10 Upcoming Boston Events That Will Make You Smarter

With so many brilliant minds in its vicinity, Bostonians have an amazingly unique opportunity to learn via lectures, workshops, events, etc. It’s definitely one of the best perks our city offers!


Since there are seemingly endless opportunities to learn, here is a narrowed down list of events in the month of December that will make you smarter:

A Revolution in Color: The World of John Singleton Copley

A short talk about artist John Singleton Copley given by author and Harvard history professor Jane Kamensky. Copley, who was likely born in Boston, gained early fame for his portraits of founding fathers like John Hancock and John Adams. But it wasn’t until Copley abandoned the colonists and returned to London to paint masterpieces like longtime Museum of Fine Arts favorite Watson and the Shark that his career reached its apex.

Understanding the Refugee Crisis

According to reports from the UN, the world is experiencing one of the worst refugee crises and mass displacements of people since World War II, with 65.3 million people impacted. TripAdvisor brought together a panel of experts to discuss what can be done stateside, especially in the face of the recent presidential election.

  • Today, Tuesday, December 6 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.; free; all ages
The Cast of America’s Test Kitchen Presents Cook’s Science

Jack Bishop, Julia Collin Davison, Bridget Lancaster, Lisa McManus, and Adam Ried will discuss America’s Test Kitchen’s latest cookbooks, including the new title Cook’s Science: How to Unlock Flavor in 50 of our Favorite Ingredients. They will also offer up treats for audiences to try during the presentation, so don’t miss it!

  • Today, Tuesday, December 6 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Brattle Theatre; $5 admission, $39 for book and admission; all ages
The Art of Rivalry

Red Sox and Yankees. Hatfield and McCoy. Picasso and… Matisse? Sebastian Smee, the Pulitzer Prize-winning art critic for The Boston Globe, will talk about his new book, The Art of Rivalry, which chronicles four pairs of friendly rivalries that transformed the modern art world.

  • Today, Tuesday, December 6 from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.; Wellesley Books; free; all ages
Radio Contact

From Orson Welles to Howard Stern, radio has been an integral part of American culture for more than 100 years. Showcasing radio equipment from the Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments, the exhibition examines the evolving technology and cultures of listening, tinkering, and broadcasting, as well as information about how everything from amateur ham radio enthusiasts to FDR’s fireside chats affected the medium.

#Misogynoir, #SolidarityIsForWhiteWomen, and other forms of Black Digital Feminisms

Twitter and other digital technologies have been praised for their democratizing and organizational powers, they also face criticism for allowing hate speech and the reinforcement of hegemonic power structures. Kishonna Gray, MIT’s MLK Visiting Scholar in Women & Gender Studies, will explore these issues from the perspective of women of color, as well as the future of such online communities.

Understanding Human Variation

Everybody is different. But Maryellen Ruvolo, a professor of Human Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University, would point out that we’re less different than we think. Ruvolo examines how new genetics research contrasts sharply with beliefs held in the previous century.

MIT Museum Trivia Night

Still think learning can’t be fun? the MIT Museum will prove you wrong with a science-themed trivia night. Each round of trivia will have a specific scientific theme, like astronomy, followed by a short talk from a scientist in that field of study briefly talking about their research. There’s also a cash bar!

  • Thursday, December 8 at 7 p.m.; MIT Museum; free; all ages
Computer Science Education Weekend at Museum of Science

To honor the anniversary of pioneering female computer scientist Admiral Grace Murray Hopper’s birth, the Museum of Science is hosting a series of educational hands-on activities in subjects like circuitry, programming, and robotics.

  • Saturday, December 10 and Sunday, December 11 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Museum of Science, Boston; $25 GA, $21 for seniors 60 and up, $20 for kids ages 3-11
Muslims in America Since 1619

Considering that Muslims have been in America for nearly 400 years, its crazy to think of the anti-Muslim rhetoric that has recently surged nationally. Community Muslim Chaplain and retired U.S. Army Reserves Lieutenant Colonel Shareda Hosein will discuss the history of free and enslaved Muslims who have served in U.S. wars, as well as connections between the founding fathers and global Muslims.

  • Tuesday, December 13 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.; Boston Athenaeum; $30 GA, $15 Athenaeum members; all ages
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