What we’re about
Welcome to Houston Science Enthusiasts! Founded in 2010 (under the original name Houston Super Secret Science Club), our goal is to provide a place for people interested in science to find and gather at the most interesting science-related activities in the Greater Houston region. These include gatherings at the many science-related lectures held at area universities and other educational institutions, visits to museums, outdoors field trips and social mixers at local pubs and restaurants. The idea to make these meet-ups entertaining and interesting to the lay community as well as those from the ranks of professional scientists. Anyone can join -- you don't need a Ph.D., just some curiosity.
You also are invited to join our Facebook group, where we continue the discussion online: https://www.facebook.com/groups/HoustonSuperSecretScienceClub/
NOTE: Due to frequent postings of spam photos in many HSE events, new members require approval from the Organizer. No offense is implied.
Upcoming events (4+)See all
- Online - Technology Review: Show and tell sessionLink visible for attendees
This new Technology Review series will focus on knowledge sharing, customized learning, professional development, networking, open discussions and feedback sessions.
At the end of our first meeting we decided to continue with a Show and Tell Session ! This means we would love to hear you talk about your completed or in progress project that you want to share and receive feedback on. We are wide open in terms of domain subject as long as knowledge sharing is involved.
We'll be using a zoom link provided before the meeting starts.
- Film screening: The Right StuffThe Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Houston, TX
IN-PERSON, PAID EVENT: The Museum of Fine Arts presents a 40th anniversary screening of "The Right Stuff," which tells the story of the early test pilots and the Mercury 7 astronauts.
Introduced by retired astronaut Colonel Terry Virts
"Based on the best-selling book by Tom Wolfe, this Oscar-winning epic is about the race to put the first man on the moon. Four American Air Force test pilots (Scott Glenn, Ed Harris, Dennis Quaid, and Sam Shepard) are chosen as the bravest, the best, and the most daring—the men with “the right stuff.” Terry Virts says this movie inspired him to become an astronaut!
"Terry Virts served as a U.S. Air Force test-fighter pilot and is a NASA veteran of two spaceflights. His seven months in space included piloting the Space Shuttle, commanding the International Space Station and three space walks. While in space he took more than 300,000 photos—more than on any other space mission."
Original film trailer: The Right Stuff - Original Theatrical Trailer - YouTube
The film begins at 5 p.m. in the Brown Auditorium of the Musuem of Fine Arts, Houton, Caroline Weiss Law Building. We'll gather at 4:30 p.m. in the foyer outside the auditorium.
Tickets can be purchased in advance or at the door but buying tickets in advance is strongly encouraged. This should be a sell-out.
Learn more and purchase tickets here: The Right Stuff | The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (mfah.org)
- Determined: A Science of Life without Free WillA Moveable Feast: Café & Health Food Store, Houston, TX
IN-PERSON: Let's meet and talk about the arguments for or against free will based on Robert Sapolsky's latest book. "One of our great behavioral scientists, the bestselling author of Behave, plumbs the depths of the science and philosophy of decision-making to mount a devastating case against free will, an argument with profound consequences." Thank you Bryan for making the suggestion!
Everyone is welcome whether you have read the book or not.
- read a sample from the current book
- view past selections
- view pool of candidates
- add your ideas to the pool of candidates
At this meeting each person can nominate a book to be voted on whether it is from the pool of candidates or not.
We'll be meeting at A Moveable Feast, "the most famous health food store in Texas." There is ample parking in the nearby lot.
Come prepared to discuss the ideas in the book and have a good time.
Looking forward to seeing you there!
More about the current selection:
"Determined offers a marvelous synthesis of what we know about how consciousness works—the tight weave between reason and emotion and between stimulus and response in the moment and over a life. One by one, Sapolsky tackles all the major arguments for free will and takes them out, cutting a path through the thickets of chaos and complexity science and quantum physics, as well as touching ground on some of the wilder shores of philosophy. He shows us that the history of medicine is in no small part the history of learning that fewer and fewer things are somebody’s “fault”; for example, for centuries we thought seizures were a sign of demonic possession.
"Yet, as he acknowledges, it’s very hard, and at times impossible, to uncouple from our zeal to judge others and to judge ourselves. Sapolsky applies the new understanding of life beyond free will to some of our most essential questions around punishment, morality, and living well together. By the end, Sapolsky argues that while living our daily lives recognizing that we have no free will is going to be monumentally difficult, doing so is not going to result in anarchy, pointlessness, and existential malaise. Instead, it will make for a much more humane world."
- De Lange Conference XIII: Brave New Worlds - Who Decides?Rice University's Baker Institute, Houston, TX
IN-PERSON: The Scientia Institute at Rice University presents a conference examining science policy in the age of new genetic technologies, machine-learning, computer technologies, and the uses of data and surveillance.
"Nearly 50 years ago, a group of the world’s leading scientists — a generation that grew up in the shadow of the atomic bomb — came together to discuss the ethics and safety of the newly emerging field of genetic engineering at a time when little was known about the potential hazards of this promising new technique. This “Asilomar” meeting, as it became known, was a landmark moment in the history of science and of science policy. Ever since Asilomar, scientists, scholars and policymakers have debated whether the meeting was paradigmatic or exemplary and have questioned whether future determinations about promising but potentially hazardous research are best conducted by experts behind closed doors or by some other more collaborative mechanism that affords meaningful public input or oversight.
"Today we are faced with provocative questions about the future of a new generation of genetic tools (including CRISPR) that promise to transform our health, our bodies and our world. And we also are faced with novel challenges related to machine-learning, computer technologies, and the uses of data and surveillance. Our world is also careening to an ever-intensifying climate crisis, calling out for innovations in governance and science-society relations. While the technologies and circumstances may have changed, some questions remain perennial: What does scientific research, technological development, and public interest and governance look like in these brave new worlds? How can thinking with the past — those legacies we grapple with every day — help us navigate the shoals of our difficult present toward those futures we desire? And most importantly: Who decides? During the two-day conference, we will explore these themes through a series of lively interventions and debates by scientists, scholars and artists."
Conference details and registration: Scientia/De Lange Conference | Rice University
NOTE: RSVP'ing on this Meetup page DOES NOT mean you are registered for the event itself.
Baker Institute on the Rice Interactive Map: https://map.concept3d.com/?id=473#!m/120221?ct/13398
Campus parking: https://parking.rice.edu/parking-facilities-and-rates