Earnest C. Watson Lecture Series
Established in 1922, the Watson Lectures bring Caltech's most innovative scientific research to the public.
Originally known as the "Friday Evening Demonstration Lectures", this public lecture series was started by Earnest C. Watson, a professor of physics at Caltech from 1919 to 1959, in order to share modern scientific advances with the public. Eventually renamed in his honor, the Watson Lectures continue to spotlight the pioneering research Caltech's faculty is currently conducting.
Watson Lectures are free and open to the public. The 2021-2022 Watson Lectures will be presented virtually on Wednesdays at 5 p.m. Pacific at caltech.edu/watson. Register for each lecture online to add them to your calendar and to receive an email reminder.
When Earth Breathed Deeply
Claire E. Bucholz, Assistant Professor of Geology
Oxygen levels in the atmosphere have increased by many orders of magnitude throughout Earth’s history, profoundly affecting biologic and chemical cycles at the surface of the Earth. In this lecture, Claire Bucholz will explore how shifts in atmospheric oxygen concentrations went even deeper, altering Earth’s inner workings.
Artificial Intelligence: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Yaser Abu-Mostafa (PhD '83), Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a remarkable technology that has profoundly impacted our lives. It now beats humans at some of their own games. How did we get here? In this lecture, Abu-Mostafa will describe the scientific journey of AI since the 1980s, as well as Caltech's foundational role in its development, providing examples of AI's achievements and its potential. He will also address the hype that surrounds AI, both positive and negative, and put it in scientific perspective.
Explore Past Lectures
Find more past Watson Lectures on Caltech's YouTube channel.