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The Bionic Body: Going Wireless

Saturday, May 31, 2014
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Advanced prosthetics, pacemakers, and powerful aids like cochlear implants and bionic eyes are blurring the line between man and machine. Merging technology with the human body can help erase disabilities or even enhance the human body beyond its normal capacities.  In fact, the future could be filled with wireless implantable technologies.  Learn how Peckham’s wireless FES (functional electrical stimulation) system restores limb control, and how Donoghue’s wireless, rechargeable, and fully implantable BMI system (Brain/Machine Interface) gives users the ability to control technology with their mind.

The World Science Festival’s annual salon series offers in-depth conversations with leading scientists, extending the discussion of the Festival’s premiere public programs to graduate students, postdocs, faculty and well-informed members of the general public.

This program is part of the Big Ideas Series, made possible with support from the John Templeton Foundation. 

Moderator

Bill BlakemoreNews Correspondent

Bill Blakemore became a reporter for ABC News 46 years ago, covering a wide variety of stories. He spearheaded ABC’s coverage of global warming, traveling from the tropics to polar regions to report on its impacts, dangers, and possible remedies.

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Participants

Joseph J. FinsPhysician, Medical Ethicist

Joseph J. Fins is The E. William Davis, Jr. M.D. Professor of Medical Ethics and Chief of the Division of Medical Ethics at Weill Cornell Medical College where he is a tenured Professor of Medicine, Professor of Medical Ethics in Neurology and Professor of Health Care Policy and Research.

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John DonoghueNeuroscientist

Professor John Donoghue was the founding chairman of the Department of Neuroscience at Brown, a position he held for thirteen years. He is currently the director of the Brown Institute for Brain Science, which unites more than one hundred Brown faculty members to support interdisciplinary research on the nervous system.

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P. Hunter PeckhamMedical and Biological Engineer

Hunter Peckham works on functional electrical stimulation, a method to restore limb control in paralyzed individuals. The technique uses implantable neural prostheses to control the muscles.

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Jennifer FrenchParalympian

Jennifer French is the 2012 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year, a silver medalist in sailing, and a quadriplegic. She is the first woman to receive the implanted Stand and Transfer system, an experimental device that uses implanted electrodes and an external control device.

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Scott FesslerFounder and CEO of The Fessler Foundation

Scott Fessler is the founder and CEO of The Fessler Foundation, which provides financial support for primary research facilities whose goal is to find a cure for spinal cord injuries, as well as to benefit the community of individuals with these injuries.

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Location