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  • Art & Science

  • Past Events

    Wednesday, June 29, 2016 | 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM

    Did Einstein Kill Schrödinger's Cat? A Quantum State of Mind

    Featuring: Daniel Harlow (Harvard University Center for the Fundamental Laws of Nature), Scott Aaronson (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), and Brian Swingle (Stanford Institute for Theoretical Physics)
    Moderator: George Musser (Spooky Action at a Distance)

    Recent research suggests that quantum information and entanglement of quantum states—a term coined by Schrödinger to describe "spooky action at a distance" between quantum particles in his letters to Einstein in which he also proposed his famous thought experiment, Schrödinger's cat, to illustrate quantum superposition—may be key to understanding quantum gravity, one of the greatest unsolved problems of modern physics. Physicists are now wrestling with another paradox thought experiment that describes the fate of quantum states at the event horizon of a black hole and may upend some of the time-tested fundamental theories. This panel will discuss the fascinating interplay between two great theories of the 20th century—quantum theory and general relativity—and how these phenomena may be exploited, from black holes to quantum computing.

    Monday, June 13, 2016 | 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM

    Are We Alone in the Universe?

    Featuring: Adam Frank (University of Rochester), Louisa Preston (astrobiologist and author), Jason Thomas Wright (Pennsylvania State University), and Stephen M. Gardiner (University of Washington)
    Moderator: Ira Flatow (PRI's Science Friday®)

    The Fermi Paradox—the apparent contradiction between the high probability of the existence of extraterrestrial civilizations and the lack of contact with such civilizations—continues to captivate our minds. Join our panel of leading physicists and philosophers as they explore the question: "Where is everybody?" as well as other questions: How does scientific knowledge direct our future scientific and technological pursuits on Earth and in space? How does science inform human ethics? Does science make us better citizens of the universe?

    Monday, May 23, 2016 | 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM

    The Rise of Human Consciousness

    Featuring: David Chalmers (Center for Mind, Brain and Consciousness, New York University), Michael Graziano (Princeton University), Hod Lipson (Columbia University) and Max Tegmark (Massachusetts Institute of Technology).
    Moderator: George Musser (Spooky Action at a Distance)

    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? Join our panel to explore this question and its implications.

    Monday, May 9, 2016 | 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM

    Complexity: A Science of the Future?

    Featuring: Bernard Chazelle (The Discrepancy Method: Randomness and Complexity), Marcelo Gleiser (A Tear at the Edge of Creation), and Geoffrey West (Santa Fe Institute)
    Moderator: George Musser (Spooky Action at a Distance)

    The advent of sophisticated computer technology has allowed studies of complex systems such as cell colonies, neurons in the brain, the immune system, economic markets, and social groups. In complex systems, simple, nonlinear interactions are iterated over time and give rise to self-organization, evolution, learning, and adaptation—phenomena that eluded explanation until now. This panel, including selected physicists, will explore whether studies of complexity complement traditional physics or may upend science as we know it.

    Monday, April 25, 2016 | 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM

    Where Do Physics and Philosophy Intersect?

    Featuring: David Z. Albert (Columbia University), Hans Halvorson (Princeton University), and Jim Holt (Why Does the World Exist? An Existential Detective Story)
    Moderator: Kate Becker (The Visible Universe)

    At its core, physics addresses the fundamental problems that shape our philosophical outlook. Join our distinguished panel including writer Jim Holt, philosopher David Z. Albert, and science writer Kate Becker in a dialogue that explores the philosophical meaning of the theories of modern physics—including quantum field theory, cosmology, and quantum gravity—and considers the ability of physics as a scientific discipline to answer the question: how can it be like that?

    Tuesday, April 5, 2016 | 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM

    What Does the Future Hold for Physics: Is There a Limit to Human Knowledge?

    Featuring: Neal Weiner (Center for Cosmology and Particle Physics, New York University), Eva Silverstein (Stanford University), and Vijay Balasubramanian (University of Pennsylvania)
    Moderator: Jill North (Rutgers University)

    Modern physics has been remarkably successful in describing the dynamical history of our universe and producing new data that extends our knowledge of the world. Nevertheless, our understanding of some key concepts that seek to explain our universe remains unresolved. Cosmologist Neil Weiner, physicist Vijay Balasubramanian and selected other speakers will explore the limits on our ability to learn about the universe and their significance for our worldview and the notion of divine intervention.

    Monday, May 19, 2014 | 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM

    What Can Robots and Economics Teach Us About Humanity?

    Keynote Speakers: Ernst Fehr (University of Zurich), Rolf Pfeifer (University of Zurich)

    While we may think of our intelligence and ability to make choices as properties of the human brain, insights from the fields of artificial intelligence and economics paint a more complicated picture. Join two experts in the field to learn more!

    Tuesday, April 8, 2014 | 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM

    Snownado: Surviving Frozen Science

    Speakers: Samuel Bowser (New York State Department of Health's Wadsworth Center), Julie Chase (The Explorers Club), Trevor Deighton, Linda Gormezano (American Museum of Natural History)

    Frigid, dark, and wet, the poles challenge life with some of the most formidable environments on the planet. Learn from intrepid explorers what drives them to undertake fieldwork in punishing conditions, and what happens when things go wrong.

    Thursday, October 17, 2013 | 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM

    Visualizing Scientific Data on the Big Screen

    Moderator: Carl Zimmer (Science Writer)
    Speakers: Amy Lee Robinson (Eyewire), Jonathan Fisher (Rockefeller University, Blavatnik Award Winner), Oliver Medvedik (GenSpace)

    Join the Academy and the Imagine Science Film Festival for a discussion that explores how data—from the huge data sets generated by genomics to a map of the brain—can be uniquely captured in the medium of film.

    Thursday, May 23, 2013 | 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM

    Gluttony: Deconstructing Dinner

    Speakers: Steve Ettlinger (Author), Dwight Eschliman (Photographer), J. Kenji Lopez-Alt (Serious Eats)
    Moderator: Dan Pashman (Journalist)

    Whether it's mined from deep in the earth or grown on a farm, the ingredients in modern food have to come from somewhere. Join us as we learn just where some of the ingredients in your favorite snacks come from and just how combining certain elements can lead to either a food fantasy or fatal fare! Part of the Science and the Seven Deadly Sins Series.