Acknowledging the scientists who blazed intellectual trails before him, Isaac Newton wrote, “If I have seen a little further it was by standing on the shoulders of giants.” In this special annual series, we invite our audience to stand on the shoulders of a modern-day giant. This year, we are honored to present an address by a titan of physics, Barry Barish.
Creative thought is surely among our most precious and mysterious capabilities. But can powerful computers rival the human brain? As thinking, remembering and innovating become increasingly interwoven with technological advances, what are we capable of? What do we lose? Join Luciano Floridi, John Donoghue, Gary Small and Rosalind Picard for a thought-provoking program about thinking.
How did Eric Lander go from being an extremely talented and accomplished mathematician to making one of the most important contributions to the field of genetics? We take a look …
Our genes strictly dictate our personalities, appearance and diseases. Or do they? Research has revealed that genes can turn on and off; they can be expressed for years and then silenced. Sometimes, they are never activated. And these genetic instructions—how and when DNA is read—can be determined by the experiences of one’s ancestors, even those several generations back.
A few decades ago, we knew of no other planets beyond those in our solar system. Today, astronomers have confirmed over 700 planets circling other suns and believe billions more lay undiscovered.
Should we limit the use and knowledge of genetics in the case of conception? What about using genetic engineering to make humans healthier—or even enhancing humanity by manipulating DNA?
Do we make conscious decisions? Or are all of our actions predetermined? And if we don’t have free will, are we responsible for what we do? Modern neurotechnology is now allowing scientists to study brain activity neuron by neuron to try to determine how and when our brains decide to act.
Alan Alda has issued this year’s challenge to the world’s top scientists: What is sound? In an action-packed hour of interactive demonstrations, Alan and a team of communication experts invite the audience to explore what we hear, how we hear, and what that means for different species.