Guest speaker Ernest Moniz (right), with Robert Armstrong, director of the MIT Energy Initiative at the annual MIT Energy Conference in 2016.
Photo: Bryce Vickmark

Events Calendar

Find information here on climate-related events across campus. If you’d like to list your event, please email events details to


  • Apr 24, 2017

    Soft Matter in Construction: Computational Statistical Physics of Sustainable Cements

    Part of the C.C. Mei Distinguished Speaker Series 2016-2017 | Featuring Prof. Emanuela Del Gado, Georgetown University | Monday, April 24, 2017 | 5:00pm to 6:00pm | Room 1-190

    More than 20 billion tons of concrete are produced every year, more than any other material on Earth, such that concrete production is responsible for 10% of the whole anthropogenic production of CO2. Reducing CO2 emissions for concrete production is hence essential to meet greenhouse gas reduction targets. Strength and other mechanical properties of concrete rely on cement (its main binding agent) and the control of the formation/gelation of calcium-silicate-hydrates (CSH). Lack of scientific insight into the structure and mechanics of CSH is a major obstacle to developing novel green formulations of concrete. In recent years electron microscopy imaging, nano-indentation tests, X-rays and neutron scattering, NMR analysis, and atomistic simulations have elucidated several structural and mechanical features concentrated within a few nanometers. A potential breakthrough has been combining such experimental insights with novel fundamental understanding gained through modeling and numerical simulations, which use statistical and condensed matter physics approaches to tackle the structural and mechanical complexity of the material over critical lengthscales. These achievements provide novel opportunities to transform cement production and use.

    For more information, click here [PDF].

  • Apr 25, 2017

    How free enterprise can solve climate change

    Part of the People and the Planet Lecture Series | Hosted by the Environmental Solutions Initiative | Featuring Former Congressman Bob Inglis | Tuesday, April 25, 2017 | 4:00pm to 6:00pm | E14-633 (Media Lab)

    Former Congressman Bob Inglis (R-SC) traveled to Antarctica and Greenland as a member of the House Science Committee during his second, three-year term in Congress (2005-10) and became convinced climate change was a problem and needed action. In July 2012, he founded and launched, which is centered on conservative principles and a free-enterprise solution to climate change. Inglis will talk about how free enterprise and a “tax swap” can deliver the innovation to solve our climate change issues and lead the rest of the world.

    For more information and to register, click here.

  • Apr 27, 2017

    The Quest for Environmental and Racial Justice for All: Why Equity Matters

    Hosted by Fossil Free MIT, Black Graduate Student Association, Black Student Union, and Latino Cultural Center | Featuring Prof. Robert D. Bullard, Dean of the School of Public Affairs, Texas Southern University | Thursday, April 27, 2017 | 3:00pm to 4:30pm | Room 26-100

    For more than three decades Robert D. Bullard has been at the forefront of the environmental justice movement through his teaching, lectures, scholarship, research, service and activism. His lecture at MIT explores how the environmental justice framework redefined environmentalism and challenged institutional racism and the dominant environmental protection paradigm. Much of his life’s work has been devoted to uncovering the underlying assumptions that contribute to and produce unequal protection and brings to the surface the ethical and political questions of “who gets what, when, where, why, and how much.” Bullard’s research has documented that some communities have the “wrong complexion for protection” and living on the “wrong side of the tracks” can be hazardous to one’s health.

    For more information and to register, click here.

  • Apr 28, 2017

    MIT Sustainability Summit: Funding the Future

    9th MIT Sustainability Summit | Friday, April 28, 2017 | Samberg Conference Center (E52), 50 Memorial Drive, Cambridge 

    The 9th MIT Sustainability Summit has the theme of “Funding the Future”.  Transitioning to a more sustainable future requires financing. It will require tackling climate change, water scarcity and food security to name a few. Moreover, it requires that we rethink financing itself – breaking perceptions of a tradeoff between financial viability and sustainability impact. 

    The 2017 MIT Sustainability Summit will challenge conventional investment actors – from seed venture capital to public capital markets – to innovate and will explore the rise of unconventional actors and financing mechanisms. As an innovation hub and drawing on academic expertise, MIT will delve new financing ecosystems, cutting-edge technologies and creative policies that will foster collaboration across asset classes to support the change agents who are creating the future. 

    For more information, click here.

  • May 3, 2017

    Extending the lifetime of lithium-ion batteries from a few years to many decades

    Featuring Jeff Dahn, Dalhousie University | Hosted by the MIT Energy Initiative | Wednesday, May 3, 2017 | 5:00pm to 6:00pm | Room 66-110 (25 Ames Street, Cambridge)

    Jeff Dahn will discuss his research group’s new 5-year research partnership with Tesla Motors—the company’s only university partnership. Lithium-ion batteries are used in Tesla's vehicle and energy storage products, and Dahn’s research focuses on extending the lifetime of lithium-ion cells into the range of multiple decades, which is critical for energy storage applications. The key question that Dahn will address at this seminar is: How can one be "sure" a lithium-ion cell will last many decades in experiments that last only a few weeks?

    For more information and to register, click here.

  • May 9, 2017

    Why You Don’t Know Your Carbon Footprint

    Part of the xTalks: Digital Discourses series | Hosted by the Office of Digital Learning | Featuring Ory Zik | Tuesday, May 9, 2017 | 3:00pm to 4:00pm | 4-231

    The oxygen of markets is metrics and the climate metric is carbon footprint. So why is it that we are so ‘carbon illiterate’? Why is it that nearly no one knows the carbon footprint of anything? And what can we do to fix this situation?

    For more information, click here.

