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Things to do and read:

If you live in the Bay Area and love science, make sure to bookmark this site. They list a comprehensive calendar of all science events in our neck of the woods — as well as cool online resources like videos and discussions.



Wonderfest, "The Bay Area Festival of Science," takes place annually at Stanford and U.C. Berkeley on the first weekend of November. All weekend long, pairs of world-class researchers present public dialogues on the most provocative scientific questions of our time. Plus: science art, comedy, music, and a high school whiz kid trivia contest. Don't miss!


San Francisco Amateur Astronomers

There's no better place to hear an astronomy lecture in the great outdoors than Mt. Tam's beautiful Mountain Theater. After the lecture you get to look through the telescopes that SFAA members are nice enough to lug up there to share. You can even ask them really dumb questions, and because it's pitch dark no one will know it's you asking them. SFAA also has monthly stargazing parties in SF, out at Pt. Lobos.


San Francisco Sidewalk Astronomers

If you've ever stumbled upon a crew of telescope-wielding Saturn-lovers out on a random San Francisco street corner, you've most likely had an encounter with the SF Sidewalk Astronomers. These self-proclaimed "urban guerrilla astronomers" are more than happy to show you the night sky through their telescopes and answer any questions you might have. Their website lists astro-events all over the Bay Area.


Discovery Street Tours: Urban Science Expeditions in San Francisco

Join Robin Marks, über-expert urban explorer and Exploratorium alum, in investigating "the science under your feet, in your food, and in your life." Take a walking tour like The Science of Bread and Cheese, San Francisco Rocks (geology), or The Science in Your Step (physics of physiology) — you'll learn a ton, get some exercise, and meet like-minded folks. DST is a must-do for locals, science-lovers, and out-of-towners who want to try something off the beaten path.


KQED's QUEST Science and Environment Series

QUEST puts the Bay Area under a microscope, exploring the stories and people that impact our local science, nature and environmental world. QUEST includes an engaging weekly TV show, riveting weekly radio segments, an interactive website, and educational guides.


San Francisco Natural History Series

Explore the Bay Area's natural history with this monthly talk series (third Thursdays at 7:30 p.m.) hosted by the Randall Museum, smack in the middle of the city. It's an informal, almost living-roomish setting where you can ask, discuss and become a knowledgeable SF old-timer!


Café Scientifique

Do you wish there were an event like Ask a Scientist in your town? There just might be. Inspired by the UK's Café Scientifique, "science cafés" have been popping up allaround the world. Like Ask a Scientist, they feature presentations and discussions on scientific topics. In California alone you'll find: the East Bay Science Café, Café Scientifique Silicon Valley at SRI, Down to a Science, Science Buzz Cafe, and Marin Science Seminar (targeted at high school students).


Thinkwalks — San Francisco Walking and Bike Tours

Discover San Francisco's hidden geographical, political, and social history on various guided walking and bike tours led by Joel Pomerantz. Learn about the city's primeval waterscape and natural history, explore its best and least-known murals, uncover the secrets of Golden Gate Park, and so much more.


Marin Science Seminar

The Marin Science Seminar is a one-hour lecture/presentation with a Q&A period targeted at high school students in the San Rafael High School district, but open to all interested Marin teenagers and their families. Seminar speakers are scientists, mathematicians, engineers, physicians and computer programmers with a relevant degree and public speaking experience. Topics are geared to interested high school students.


Gladstone Science For Life — Free Public Lectures

The Science for Life lecture series is a program featuring stimulating talks and discussions for members of the lay community, presented by leading researchers from UCSF's Gladstone's Institutes and other organizations.


The Long Now

The Long Now Foundation hopes to provide counterpoint to today's "faster/cheaper" mindset and promote "slower/better" thinking. Check out thought-provoking projects like the 10,000 Year Clock, the Rosetta Project, and the Long Bets website. Long Now talks and seminars feature world-class thinkers and speakers on science, technology, art, the past, the future, and other provocative topics.


San Francisco Naturalist Society

The San Francisco Naturalist Society promotes the enjoyment, study, and preservation of the natural world. Their monthly lecture series features local biologists, zoologists, botanists, and more. And their events calendar lists science and nature activities all around the Bay Area.


Stanford’s Office of Science Outreach: Lectures & Public Events

Stanford University's Office of Science Outreach (OSO) encourages and assists Stanford faculty to engage in organized activities targeted at the general public that will increase their interest, understanding, and involvement in math, science, engineering. Their lectures series is top notch.


Bay Nature Institute

Berkeley's Bay Nature Institute is dedicated to educating the people of the San Francisco Bay Area about, and celebrating the beauty of, the surrounding natural world. Check out their full-color quarterly magazine, naturalist-led local hikes and excursions, readings, slide shows, lectures, house parties, and other events.


Public Library of Science

PLoS is a nonprofit organization of scientists and physicians committed to making the world's scientific and medical literature a freely available public resource. Everything they publish is freely available online for users to read, download, copy, distribute, and use (with attribution) any way you wish.


Center for Inquiry San Francisco

Through education, research, outreach, and social services, the Center for Inquiry promotes and defends reason, science, and freedom of inquiry in all areas of human endeavor. Their website features significant news stories, a calendar of interesting events, and more.


Buck Institute for Age Research

Community seminars and public tours are available at the Buck Institute for Age Research. The Buck Institute is the nation's only independent research facility solely dedicated to understanding the link between aging and age-related disease. Come hear the latest about healthy aging and check out an I.M. Pei designed building.


Astronomy Picture of the Day

Every day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation and really interesting links.


The Bazaar Cafe

It all started here! Ask a Scientist's very first venue holds events almost nightly: music, comedy, spoken word, and more. They also have really good food.



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