If you are wondering what the geniuses of today are working on, Stanford provides lectures and discussions featuring national and international experts in their fields, spanning a breadth of topics equal to Stanford’s course material. Most of these lectures are free and open to the public, although some require you to RSVP in advance. A few departments also offer updates on their work for the public, such as the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, which provides open lectures every other month for members of the community to brush up on cutting-edge science from updates on Higgs Boson discoveries to the nanotechnology of diamonds.
The Computer History Museum has hosted lectures featuring interviews between journalists and the leading voices in business and technology; past guests have included Mark Zuckerberg, Jane McGonigal, Sheryl Sandberg, and Elon Musk. Lectures are free to the public, and you can sign up for their mailing list to keep track of upcoming events.
The Dean’s Lecture Series is open to students, faculty and the public (with a rsvp) and fuelled by their drive towards sustainability, diversity, internationalization, and academic excellence. The talks cover such topics as the Rwandan genocide, the theology of Salvador Dalí, and data visualization.
Keep an eye on the Berkeley events calendar to attend lectures on cutting-edge developments in academia. Lectures cover topics including neuroscience and philosophy, with guest speakers as well as Berkeley professors offering their expertise within their specific fields.
In addition to a delightful treasure trove of good reads, Books Inc. spotlights books by hosting discussions with the authors themselves. Different events are held at the East Bay, Peninsula, and San Francisco locations.