Capital Science Evenings

Capital Science Evenings are free and open to the public and last approximately one hour. No tickets are required but registration is recommended. Seating is on a first-come, first served basis. All programs are held at the Carnegie Institution, 1530 P Street, NW.

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  • Complete our online registration form to subscribe to our email list and to receive our lecture series brochure.
  • Check our YouTube channel for live streaming of upcoming lectures. You can also find recordings of many past lectures on the youtube channel and on iTunes U
  • Live streaming video is available for selected lectures (check for links below)
  • For more information, please call us 202.328.6988 or email us at capitalscienceinfo@carnegiescience.edu .
  • Send us an email to request a sign interpreter (two weeks notice required)

The 2014-2015 Capital Science Evening program is being finalized. Other dates and lectures will soon be posted on this page and the lecture brochure will be available later this summer.

  • Thu, 10/16/2014 - 6:45pm
    Dr. Matthew P. Scott,
    President, Carnegie Institution for Science

    Why do we look like our parents? We inherit particular versions of genes that shape our growth. For a long time these genes were unknown and it was suspected that each class of animals would have distinct “designer genes.” Explosive progress has identified hundreds of genes that work together to shape animal growth, sculpting their tissues and organs, even the instincts embedded in brains. Surprisingly, scientists have found that many designer genes have been highly conserved during evolution. Some genes play similar roles, like controlling heart or eye development, in diverse animals. Different animals use related genes for related purposes because their common ancestors did. Damage to the designer genes can lead to birth defects, cancer, and neurodegeneration, so exploring how body-shaping genes function leads to new types of medical diagnosis and treatment.

     

    Please register to attend this event (free): https://capitalscience101614.eventbrite.com
     

  • Thu, 11/06/2014 - 6:45pm
    Dr. Alan H Guth,
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept of Physics

    Inflationary cosmology gives a very plausible explanation for many features of our universe, including its uniformity, its mass density, and the patterns of the ripples that are observed in the cosmic microwave background. Most versions of inflation, however, imply that our universe is not unique, but is part of a possibly infinite multiverse. Winner of the 2014 Kavli Prize in astrophysics, Dr. Guth was honored for pioneering the theory of cosmic inflation.

     

    Please register to attend this event (free): https://capitalscience110614.eventbrite.com

     

    Co-hosted by the Carnegie Institution for Science with the Royal Embassy of Norway, the Norwegian Academy of Science, and the Kavli Foundation.
     

  • Wed, 02/11/2015 - 6:45pm
    Dr. Douglas Koshland,,
    University of California Berkeley, Department of Molecular & Cell Biology

    Remarkable organisms exemplify extremes in the spectrum of life, like transparent embryos that allow visualization of the first heartbeat, or plants, animals and fungi that can survive for years in the absence of water. How and why have the studies of these extreme "weirdos" been critical to almost every advance in basic biological and biomedical research? Dr. Koshland will discuss these "believe-it -or-not" organisms and their contributions to science – past, present, and future.

     

    Please register to attend this event (free): https://capitalscience021115.eventbrite.com
     

  • Wed, 03/04/2015 - 6:45pm
    Mr. Marc Kaufman,
    The Washington Post

    The Curiosity Mission is exploring Mars in a whole new way, with discoveries that are providing a more vivid picture of current and ancient Mars. The rover's search for habitable environments, for organic material, and for proof of once-flowing water has been remarkably successful. Next up is a climb of portions of three-mile high Mount Sharp, in order to read the eons-old mineral record. NASA's Pamela Conrad will focus on habitability—what conditions must be met to declare that an area had the capacity to support life. Marc Kaufman, author of "Mars Up Close: Inside the Curiosity Mission" will provide a mission overview. Carnegie's Andrew Steele will discuss the effort to identify organic material—the building blocks of life— in the desiccated and irradiated Gale Crater. The group will discuss new discoveries.

     

    Dr. Pamela Conrad, Planetary Environments Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

    Pamela Conrad is an astrobiologist and mineralogist. She has worked for the past several years on the development of approaches and measurements for assessment of habitability in planetary surface environments and the development of non-invasive optical methods for the in situ chemical and mineralogical surface assessment of potential rock sample targets. Her planetary science interests include the comparative early evolution of Earth and Mars and the measurement of habitability potential on rocky bodies in the solar system. 

     

    Dr Andrew SteeleDr. Andrew Steele, Carnegie Institution for Science, Geophysical Laboratory

    Andrew Steele uses traditional and biotechnological approaches for the detection of microbial life in astrobiology and solar system exploration. A microbiologist by training and Astrobiologist by choice, his principal interest is in developing protocols, instrumentation and procedures for life detection in samples from the early Earth and elsewhere in the Solar System

     

    Please click here to register to attend this event (free)

  • Thu, 04/30/2015 - 6:45pm
    Dr. Alison Gopnik,
    University of California Berkeley, Department of Psychology

    Humans have a longer childhood than any other animal—our children are more vulnerable and dependent than other species’ infants. Why is this so? In the last thirty years there has been a revolution in our scientific understanding of infants and young children. Dr. Gopnik will show that even the youngest babies have learning abilities that are more powerful than those of the smartest scientists and most advanced computers.

     

    Please register to attend this event (free): https://capitalscience043015.eventbrite.com