For Immediate Release

Divination Lecture: "Perfect Model: The Past, Present, and Future of Prediction"

(April 2, 3013 update) The lecture location has been changed to the Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford St., Cambridge, MA 02138.


(March 4, 2013 Cambridge, MA) The Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology at Harvard University presents a free public lecture by acclaimed author and mathematician David Orrell on "Perfect Model: The Past, Present, and Future of Prediction," Thursday, April 18, 2013 at the Yenching Institute (2 Divinity Ave., Cambridge) at 6:00 PM.

Orrell will explore the history and the challenges of prediction, from the oracle at Delphi up to the latest methods being developed in areas such as systems biology and economics. Orrell argues that our search for the "perfect model" of prediction often reveals as much about our sense of aesthetics as it does about the future. Two of his most recent books are Truth or Beauty: Science and the Quest for Order and The Future of Everything: The Science of Prediction.

A reception will follow at the Peabody Museum (11 Divinity Avenue). The lecture is the seventh in a year-long series about divination (from the Latin divinare – “to foresee, to be inspired by a god,”) and the many ways that humans attempt to understand the present and divine the future.


Divination lecture seriesLook for the tarot card icon on the Peabody Museum calendar for more lectures on divination.




About the Peabody Museum
The Peabody Museum is among the oldest archaeological and ethnographic museums in the world with one of the finest collections of human cultural history found anywhere. It is home to superb materials from Africa, ancient Europe, North America, Mesoamerica, Oceania, and South America in particular. In addition to its archaeological and ethnographic holdings, the Museum’s photographic archives, one of the largest of its kind, hold more than 500,000 historical photographs, dating from the mid-nineteenth century to the present and chronicling anthropology, archaeology, and world culture.

Hours and location: 9 A.M. to 5 P.M., seven days a week. The Museum is closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. Admission is $12 for adults, $10 for students and seniors, $8 for children, 3–18. Free with Harvard ID or Museum membership. The Museum is free to Massachusetts residents Sundays, 9 A.M. to noon, year round, and Wednesdays from 3 P.M. to 5 P.M. (September to May). Admission includes admission to the Harvard Museum of Natural History. For more information call 617-496-1027 or go online to: The Peabody Museum is located at 11 Divinity Avenue in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Museum is a short walk from the Harvard Square MBTA station.

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Media Contact:

Faith Sutter
Communications Coordinator
Peabody Museum
Tel: 617-495-3397





Above: October 2004 lunar eclipse by Joe Roberts (courtesy HIGH RESOLUTION IMAGE AVAILABLE ON REQUEST.

David Orrell, scientist and author of The Future of Everything: The Science of Prediction

"Perfect Model: The Past, Present, and Future of Prediction," part of the free Peabody Museum Divination lecture series, is Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 6:00 pm at the Yenching Institute, 2 Divinity Ave., Cambridge.

A public reception follows at the Peabody Museum, 11 Divinity Ave., Cambridge.

Public information: 617-496-1027

Directions and parking