Fever with Physicist Chad Orzel

Secret Science Club is zooming up to MASS MoCA for a special screening of Particle Fever on Saturday, October 25 @ 8pm. 

This "dazzling, dizzying" and "smashingly cool" documentary follows six high-energy physicists as they seek to unlock the mysteries of the universe and recreate conditions that existed just moments after the Big Bang. 

Secret Science Club is taking over MASS MoCA's Club B-10, where rocket-fueled cocktails will be poured and out-of-this-world tunes played. Physicist Chad Orzel (who blogs at Uncertain Principles) will be in the house to answer all your questions before and after the screening. Doors open at 7pm! 

This smashing edition of the Secret Science Club meets Saturday, October 25, 8PM at MASS MoCA in North Adams, Massachusetts. Get details, directions, and ticket info here.

October 3, 2014

Secret Science Club (North) presents Invertebrate Zoologist Mark Siddall @ Symphony Space, Tuesday, October 14, 8PM

Tuesday, October 14, 8PM, Secret Science Club (North) presents "What Are You Eating?/What's Eating You?" with Invertebrate Zoologist Mark Siddall @ Symphony Space, $25. (Shh... use code SECRET15 to get $15 tickets.)

Mark Siddall has a passion for invertebrates—from worms, leeches and grubs to scorpions and giant squid. An explorer, zoologist, and curator of invertebrates at the American Museum of Natural History, Dr. Siddall wades into Rwandan wetlands and the rainforests of Madagascar in quest of new and fascinating species. He studies them, but he also sometimes… eats them. 

In this gourmet talk, Dr. Siddall turns the food chain upside-down and inside-out and asks: What are you eating/what’s eating you? What invertebrates are incredible AND edible? Bring your appetite for science!

Before & After 
--Wiggle to grooves that wriggle 
--Sample our invertebrate munchies 
--Try the jiggly cocktail of the night, the Spineless Wonder 
--Stick around for the bugged-out Q&A

Snag tickets for $15 here with code SECRET15, by phone at 212.864.5400 or in person at the Symphony Space box office. 

Mark Siddall has been a featured scientist in the New York TimesDiscover, New Yorker, boingboing, and on PBS’s NOVA ScienceNOW and StarTalk Radio. He is the author of Poison: Sinister Species with Deadly Consequences, and president-elect of the American Society of Parasitologists. An expeditionary gastronomist and purveyor of peripatetic parasites, he tweets @theleechguy

Secret Science Club (North) meets Tuesday, October 14, 8pm @ Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway @ 95th St in ManhattanSubway: 1, 2, or 3 to 96th Street. This is an all-ages event!

Next up . . . Tuesday, October 28, Secret Science Club @ the Bell House with Climatologist & Author Adam Sobel

September 15, 2014

SOLD OUT! Secret Science Club (North) presents Astrophysicist Priyamvada Natarajan @ Symphony Space, Tuesday, September 30, 8PM

Kick it into warp drive! Secret Science Club is blasting off into its ninth year with a special series of lectures & happenings @ Manhattan's Symphony Space. First up... we're heading outway out!

Tuesday, September 30, Secret Science Club (North) presents "Dark Discoveries, Constantly Cosmic" with Astrophysicist Priyamvada Natarajan @ Symphony Space, $25. 

Rocket into deep space with astrophysicist Priyamvada Natarajan as she explores dark matter and dark energy! Making up 95 percent of the known Cosmos, the Dark Duo are maddeningly invisibleyet they shape the very structure of the Universe and drive its expansion.  

Professor of Astronomy and Physics at Yale University, Dr. Natarajan presents an out-of-this-world talk on cosmology, black holes, and the Dark Duo. She shares how new telescopes, space missions, and experiments are giving scientists unprecedented views and clues, allowing us to peer into the earliest growing pains of the Universe. Don't miss a nanosecond of this cosmic talk!

Before & After 
--Imbibe the starry-eyed cocktail of the night, the "Cosmic Ray"
--Lift off with intergalactic grooves
--Enter our quantum quiz contest!

Snag tickets for $15 here with code SECRET15, by phone at 212.864.5400, or in person at the box office. 

Secret Science Club (North) meets Tuesday, September 30, 8pm @ Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway @ 95th St in ManhattanSubway: 1, 2, or 3 to 96th Street. This is an all-ages event!

Next up . . . Tuesday, October 14, Secret Science Club (North) @ Symphony Space with Zoologist Mark Siddall

September 2, 2014

Thursday, September 11, 8PM @ the Bell House, FREE! Secret Science Club presents Rob Fergus on Computer Vision and Artificial Intelligence

Can computers see like humans? At NYU and Facebook, Rob Fergus is eyeing the possibilities.

Seeing ain’t easy. About one-third of your brain is devoted to vision. And that complexity makes vision one of the thorniest problems in artificial intelligence. Computer scientist Rob Fergus and his colleagues aim to mimic or even surpass the capabilities of the human brain. But getting a computer to correctly identify a visual object (a cat, for instance) was nearly impossible until recently.

A technique called deep learning has radically improved the ability of devices to recognize images and interpret speech. Deep learning uses computerized neural networks to process information, and their performance at visual recognition is rapidly approaching that of humans.

Where is machine vision taking us? The Secret Science Club is ready to leap into the future. Dr. Fergus asks: What if you could tell your computer to use its “eyes” to organize your photo collection? Can space telescopes be trained to look for Earth-like planets? Are there medical conditions that can be screened for or diagnosed with machine vision? Could your personal robot valet’s eyes get so good that he never gives you mismatched socks ever again?

Rob Fergus is associate professor of computer science at NYU’s Courant Institute and a research scientist at Facebook’s new Artificial Intelligence lab.

Before & After
--Try our pixelated cocktail of the night, the Machine Dream!
--Do the robot to data-driven grooves
--Stick around for the wet-wired Q&A

This open source edition of the Secret Science Club meets Thursday, September 11, 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! 

PLUS! Check out these three special SSC events coming up at Symphony Space!

August 5, 2014

Tuesday, August 12, 8PM @ the Bell House, FREE! Secret Science Club presents Biochemist and “Poisonologist” Mandë Holford

Dangerous creatures, amazing medicine

Biochemist Mandë Holford, from the City University Graduate Center and the American Museum of Natural History, explores the fine line between deadly poisons and medical cures. Just returned from an expedition to Papua New Guinea in search of new species, Holford snorkels with some of the most venomous creatures on the planet—marine snails with hypodermic-needle-like spikes. When she’s not seeking deadly escargot, Holford is in the lab with her team, analyzing the chemical properties of venom … 

Before & After: What’s your poison? Try the SSC cocktail of the night, the "Venom Cure," and groove to infectious tunes!

This next gastropodal edition of the Secret Science Club meets Tuesday, August 12, 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!

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”