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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. Emerging from inside of stars, carbon is the fourth most abundant element in the universe, and the basis for all life on Earth. Polyamorous, it loves to bond, exchanging four of its electrons with atoms of itself and other elements to create an endless variety of chemistry, from DNA chains to soccer-ball shaped fullerenes to atom-thick sheets of graphene. As diamond, carbon is hard and abrasive, as graphite, soft. When its bonds are broken, carbon readily moves from one partner to the next, cycling between oceans, atmosphere, flora, fauna, soil, rocks, and fossil deposits deep below ground. 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. 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. 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.