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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. Experimental physicist Carl Haber restores antique audio recordings too old, fragile, or damaged to be otherwise replayed—including recordings made in wax, soot, and foil. Using optical scanning technologies from his work at CERN in Switzerland, Haber has recovered and preserved a diverse collection of deteriorating sonic artifacts, voices from the past that otherwise would have been lost. 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.
Check out this video made by Field Trip Explainers to help teachers and students prepare for an Exploratorium field trip. Meet the Field Trip Explainers, learn what happens on arrival, and get a sense of the types of exhibits and demonstrations you can interact with during your visit. 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.