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Flash of Genius: Stories of Invention

Saturday, June 13, 2009
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Alan Alda explores the nature of creative breakthroughs with innovators Dean Kamen, holder of more than 440 U.S. patents, and Hugh Herr, Director of the MIT Biomechatronics lab. The instant of inspiration can be as unpredictable as lightening, but true innovators create optimum conditions for transformative insights. What does it take to throw out conventional approaches to a problem and come up with something entirely new? Join us for a discussion about curiosity, passion, perseverance, collaboration and discovery.

Before the discussion, join Alan Alda for a screening of the film Flash of Genius, based on the true story of college professor and part-time inventor Robert Kearns’ long battle with the U.S. automobile industry to receive recognition for his ingenuity at any price.


Alan AldaActor, Author, Director

Alan Alda, a seven-time Emmy® Award winner, played Hawkeye Pierce and wrote many of the episodes on the classic TV series M*A*S*H. He has starred in, written, and directed many films, and was nominated for an Academy Award for his role in The Aviator.

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Hugh HerrBiomedical Engineer

Hugh Herr is Associate Professor at MIT and Director of the Biomechatronics group at the MIT Media Lab. His research seeks to advance technologies merging body and machine, and encompasses a diverse set of disciplines.

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Dean KamenInventor

Dean Kamen is an inventor, entrepreneur and tireless advocate for science and technology. He holds more than 440 U.S. and foreign patents, many for innovative medical devices that have expanded the frontiers of healthcare worldwide.

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