  • Nov 10, 2017
    Nov 12, 2017

    11th Graduate Climate Conference

    November 10-12, 2017 | Woods Hole, Massachusetts

    The goal of the Graduate Climate Conference (GCC) is to provide a discussion forum for graduate students undertaking research on climate and climate change in an array of disciplines throughout the physical sciences, biological sciences, social sciences, and humanities. The format is designed to encourage new climate researchers to become acquainted with the details of diverse areas of study and to place their own work in the broader context of the climate research community. The GCC will return to Cape Cod, Massachusetts for its 11th iteration in November 2017.

    For more information, including the conference application, visit the conference website.

Selected Past Events

  • Jan 9, 2017

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry at MIT

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology | Samberg Conference Center, 7th Floor | Monday, January 9, 2017, 10:30am

    In an address at MIT, John F. Kerry, the 68th Secretary of State of the United States, said that the effort to limit climate change was a dire “race against time,” but one that could be successful due to the economic promise of renewable energy.

    Read the MIT News story about Secretary Kerry's speech here.

    Watch the archived webcast of Secretary Kerry's speech here.

  • Nov 17, 2016

    Climate Change: Ethics in Action

    Sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Research and Radius | MIT 50-140 (Morss Hall, Walker Memorial), 142 Memorial Drive, Cambridge

    From record temperatures to extreme weather events, the impacts of climate change are evident around the globe. Yet while the climate threat becomes increasingly clear, the collective nature of its causes and the seeming remoteness of its impacts challenge many of our ethical intuitions. What is our ethical responsibility to take action against climate change? Join other members of the MIT community in a conversation about the ethical implications of climate change and our collective responsibility for action.

    To visit the page for this event, click here.

  • Sep 14, 2016
    Sep 16, 2016

    World Symposium on Sustainable Development at Universities

    Samberg Conference Center | MIT Chang Building (E52) | 50 Memorial Drive, Cambridge, MA

    MIT hosted a community of the world’s foremost universities for the third annual “World Symposium on Sustainable Development at Universities”.

    The symposium, with the theme “Designing Tomorrow’s Campus: Resiliency, Vulnerability, and Adaptation", brought together leading academics from around the globe to collectively advance scalable solutions that have the power to transform communities into more livable and sustainable places, given the urgent challenges of a changing climate. MIT served as the backdrop for three days of interactive sessions and workshops.

    Click here for more information.

  • Jan 27, 2016

    MIT on Climate = Science + Action

    Hosted at the Kirsch Auditorium, MIT Stata Center | Wednesday January 27th, 2016 | 8:30am - 5:00pm

    A symposium presented by the Department of Earth, Atmospheric & Planetary Sciences and co-sponsored by the Lorenz Center and the Houghton Fund, featuring guest keynotes from Marcia McNutt, Editor-in-Chief, Science, and Justin Gillis of The New York Times.

    • Watch the video here.
    • See photos from the event here.
    • Read the MIT News story about the event.
  • Apr 9, 2015
    4:30 PM - 6:00 PM

    Should MIT Divest? A Debate on Fossil Fuel Investment

    Hosted at the MIT Kresge Auditorium, Thursday April 9th, 2015 | 4:30pm - 6:00pm

    Join this event of the MIT Climate Change Conversation to learn about different facets of divestment from fossil fuel companies and explore whether MIT should divest its endowment as part of its response to climate change. Six prominent voices in the dialogue on climate change and energy will be staged as two teams that present PRO-divestment and AGAINST-divestment arguments in a classic debate format. The discussion will provide a nuanced view of the relevant issues being widely contested on university campuses, and in particular at MIT.  This is an unprecedented opportunity for the MIT community to hear a diversity of expert perspectives, to have questions answered, and to deepen our understanding of the opportunities, drawbacks, and alternatives to fossil fuel divestment and of how universities can address global warming.

    Moderator: Tony Cortese, Intentional Endowments Network
    Debating for fossil fuel divestment:
    Naomi Oreskes, Professor of History of Science at Harvard University
    Don Gould, Trustee Pitzer College & CIO Gould Asset Management
    John Sterman, Professor, MIT Sloan School of Management
    Debating against fossil fuel divestment:
    Brad Hager, Professor, Director of the MIT Earth Resources Laboratory
    Frank Wolak, Professor of Economics, Stanford University
    Timothy Smith, Director of ESG Engagement, Walden Asset Management

  • Mar 31, 2015
    4:00 PM - 5:30 PM

    Getting Through on Global Warming: How to Rewire Climate Change Communication

    MIT Building 51-115 (Wong Auditorium, Tang Center) 
    Why do most of us recognize that climate change is real, yet few take action? Why do some not recognize it as real? By exploring the roadblocks to effective climate change communication, this diverse panel of faculty and media experts will unpack why our brains are wired to ignore a monumental threat to society. And they will ask, can we recast the problem? What is the role of science in the communication challenge? How and why has this particular issue changed the public's perception of scientists? Drawing on the MIT community’s input to the Climate Conversation Idea Bank and through live Q&A, the panel will identify and examine communication strategies that MIT and others can employ to shift the global climate debate and to inspire action. 

    John Durant, Director, MIT Museum, Moderator
    Kerry Emanuel, Professor of Atmospheric Science, MIT
    Susan Hassol, Director, Climate Communication (a non-profit science & outreach project)
    Judith Layzer, Professor of Environmental Policy, MIT
    Thomas Levenson, Professor of Science Writing, MIT 
    Chris Mooney, Environment Writer, Washington Post
    Drazen Prelec, Professor of Management and Neuroscience, MIT

    Read detailed panelists' biographies here
    Missed the event? You can still watch the video here .
    Send questions for the panelists in advance or input for the discussion to
    Download the event poster