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In 1991, using powerful magnets and “sewer pipe, wire, epoxy, and finger tapping,”* a few research groups converged on the idea of utilizing the magnetic resonance properties of gray matter to image the active, thinking human brain—what the world now knows as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Since then, cognitive neuroscience has developed apace, with an explosion of ingenious techniques and sophisticated tools. Each new advance is greeted with a chorus of scholarly and popular speculation on its potential application to other arenas of human endeavor.
Discussions about the ‘promise of neuroscience’ are often tinged with a mixture of hope and fear. Nowhere is this ambivalence more evident than in the courts, as conjecture runs rampant about the legal impact of this research, stoked by claims that neuroscience may soon detect liars, objectively determine criminal responsibility, quantify suffering, and predict violence. But is neuroscience ready for courtroom use? Does brain imaging permit us to measure a person’s feelings, thoughts, and intentions? Can jurors understand and effectively weigh neuroscientific evidence?
Please join host David Faigman along with Dr. Kent Kiehl of the University of New Mexico and Professor Amanda Pustilnik of the University of Maryland and Harvard University to discuss the fascinating and wide-ranging challenges posed by the use of contemporary neuroscience in the courtroom. See live flameworking with Russell Taylor of Public Glass, and find out why borosilicate glass is used for both lab equipment and intricately beautiful artwork.
Join Paul Stepahin for a presentation about quantum mechanics and the elements.Boron is complicated. Elusive. Tough. Created in collisions between cosmic rays and interstellar dust, pure boron may be found in meteoroids, but not naturally on Earth. And yet this relatively uncommon element is essential for plant growth, and readily appears in compounds such as borax, famously conveyed by 20-mule teams across Death Valley. A brittle metalloid, boron behaves somewhat like a metal, somewhat like a non-metal. It can be reactive or unreactive. Crystalline or powdered. It can shift from three to four atomic bonds. Imagine boron as elemental spy: enigmatic except in its useful effects. Follow the trail of this intriguing element through ceramics, cleaning agents, fireworks, nuclear reactors, and nanotubes. Get a primer on quantum mechanics, play with slime, and see live flameworking with Russell Taylor of Public Glass. With the ever shifting boundaries between humans and wildlife in the Bay Area, the daily routine for many has it's challenges and rewards for all involved. Based on biological studies and direct experiences, we focus on a few of our favorite neighboring species who interact with us humans, and our way of life, in more ways than you may think. As cameras became more sophisticated, so too did our understanding of projective geometry. In this brief talk, we’ll explore how the art of photography has helped reveal the elegant mathematics of vision. Join the Exploratorium's very own Ken Finn as he demonstrates fun activities, mixing up science with items found around the house. Join the Exploratorium's very own Ken Finn as he demonstrates fun activities, mixing up science with items found around the house. Curious about Tofu? The folks over at Hodo Soy Beanery tell us everything we ever wanted to know about how Tofu (and its "sexier cousin" Yuba) is made.
Music by Wayne Grim
For more information on Hodo Soy Beanery- http://hodosoy.com “They Say They Want to Bring Me in Guilty”: On the Need to Make Forensic Identification 'Science' Scientific