10 events that will make you smarter this month

Greater Boston's 12 top spots to live
By Elizabeth Gehrman, from the Globe Magazine
Photograph by Maisie Crow

  Library Tag     Magazine     08152010

Boston, MA. 08/16/09 The exterior of the Coolidge Corner Theatre on Harvard Avenue in Boston on Sunday, August 16, 2009. (Maisie Crow for The Boston Globe). ** SLUG: 06Boston101 CREDIT: Maisie Crow for The Boston Globe ONLINE CAPTION: / OUTTAKe 1123
Coolidge Corner Theatre on Harvard Avenue in Boston –Maisie Crow/The Boston Globe

If you’re hoping to boost your intellect or expand your world view, look no further than Boston. The Greater Boston area is home to more than 40 colleges and universities – including prestigious institutions like Harvard and MIT – and boasts some of the nation’s best and brightest doctors, writers, and scientists.

Knowledge is all around us–and we should take advantage of it. However, it can be daunting to scroll through a seemingly endless list events to find the city’s best intellectual offerings. The goal of this list is to provide a more manageable calendar of lectures, workshops, and other programs designed to make you smarter.


Here are 10 events in September that will satiate the curious mind.

Spotting Real News vs. Fake News

Discerning accurate news from fake news is an important skill during this era of information overload. This Boston Public Library workshop will teach you how to separate fact from fiction online and what makes a news story inaccurate. (Wednesday, Sept. 6 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.; Central Library; free; all ages)

The Vietnam War, a film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick

WGBH is hosting a special screening of The Vietnam War, a 10-part documentary film series directed by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick. Following the screening, there will be an audience Q&A with Burns, Novick and Roger F. Harris, Vietnam veteran and president of the Boston Renaissance Foundation Inc. The Q&A will be moderated by Jim Braude and Margery Eagan, co-hosts on 89.7 WGBH’s Boston Public Radio. (Wednesday, Sept. 6 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.; John Hancock Hall, Back Bay Events Center; $15; all ages)

A History of the 1950’s and 60’s through Popular Song

Folk-rock artist Marc Black will be your guide on a musical tour through these historically defining decades, with a concert, slide show, singalong, and discussion. (Thursday, Sept. 7 from 6:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m.; West End Branch of the Boston Public Library; free; all ages)

Atul Gawande

Surgeon and author Atul Gawande’s book Being Mortal spent two years on the New York Times bestseller list. At this event hosted by Brookline Booksmith, Gawande will discuss with novelist Jennifer Haigh how the ultimate goal is not a good death but a good life. Each ticket includes admission and a paperback copy of Being Mortal(Tuesday, Sept. 12 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.; Coolidge Corner Theatre; $20; all ages)

Book Talk – I Was Told to Come Alone: My Journey Behind the Lines of Jihad


Washington Post journalist Souad Mehkennet will be discussing her new book at Harvard’s Carr Center for Human Rights Policy. While on her quest to shed light on the radicalization of young Muslims, Mehkennet gained unprecedented access to the world’s most dangerous terrorists. (Thursday, Sept. 14 from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.; Nye A (5th floor), Taubman Building, Harvard Kennedy School; free; all ages)

Starr Forum: The Trump-Putin Phenomenon

The MIT Center for International Studies presents this talk as part of the Focus on Russia Lecture Series. Julia Ioffe, a Moscow-born journalist for The Atlantic, and Garry Kasparov, Human Rights Foundation chairman and Russian chess grandmaster, will be speaking. This event will also be streamed live on Facebook and YouTube(Monday, Sept. 14 from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.; Room 100, Building 26, MIT ; free; all ages)

Extreme Events and Climate Change: What We Know and What We Can Do

Ellen Marie Douglas, associate professor of hydrology at the University of Massachusetts Boston, will discuss observations of changing climate, what changes could happen in Boston, and plans for how to adapt to these changes. (Thursday, Sept. 14 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.Simons IMAX Theatre New England Aquarium; free; all ages)

A Tale of Two Libraries

Surviving letters from 1913 to 1945 illuminate a cultural partnership of shared books between the Boston Athenaeum and the London Library. This original theatrical presentation is based on decades of correspondence between directors and librarians from the two institutions. (Tuesday, Sept. 19 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.; Boston Athenaeum; $25 for members, $30 for non-members; all ages)

Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

Before this screening of Stanley Kubrick’s 1964 classic Cold War satire, MIT economics Professor Muhamet Yildiz will discuss game theory. (Monday, Sept. 25 at 7:00 p.m.; Coolidge Corner Theatre; $10.25-$12.25; all ages, rated PG)

Greenway Artist Lecture: Meredith James + Mark Reigelman


The Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy presents Meredith James and Mark Reigelman, whose artworks are currently featured on The Greenway as part of the Playful Perspectives exhibition. The artists will discuss their optical illusion artwork and studio practices. (Tuesday, Sept. 26 from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.; North Bennet Street School; free; all ages)