Past Meetup

Gods and Robots: Myths, Machines, and Ancient Dreams of Technology

This Meetup is past

59 people went

Alberta Rose Theater

3000 NE Alberta Street · Portland, OR

How to find us

This event is also open to the public, but there will be a designated area inside for Meetup Members to get together at 6:30pm. Look for the Meetup sign.

Location image of event venue


Date: Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Time: Doors open at 6:00pm, Meetup Group at 6:30pm, Event starts at 7:00pm.

Meet inside the theater at 6:30pm to talk with your fellow group members for a bit before the show starts. Look for the Meetup sign.

Location: Alberta Rose Theatre (, 3000 NE Alberta Street, Portland, OR

- $15* general admission
- $38 for book + ticket combo (a 15% discount)
- $8 students with ID (minors under 21 with parent/guardian only)
Buy Online or at the Alberta Rose box office

Please Note: RSVP-ing "yes" to these events does not automatically get you in the door. You MUST either purchase tickets in advance (ticket details above), or if we have not sold out, you may buy tickets at the door.

Food & Drink: Full Bar, hand pies, pizza rolls, and an assortment of sweets and snacks available.

Event Description: The first robot to walk the earth was not created in the MIT Robotics Lab or for the big screen in the 1920s film Metropolis. Instead, a giant bronze robot called Talos was fabricated by Hephaestus, the Greek god of invention. More than 2,500 years ago, Greek mythology was exploring ideas about creating artificial life—and grappling with the resulting still-unresolved ethical concerns. How did ancient Greek, Roman, Indian, and Chinese myths imagine artificial life, automata, self-moving devices, and human enhancements?

Join us at this special event blending history and science! Adrienne Mayor , research scholar in classics and history of science at Stanford University, will talk about her new book, "Gods and Robots" . She will guide you through how ancient myths envisioned automata and androids—and how these visions relate to ancient inventions of real animated machines. She will share accounts of the earliest expressions of the timeless impulse to create artificial life and reveal how some of today’s most advanced innovations in robotics and artificial intelligence were foreshadowed in ancient myth—and how science has always been driven by imagination. Come experience mythology for the age of AI.

Mayor is the author of "The Amazons: Lives and Legends of Warrior Women across the Ancient World" and her work is featured on NPR and BBC, the History Channel, the New York Times, Smithsonian, and National Geographic. Mayor’s fossil legend research is featured in the National Geographic children’s book "The Griffin and the Dinosaur" . She is currently a Berggruen Fellow at Stanford’s Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences.

Books will be available for sale ($30 retail) and signing, courtesy of Broadway Books

Event Website:


*A note on the ticket price: Science on Tap is largely supported by money collected at the door, and this theater is larger and more expensive than our previous venues. We are committed to offering educational opportunities to adults who want to learn, so if the ticket price is a hardship for you, please contact [masked] for reduced-price tickets.