• Academy Events

  • The Rise of Human Consciousness

    Monday, May 23, 2016 | 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
    The New York Academy of Sciences

    Presented by The New York Academy of Sciences

      • Registration Closed

    An archived recording of this event is available via Livestream under "Archived Events" at:

    A podcast of this event is available for download here.

    Over the past few decades, advances in physical and information sciences, biology, and neuroscience have dramatically enhanced our knowledge of the human species. But can physical sciences solve the biggest mystery—the emergence of human consciousness? Can consciousness be reduced to electrical and chemical processes that occur in a vast, intricately connected collection of neurons? This panel will bring together physicists, historians, cognitive scientists, and mathematicians to explore the questions: Does consciousness emerge solely from matter? Does consciousness cease completely when biological systems supporting it stop functioning? Does today's science possess tools to answer these questions definitively? And when we obtain answers to these questions, what are the implications for human existence and ethics? Join our panel to explore this question and its implications.

    * Reception to follow.


    David Chalmers, PhD

    Co-Director, Center for Mind, Brain and Consciousness, New York University

    Michael Graziano, PhD

    Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, Princeton University; author of Consciousness and the Social Brain

    Hod Lipson, PhD

    Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Columbia University; author of Fabricated: The New World of 3D Printing

    Max Tegmark, PhD

    Professor, Department of Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology


    George Musser, PhD

    Contributing Editor at Scientific American; author of Spooky Action at a Distance and The Complete Idiot's Guide to String Theory

    Registration — Individual Lecture Prices

    Member $5
    Member (Student / Postdoc / Resident / Fellow) $5
    Nonmember $15
    Nonmember (Student / Postdoc / Resident / Fellow) $7


    This panel will be presented at no charge via Livestream. To view the Livestream or add it to your calendar, use this link:

    Presented by

    The New York Academy of Sciences

    Grant Support

    This program is made possible by the generous support of:

    John Templeton Foundation

    The event is part of the Physics of Everything series.

    This six-part series will unite some of the most vibrant public intellectuals and communicators of today—from scientists to philosophers, and ethicists to educators—for explorations that reflect on the current state of modern physical sciences.

    To learn more about each lecture and to purchase tickets, click on the links below.

    Contact Us

    Jennifer Costley, PhD

    Director, Physical Sciences, Sustainability & Engineering