Talks and Lectures This Week in NYC

For the best talks and lectures in NYC this week we’re looking to appearances by the likes of William Gibson, Paul Krugman, and Aaron Sorkin.

Monday, January 27

“History, biology, neuroscience, genetics, sociology, and epidemiology” come together in science journalist Lydia Denworth’s new Friendship: The Evolution, Biology, and Extraordinary Power of Life’s Fundamental Bond. She joins the PageTurners Reading Series to share her insight into the development of the “social brain” on the African savannas all the way up to Facebook’s virtual networks.

Get insight into Methone, the oldest Greek colony in the northern Aegean, destroyed in 354 BCE by Philip II and mostly forgotten by history. Professor John Papadopoulos of the UCLA Cotsen Institute of Archaeology discusses its heyday, and what he learned on his excavations there. The National Arts Club.

Tuesday, January 28

Research scholar and former Obama administration official Thomas Abt presents his book Bleeding Out: The Devastating Consequences of Urban Violence—and a Bold New Plan for Peace in the Streets, which argues for a smarter, more cost-effective approach to urban policing. NYU School of Law.

Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman exposes the erroneous ideas that just won’t die in his new Arguing with Zombies: Economics, Politics, and the Fight for a Better Future. Satirist Samantha Bee joins Krugman to break down myths from tax reform to healthcare to Brexit. 92nd Street Y.

With six entire Chinese cities quarantined for the coronavirus outbreak maybe now’s a good time to know a little more about infectious diseases. Join “taste of science” for a night dedicated to influenza, including the ways researchers can trace flu pandemics back to their animal sources and the ongoing efforts to create a universal flu vaccine. There’s trivia and flu-related prizes, too. Ryan’s Daughter.

William Gibson, coiner of “cyberspace,” launches his latest book, Agency. Join him as he presents a pre- and post-apocalyptic tale of dubious tech. Joshua Rothman, the ideas editor of and author of a December profile on Gibson, joins; tickets include a copy of the book. Murmrr.

Join Temple Emanu-El for a look at the latest book by Pulitzer Prize winners Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. They’ll discuss the disintegrating working class evoked in Tightrope: Americans Reaching for Hope.

Wednesday, January 29

Hannah Arendt’s The Human Condition, published in 1958, takes the long view on Western history, drawing distinctions between the vita activa (active life) and vita contemplativa (contemplative life). Law and poly sci professor Seyla Benhabib (Exile, Statelessness, and Migration: Playing Chess with History from Hannah Arendt to Isaiah Berlin) joins Bernard E. Harcourt of the Columbia Center for Contemporary Critical Thought to apply Arendt’s thoughts to the struggles of today. Columbia University.

The Masters of Social Gastronomy tackle Dry January: Alcohol-Free Drinks and the Temperance MovementCulinary historian Sarah Lohman talks about 13 years of Prohibition and how well it worked, while food scientist Jonathan Soma explores the science behind mocktails and near beers. Caveat.

Rising White Nationalism and the lack of restraint in our policing of immigrants may have drastic impacts on U.S. citizenship. Hear from Syracuse poly sci professor Elizabeth F. Cohen as she presents her new book, Illegal: How America’s Lawless Immigration Regime Threatens Us AllBrooklyn Historical Society.

Auschwitz physician Josef Mengele was perhaps the most notorious of escaped Nazis. Historian Dr. David Marwell speaks about his new book the search for Mengele and its end in a cemetery in Sao Paulo, Brazil. He can be found at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, where Marwell is a former CEO.

Thursday, January 23

To Kill a Mockingbird adapter Aaron Sorkin joins original cast members of the Broadway production to look at the current crises in our criminal justice systemThe Town Hall.

Join the Grand Central Library for a panel on race, politics, identity, art, and photography with seldom-seen images from the Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs.

Find our picks for the weekend here.

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