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Neon is normally odorless and colorless, reacting with no one, not even itself. Abundant in the universe, uncommon on Earth, it drifts aloof from any bond. When isolated by Sir William Ramsay and Morris Travers inside a vacuum tube in 1898, the noble gas betrayed its excitement in brilliant red. That excitement, glowing within Georges Claude’s ingeniously curved lamps since 1923, has captured our imaginations ever since. The United States’ population of older adults is projected to double by 2050. This unprecedented demographic shift has wide-ranging implications for our society as demand grows for programs and services tailored to the needs of older adults. As many quickly discover, navigating the patchwork of medical, financial, social, and legal systems needed to meet one’s needs in retirement can be a burden requiring complex decision-making in an uncertain environment.
This is a challenge for even the most sophisticated consumers and there is particular concern about older adults navigating these decisions, as converging neuroscientific and economic research indicates that many cognitive skills decline with age—and age is a principal risk factor for impairing conditions like Alzheimer’s disease and stroke. Given this body of evidence, many advocate for stronger protections for adults from fraud and exploitation. At the same time, persistent ageism and common misperceptions about the prevalence of cognitive impairment in older adults raise concerns about whether well-intentioned attempts to protect older adults risk depriving them of their rights to make autonomous decisions.
Please join David Faigman in conversation with special guests Daniel Marson and Winston Chiong to discuss current and emerging scientific research about how we make decisions as we age, how physicians assess our capacity to make decisions, and the legal and ethical implications for families and society. Watch celebrated artist Alexa Meade transform a live model into a seemingly two-dimensional tableau.
Reversing the tradition of trompe l’oeil, the Renaissance painting technique in which objects appear real, Alexa Meade painstakingly applies acrylic paint onto actual people and objects, creating illusions of seamless, two-dimensional portraits. Unified by bold brushwork reminiscent of mid-20th-century painting styles, her subjects appear flattened, as if painted on canvas, even when viewed from different angles. Meade’s work invites a deep exploration into the nature of perception, the role of photography in viewing ephemeral artworks, and the sudden intimacy of portraiture.
Cheer on the competitors in this zany science cook-off, where teachers compete before a live webcast audience for the sought-after title, "Iron Science Teacher." The Science of Sharing Forum on June 6, 2015 featured Dr. Shachar Kariv, Benjamin N. Ward Professor of Economics and Economics Department Chair at UC Berkeley. He has been a visiting scholar at Stanford University, the Institute for Advanced Studies at Princeton, the European University Institute, the University of Oxford, and the Norwegian School of Economics. Much of his research focuses on social networks, behavior under uncertainty, and decisions about sharing and giving. Beck Tench and Elizabeth Fleming led the development of Experimonths, social-media activities that brought Science of Sharing to the wider world. Beck Tench is an educator, designer, and technologist who works with museums, libraries, and other cultural institutions to embrace risk-taking, creativity, and change. Elizabeth Fleming is Director for Learning Environments at the Museum of Life and Science. She plays a key role in exhibit design and evaluation and is a strong advocate for museum cultures fostering lifelong learning and science as a way of knowing.
Dr. Hugh McDonald is a Project Director, Senior Science Writer, and Associate Curator for the museum’s Osher West Gallery, which focuses on the interplay among science, society, and culture. He is a social psychologist and Principal Investigator of the Science of Sharing project.
Dr. Jennifer Jacquet, Assistant Professor in the Department of Environmental Studies at New York University, is an environmental social scientist. Much of her work focuses on transboundary cooperation issues such as overfishing, climate change, and wildlife preservation—challenges that depend in part on negotiation, communication, and trust, concepts at the heart of Science of Sharing.
Dr. Athena Aktipis is a cooperation theorist and theoretical evolutionary biologist working at the intersection of social psychology, biology, anthropology, and medicine. She is Assistant Professor of Psychology at Arizona State University and co-founder of the Center for Evolution and Cancer at UC San Francisco. She is particularly interested in cooperation in large complex systems, such as multicellular organisms and human societies. Dick Simon is a photographer and philanthropist who studies human conflicts around the world and leads efforts to mediate, defuse, and learn from them. His photographs and accounts from Syria, North Korea, Iran, Israel/Palestine and elsewhere have appeared in the New York Times, Boston Globe, BBC Persian, NPR/PBS, Huffington Post, and many other venues. An evening of conversation on the Future of Medicine with Dr. Leroy Hood, President of the Institute for Systems Biology, and Dr. Deepak Srivastava, Younger Family Director of the Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease.