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Yours to Decide: Fate, Free Will, Neither or Both?

Saturday, June 13, 2009
8:00 pm - 9:30 pm

Do we choose our actions or are they pre-determined? Is free will real or an illusion? In this special presentation with the 92nd Street Y, Nobel laureate Paul Nurse joins psychologist Daniel Wegner, neuroscientist Patrick Haggard, and philosopher Alfred Mele for a discussion that promises to illuminate this pivotal and perplexing age-old puzzle.

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


Paul NurseGeneticist

Paul Nurse is a geneticist and cell biologist who has worked on how the eukaryotic cell cycle is controlled and how cell shape and cell dimensions are determined. His major work has been on the cyclin dependent protein kinases and how they regulate cell reproduction.

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Daniel M. WegnerPsychologist

Daniel M. Wegner is Professor of Psychology at Harvard University. He studies how human minds accomplish self-control and guide us through social life. He conducted pioneering research on how people identify their actions and what gives us the sense that we are consciously causing them.

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Alfred MelePhilosopher

Alfred Mele is the William H. and Lucyle T. Werkmeister Professor of Philosophy at Florida State University. He is the author of 10 books, including Free Will and Luck, Effective Intentions, A Dialogue on Free Will and Science, and Free: Why Science Hasn’t Disproved Free Will.

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Patrick HaggardCognitive Neuroscientist

Patrick Haggard is a researcher at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London. He has studied the relationships between brain activity and subjective experience. He has published extensively on voluntary action, particularly on how and when we become conscious of our intentions and our actions.

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