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Livestream 2017

Wednesday, May 31, 2017
8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Thursday, June 1, 2017
8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Thursday, June 1, 2017
8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Friday, June 2, 2017
8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Friday, June 2, 2017
8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Saturday, June 3, 2017
2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Saturday, June 3, 2017
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Saturday, June 3, 2017
8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Saturday, June 3, 2017
8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Sunday, June 4, 2017
1:30 pm - 2:30 pm
Sunday, June 4, 2017
5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
ModeratorJohn Schaefer

Today, there are robots that make art, move like dancers, tell stories, and even help human chefs devise unique recipes. But is there ingenuity in silico? Can computers be creative? A rare treat for the senses, this thought-provoking event brings together artists and computer scientists who are creating original works with the help of artificially intelligent machines. Joined by leading experts in psychology and neuroscience, they’ll explore the roots of creativity in humans and computers, what artificial creativity reveals about human imagination, and the future of hybrid systems that build on the capabilities of both.

The Big Ideas Series is supported in part by the John Templeton Foundation.

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ModeratorEmily Senay

Synthetic blood mass-produced to meet supply shortages. Livers and kidneys “bioprinted” on demand. Missing fingers and toes re-grown with a jolt of bioelectricity. Regenerative medicine promises to do more than just treat disease, injuries, or congenital conditions. It holds the potential to rejuvenate, heal, or completely replace damaged tissue and organs. If successful, regenerative medicine will have immense impact on how we care for the injured, sick, and aging — and how we think about death. This program will explore mind-boggling medical advances as well as the societal and economic implications of a future in which everybody may truly be forever young.

The Big Ideas Series is supported in part by the John Templeton Foundation.

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It’s a profound question facing modern humans: Are we still subject to natural selection? After hundreds of years of scientific progress, many of the pressures that control evolution—predators and disease—are decreasing. At the same time, technology capable of engineering the genome is in our hands. Are we undergoing a new form of evolution in which artificial changes are faster and more radical than those produced by the natural world? Should we control our own genetic material? Where will these changes lead us? Renowned geneticists, paleoanthropologists, and biologists consider our genetic future as evolution evolves.

The Big Ideas Series is supported in part by the John Templeton Foundation.

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ModeratorJohn Donvan

We humans work together on enormous scales, build complex tools as large as cities, and create social networks that span the globe. What is the key to this innately social profile? How did it evolve? This program will examine the development of the human brain — and the brains of other animals — asking how neurons and synapses orchestrate communal behavior and guide group interactions, demonstrating how our social nature is key to our humanity.

The Big Ideas Series is supported in part by the John Templeton Foundation.

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ModeratorBrian Greene

Ninety years after the historic double-slit experiment, the quantum revolution shows no sign of slowing. Join a vibrant conversation with renowned leaders in theoretical physics, quantum computation and philosophical foundations, focused on how quantum physics continues to impact understanding on issues profound and practical, from the edge of black holes and the fibers of spacetime to teleportation and the future of computers.

The Big Ideas Series is supported in part by the John Templeton Foundation.

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ModeratorJim Holt

Physicists and cosmologists are closing in on how the universe operates at its very core. But even with powerful telescopes and particle accelerators pushed to their limits, experimenters struggle to keep up as theoreticians march forward, leaving grand theories untested. Is our universe unique or one of many? Was there a before the Big Bang? Why is there something rather than nothing? Some argue that if these deep questions can’t be answered empirically, they’re not relevant to science. Are they right? Join world-leading cosmologists, philosophers and physicists as they tackle the profound questions of existence.

The Big Ideas Series is supported in part by the John Templeton Foundation.

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ModeratorAlan Alda

Alan Alda has issued this year’s challenge to the world’s top scientists: What is energy? In an action-packed hour of interactive demonstrations, Alan and a team of experts invite the audience to explore how our bodies use energy, the impact of natural resources, and how we’re going to power the world in the future. The program also highlights the winners of the 2017 Flame Challenge, in which video and written explanations of energy were judged for clarity’s sake…by 20,000 eleven year-olds.

This program is in association with the Flame Challenge, an annual contest held by The Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University.

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ModeratorJohn Donvan

Our age is marked by the proliferation of information, and yet we can’t agree. Science is supposed to be neutral, and yet it has generated some of the deepest societal divides. Why? Our response to scientific information depends on psychology, emotion, peer pressure, politics, and cultural influences. How can we navigate these differences and implement smart policy in a contentious society? Join a vibrant and important discussion examining the interface between the scientific process and the sometimes unscientific public, as we hurtle headlong into an uncertain future.

The Big Ideas Series is supported in part by the John Templeton Foundation.

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The biggest challenge of our time, meeting the energy demands of an exploding population on a warming planet, may well be met by manipulating matter on the tiniest of scales — revolutionizing how we power the planet. Join world-class nanoscientists and environmental leaders to explore how the newfound capacity to harness molecules and atoms is accelerating spectacular inventions — including light-weight “wonder materials,” vital energy-storage technologies, and new sources of renewable energy — which promise to redefine the very future of energy.

The Kavli Prize recognizes scientists for their seminal advances in astrophysics, nanoscience, and neuroscience. The series, “The Big, the Small, and the Complex,” is sponsored by The Kavli Foundation and The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters.

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The World Science Festival’s highly celebrated program, Cool Jobs, is back with an astounding line-up of the coolest science teachers around. Can you break a cinder block on your chest? Dance your way into learning about fossils? Play catch with a robot? These are all things that these people do every day…at work. And all because they know how to make science the most exciting thing around. Come experience their passion during an interactive performance you will not want to miss.

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Imagine navigating the globe with a map that only sketched out the continents. That’s pretty much how neuroscientists have been operating for decades. But one of the most ambitious programs in all of neuroscience, the Human Connectome Project, has just yielded a “network map” that is shedding light on the intricate connectivity in the brain. Join leading neuroscientists and psychologists as they explore how the Connectome promises to revolutionize treatments for psychiatric and neurological disorders while also answering profound questions regarding the electrochemical roots of memory and behavior, the link between experience and perception, and perhaps the very nature of consciousness itself.

The Big Ideas Series is supported in part by the John Templeton Foundation.

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