Upcoming Events at Brains

The symposium on Louise Richardson’s paper “Flavour, Taste and Smell”, with commentaries by Fiona MacPherson, Mohan Matthen, Matt Nudds, and Barry C. Smith, will begin on June 6. Louise’s paper will be made freely available when the June issue of Mind & Language is published, but until then an advance copy is available here.

In addition, on May 30 and 31, Brains will be hosting live video streams of two sold-out events from the World Science Festival in New York City:

First, there will be a panel titled “The Whispering Mind: The Enduring Conundrum on Consciousness”, moderated by Terry Moran, featuring Mélanie Boly, Christof Koch, Colin McGinn, and Nicholas Schiff, from 8:00-9:30pm on Thursday, May 30. Here is the program description:

It’s an old question:  what is consciousness?  Today, sophisticated brain imaging technologies, clinical studies, as well as the newfound ability to listen to the whisper of even an individual nerve cell, are bringing scientists closer than ever to the neurobiological basis of consciousness.  Join some of the world’s leading researchers who are primed to determine if Homo sapiens are the only conscious species, if consciousness lives only within our brain or also outside of it, and ultimately, the fundamental biochemical processes underlying the life of the mind.

Next, there will be a panel titled “Architects of the Mind: A Blueprint for the Human Brain”, moderated by Bill Weir, featuring R. Douglas Fields, Kristen Harris, Murray Shanahan, and Gregory Wheeler, from 8:00-9:30pm on Friday, May 31. Here is the program description for this event:

Is the human brain an elaborate organic computer? Since the time of the earliest electronic computers, some have imagined that with sufficiently robust memory, processing speed, and programming, a functioning human brain can be replicated in silicon. Others disagree, arguing that central to the workings of the brain are inherently non-computational processes. Do we differ from complex computer algorithms? Are there essential features of the physical make-up and workings of a brain that will prevent us from creating a machine that thinks? And if we should succeed in constructing a computer that claims to be sentient, how would we know if it really is?

Both events will be streaming LIVE at Brains, so be sure to visit on Thursday and Friday evening to watch.