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. Here are 10 events in December that will satiate the curious mind.
Join conductor Rob Kapilow and the New England Conservatory Chamber Orchestra for this edition of Celebrity Series of Boston as they explore the “Great G-minor symphony” and reveal Mozart’s brilliant details. (Sunday, Dec. 3 at 3 p.m.; Jordan Hall, New England Conservatory; $30-60; all ages)
This panel will discuss racial inequities throughout the U.S. legal system that lead to miscarriage of justice as part of JCC Greater Boston’s Truth and Responsibility series. Panelists include award-winning New Yorker staff writer Jelani Cobb and Anthony Raye Hinton, a death row exoneree who was wrongfully convicted. (Tuesday, Dec. 5 from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.; JCC Greater Boston, Newton; $15-18; all ages)
This year marks the centennial of the Somerville-invented Marshmallow Fluff. Mimi Graney, founder of the annual What’s the Fluff? Festival and author of Fluff: The Sticky Sweet Story of an American Icon, will speak on the narrative of the forgotten local candy industry. (Wednesday, Dec. 6 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.; Commonwealth Salon, Central Library; free; recommended for young adults and older)
Kevin Young presents Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts, and Fake News
Award-winning poet and critic Kevin Young will appear at Harvard Book Store to discuss his latest book tracing the history of the hoax. Young’s timely work also explores what it means to live currently in a “post-factual world.” This event is co-sponsored by Mass Humanities and includes a book signing. (Thursday, Dec. 7 at 7 p.m.; Harvard Book Store; free; all ages)
Join the Museum of Science’s celebration of the annual Computer Science Education Week, which recognizes computing pioneer Admiral Grace Murray Hopper. There will be educational hands-on activities for visitors of all ages, as well as opportunities to meet roboticists and other experts. (Saturday, Dec. 9 and Sunday, Dec. 10 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Museum of Science; free with Exhibit Halls admission, $20-25; all ages)
This holiday lecture for children and their families will explore the science behind chocolate through experiments, taste tests, and interactive demonstrations. (Sunday, Dec. 10 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Lecture Hall B, Harvard University ; free; all ages)
Learn about local bird species and the factors affecting their population changes at this Mass Audubon Q&A. (Thursday, Dec. 14 from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.; Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary, Natick; $12-15; all ages)
A person’s path to the polling station can be challenging and dependent on many factors. Design Museum Boston is hosting Dana Chisnell, co-director of the Center for Civic Design, to speak about the voting process in the US from a design standpoint. The Design Museum Mornings event will include audience Q&A, breakfast, coffee, and discussion. (Friday, Dec. 15 from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.; Red Thread; $0-10; all ages)
The 1995 Todd Haynes-directed drama film Safe stars Julianne Moore as a Los Angeles housewife who comes to believe she has extreme environmental allergies. Before the screening, University of Massachusetts Amherst Professor Laura Vanderberg will speak on how early life exposures to chemicals can lead to diseases that manifest later in life. (Monday, Dec. 18 at 7 p.m.; Coolidge Corner Theatre; $10.25-12.25; rated R)
Hear professors from University of Connecticut and Harvard at this history of women and gender seminar as they examine how the Miss America pageant and contestants were central to the rise of activist conservative women in the 1960s and 1970s. (Tuesday, Dec. 19 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m.; Massachusetts Historical Society; free; all ages)