Broad Discovery Series

People listening to one of the Broad Discovery Series talks

The Broad Discovery Series (formerly known as Science For All Seasons) brings researchers to the stage to discuss and answer questions about some of the most pressing topics in science and medicine today. Held in-person and virtually at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, these free public events explore the genetic and biological roots of human health and disease, the mechanisms that govern how our cells and bodies function, new technologies that are changing what's possible in science, and the progress being made to translate these findings into treatments for common and rare diseases.

Teens and adults interested in biomedical research, the intersection of computer science and biology, and the future of medicine are all welcome to join these exciting discussions.

The Broad Discovery Series is a program of the Broad Discovery Center, an active, public educational space that showcases how researchers at the Broad Institute and their colleagues around the world are tackling some of the toughest questions in biomedicine, gaining a deeper understanding of human health and disease, and translating that insight into new approaches for treatments. Learn more about the Broad Discovery Center at


Upcoming Talks

Past Talks

Moving from "hit-or-miss" toward a brighter future for psychiatric diagnosis and care
Tuesday, May 21, 2024, 6:00-7:00 p.m.

While it's been decades since the last major therapeutic breakthroughs in schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and other psychiatric conditions, new hope may be appearing on the horizon. Join scientists from the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and peers and family members from the community to hear how genetics and biology are shaping an improved understanding of psychiatric conditions, how that might address community concerns, and what it could mean for diagnosis and care now and in the future.


Broad Discovery Series & Catalyst Conversations present: "My Heart in your Hands"
Thursday, March 28, 2024, 6:00-7:00 p.m.

The heart uniquely straddles the world of art and science — a powerful metaphor for love and loss on the one hand, a literal life-sustaining force within each of us and an intense focus of genetic and medical research on the other. Join a Broad Discovery Series x Catalyst Conversations event addressing the heart, from the point of view of researchers who work on finding cures to heart disease and of writers and artists for whom the heart holds deeper meaning.


Deborah Davidson
President and founder, Catalyst Conversations


Tom Ulrich
Associate director for science communications, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard


Daniel Chonde, MD, PhD
Assistant professor of radiology, University of Kentucky; founder, The People's heART

Meredith Goldstein
Love Letters columnist and features writer, The Boston Globe

Cate McQuaid
Arts critic, The Boston Globe

Pradeep Natarajan, MD, MMSc
Director of preventive cardiology at Massachusetts General Hospital; associate member, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard


New perspectives on diabetes: the many subtypes of type 2
Thursday, November 9, 6:00-7:00 p.m.

Melina Claussnitzer and Miriam Udler 

Patients' experiences have long told us that not all type 2 diabetes is the same. Genetics is now starting to help doctors and scientists grasp why that is, and what it might mean for patients. In this Broad Discovery Series event, physician-geneticist Miriam Udler and computational and cellular biologist Melina Claussnitzer will discuss what genetics is teaching us about the subtypes of type 2 diabetes, and how researchers can use that understanding as a springboard for learning how this disease really works — and what to do about it.  

This lecture is presented in memory of Eliana Hechter and is supported by the Eliana Hechter Memorial Fund.

From genome editing to programmable medicine
Tuesday, August 15, 6:00-7:00 p.m.

Feng Zhang 

Spurred by the development of CRISPR for genome editing, researchers have for 10 years been working to engineer modular, "programmable" treatments that accurately and consistently strike at the root causes of diseases. In this Broad Discovery Series event, molecular biologist and CRISPR pioneer Feng Zhang will invite past and present members of his lab to reflect on how the genome editing toolkit has expanded over the last decade, discuss other ways of developing programmable medicines, and talk about what gets them most excited about these technologies' potential. 


Broad Discovery Series x BroadIgnite: An evening of inspired science
Wednesday, May 24, 5:30-6:30 p.m.
Juli Coraor Fried | Kiran Garimella | Raj Gupta | Sumaiya Iqbal | Jacob Lemieux

Early-career scientists often have the most game-changing ideas. Join five emerging scientific visionaries as they talk about their efforts to move the needle on neurodegenerative and metabolic diseases, sudden cardiac death, infectious disease diagnosis and surveillance, and rare genetic disorders.

This Broad Discovery Series event is being held in collaboration with BroadIgnite, an institute program that partners rising philanthropists with early-career researchers involved in high-risk, potentially high-reward projects.


Tuesday, February 7, 6:00-7:00 p.m.
Biomedical science and machine learning: A two-way street
Caroline Uhler

Biomedical science and data analysis technologies have both experienced revolutions in the 21st century. Join Caroline Uhler to learn how these two fields are coming together — and how today’s biological questions are motivating new developments in machine learning to help find answers.


Tuesday, November 15, 5:00-6:00 p.m.
Taking an engineer's approach to understanding biology
Paul Blainey and Alex Shalek

The next breakthrough in science often comes from looking at a problem from a new angle and with new facts. In the inaugural talk of the Broad Discovery Series, Paul Blainey and Alex Shalek will share how taking an engineering approach can allow scientists to make new types of biological measurements that help answer important questions about cells and tissues, and can yield new, otherwise unseeable perspectives about how living systems work.