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Boston Skeptics in the Theater & Pub | Bill Nye: Science... Come join the Boston Skeptics at the Brattle Theatre on December 3, where we’ll be attending a screening of a new film about Bill Nye, aptly named “Bill Nye: Science Guy.” We’ll go somewhere nearby...

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October 2017 Organizational Meeting Updates Thanks again to everyone who attended our October 2017 organizational meeting. There were a few items we had drafted and captured more ideas around that we would love to open up for comment and feedback...

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SitP: Heina Dadabhoy from Islam to Atheism. [caption id="attachment_2139" align="alignright" width="239"] A ninja warrior welcomes guests to Convergence/Skepchickcon[/caption]Boston Skeptics welcomes our January guest speaker, atheist feminist secular...

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Book Club: The Emperor of All Maladies by Siddhartha... [caption id="attachment_2131" align="alignright" width="197"] The Emperor of All Maladies[/caption]This month's book is The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee, an oncologist...

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Brilliant Idea: The 10-Minute Lecture

Posted on : 20-11-2008 | By : Rebecca | In : Event

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As mentioned, last night I (and frequent Skepchick commenter Expatria) attended Nature Network’s pub event, which featured two guest scientists delivering 10-minute talks about what they’d do with limitless research funding. The first was Antoine van Oijen, who talked about the possibilities of studying a single molecule. His apt metaphor: if aliens visited Earth and collectively reported on the characteristics of humans, they’d conclude that each has one testicle and one ovary. He dreams of having the resources to color-tag a single molecule as it moves across a strand of DNA, watching as it encounters another molecule. To a layperson like myself, it sounded pretty neat, and van Oijen was very charismatic and accessible. Hearing the technical questions that came from the audience of scientists, though, I suspect I’m missing quite a lot. Homework!

The other scientist to speak was Andreas Mershin from the Center for Biomedical Engineering at MIT. I found him to be even more accessible, mostly because of the fact that his research has such clear practical applications in the real world. He’s working on developing bioelectronic photovoltaic applications, which I believe is a fancy way of saying that he’s trying to find a way to harness solar energy using plants. This is, in a word, rad. In multiple words, it is rad as all hell. Allow me to explain further.