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Fri, May 03



SOLD OUT! A Responsibility to Awe: Dark Matter & Uncertainty

Join us for talks and dinner in a curious mansion in Berkeley with Frances Hellman, former Dean of Physics and UC Berkeley and Poet, Essayist and Translator Jane Hirshfield with a dinner based on the new cookbook, Forage. Gather. Feast. by Maria Finn.

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SOLD OUT! A Responsibility to Awe: Dark Matter & Uncertainty
SOLD OUT! A Responsibility to Awe: Dark Matter & Uncertainty

Time & Location

May 03, 2024, 6:30 PM – 9:30 PM


About the event

We breed enthusiasms, Honour our responsibility to awe

Rebecca Elson, We Astronomers from the collection, A Responsibility to Awe

The great galactic mystery of dark matter is the “invisible glue of the cosmos”. This, along with Dark Energy, which is expanding our universe, make up at least 95% of our universe, and yet we know very little about what they are. To explain the magnitude of what we don’t know, Frances Hellman, former professor of physics and Dean of Mathematical and Physical Sciences at UC Berkley, musician, artist and former Scientist-in-Residence at the SF Exploratorium will explain Dark Matter and Dark Energy to lay people.

Faced with the enormity of our ignorance, we can take comfort in the potentiality uncertainty with Jane Hirshfield. Jane is a practicing Zen Buddist, and world renown poet, essayist, translator and speaker known for working at the intersection of poetry and the sciences. In an article, The Zen of Jane Hirshfield by Noelle Oxanhandler, wrote of Hirshfield’s invitation to the Nobel Prize Summit. On the summit’s website, Hirshfield was described as “one of American poetry’s central spokespersons for the biosphere,” and in her presentation she spoke on behalf of all those silent elements of the universe—the rivers, the mountains, the trees, the creatures—that can’t speak for themselves. “None of us ends at our own skin,” she said. “This is a truth of both poetry and science.” Jane will read from her works that explore uncertainty and not knowing.

Menu: Based on Forage.Gather Feast. by Maria Finn, Sasquatch 2024

The San Francisco Bay is the largest estuary on the West Coast and each winter bright silver, omega-3 rich silver schools of herring are ushered in on King tides to lay their eggs on the eelgrass. The sea lions, seals, pelicans, cormorants, dolphins all feed on the herring and become plump, healthy, and fertile for spring mating. The arrival of herring isn’t spring – it’s pre-spring, or the fertile void. The Fertile Void is the cycle that the creative process takes. This is the pause between breaths, the dark stillness, the bog of uncertainty, the calm before the catalyst.


Morels, Asparagus, Fava beans, and Fiddlehead Ferns with Burrata

Lemon and salt preserved anchovies with seaweed butter and seaweed bread

Roasted clams with seaweed gremolata

Seasonal Crudite with seaweed aioli 

Salad: Local and wild greens with pickled cippolini onions, kumquats and rose hips in a rosehip and orange vinaigrette

Acme bread with seaweed butter and porcini and pine butter and Gold Ridge Farms Olio Nuovo

Mains: Squid ink pasta with Herring Bottarga, Orange Zest, Ricotta and Fresh Herbs

Vegetarian: Buckwheat soba noodles with seaweed gremolata and gomasio 

Dessert: Galaxy Cake

(Vegetarian, vegan and GF options available)

PLEASE NOTE: In order to make these events accessible to people in different financial situations, the prices are tiered. Please consider what you can comfortably pay and please pay that and leave the less expensive tickets to people who work in professions like the arts, education, journalism, non-profits and boot-strapped start ups. Thanks for helping us expand our community of curious people. 


  • A Responsibility to Awe

    From $75.00 to $250.00
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      +$6.25 service fee

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