Absurd Scientific Advice for Common Real-World Problems
in conversation with DR. KATE DARLING
This event includes a book signing
September 3, 2019
45 Quincy Street, Cambridge, MA, 02138
There will not be a standby line for this event.
Harvard Book Store, the Harvard University Division of Science, and the Cabot Science Library are thrilled to welcome RANDALL MUNROE—bestselling author of What If? and Thing Explainer and creator of the beloved webcomic xkcd for a discussion of his latest book, How To: Absurd Scientific Advice for Common Real-World Problems. He will be joined in conversation by DR. KATE DARLING, leading expert in Robot Ethics and researcher at the MIT Media Lab.
Update: This event is now sold out!
Tickets go on sale Friday, July 12 at noon through the Harvard Box Office only:
- in person at the Smith Campus Center (1350 Mass Ave, Cambridge MA 02138)
- over the phone at 617.496.2222
- online at https://www.boxoffice.harvard.edu/
Ticket prices range from $32 to $42, based on seat location. Each ticket includes a copy of How To by Randall Munroe. These copies of the book may only be picked up at the venue the night of the event, and cannot be picked up in-store beforehand.
About How To
For any task you might want to do, there's a right way, a wrong way, and a way so monumentally bad that no one would ever try it. How To is a guide to the third kind of approach.
It's full of highly impractical advice for everything from landing a plane to digging a hole. Bestselling author and cartoonist Randall Munroe explains how to predict the weather by analyzing the pixels of your Facebook photos. He teaches you how to tell if you're a baby boomer or a 90's kid by measuring the radioactivity of your teeth. He offers tips for taking a selfie with a telescope, crossing a river by boiling it, and getting to your appointments on time by destroying the Moon.
And if you want to get rid of the book once you're done with it, he walks you through your options for proper disposal, including dissolving it in the ocean, converting it to a vapor, using tectonic plates to subduct it into the Earth's mantle, or launching it into the Sun. By exploring the most complicated ways to do simple tasks, Munroe doesn't just make things difficult for himself and his readers. As he did so brilliantly in What If?, Munroe invites us to explore the most absurd reaches of the possible.
Full of clever infographics and amusing illustrations, How To is a delightfully mind-bending way to better understand the science and technology underlying the things we do every day.
Tickets go on sale Friday, July 12 at noon. Each ticket includes a copy of How To by Randall Munroe.
Box Office Location and Hours:
Smith Campus Center (formerly Holyoke Center)
1350 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge MA 02138
Hours: 12PM-6PM, Tuesday through Sunday
Closed Mondays and some holidays.
Ticket Inquiry Contact:
Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 5 minutes
As you exit the station, reverse your direction and walk east along Mass. Ave. in front of the Cambridge Savings Bank. Cross Dunster St. and proceed along Mass. Ave for three more blocks. Take a left on Quincy St. and walk two blocks. Memorial Hall will be the large red brick building on your left side. Sanders Theatre is the main auditorium in Memorial Hall.
Unable to attend a Harvard Book Store author event? You can still pre-order a signed book by one of our visiting authors.
While we can't guarantee fulfillment of a signed book pre-order, our authors are almost always able to sign extra books to fulfill such orders.
Ordering a signed book on harvard.com:
- Add the book to your shopping cart and then click Checkout.
- Specify in Order Comments that you want a signed copy of the book.
- Please note: online orders for signed copies must be placed at least one business day before the event. If you are ordering the day of, please call us instead.
Ordering a signed book by phone:
- Call us at (617) 661-1515 and one of our booksellers will take your order. Specify you'd like a signed copy.
- If you are requesting a personalized inscription and/or requesting your book be shipped, we'll need to take down credit card information. If you are planning to pick up the signed book in the store, you can pay on pick-up.
Can I request a personalized inscription?
Unless otherwise noted, we are happy to take requests for the author to sign your book to a specific person, but we can't guarantee it. If you do get a personalized inscription, the book will be non-returnable. We will require credit card information when you place the order.
Do signed books cost more?
There is no extra fee for a signed book!
Do I have to pick it up in the store, or can you deliver my signed book?
As with all web or phone orders, we can hold your book for in-store pickup, or ship it anywhere in the country.
I am planning to attend an author event. Do I need to pre-order a book?
No need. We'll be selling books at the event, and nearly all of our events include a signing at the end of the talk.
More questions? Give us a call!
The Harvard Science Book Talks series is a collaboration between the Harvard University Division of Science, Cabot Science Library, and Harvard Book Store. The series features talks by the authors of recently published books on a variety of science-related topics and is open to both the Harvard community and to the general public. Typically, lectures are followed by a book signing with the author and refreshments. Learn more and watch recordings of past talks here.
Featured event books will be for sale at the event. Thank you for supporting this author series with your purchases.
Support Your Local Indie Bookstore
Here are a few of the ways you can support your bookstore during challenging and uncertain times.Learn More »
Shipping & Delivery
and options, locally
Support Harvard Book Store's tomorrow. Buy a gift card today. Redeemable in the store and on harvard.com, and they never expire.Learn More »