Entertaining Science

Pay Attention!

Even your brain doesn’t have the capacity to process everything in the environment simultaneously!  The brain’s solution to this problem is to select from the environment things to process, and to filter out other things, so as not to waste brain energy on them.  This filtering process is called attention.  Michael E. Goldberg, David Mahoney Professor of Brain and Behavior at Columbia University, and Ellen K. Levy, an artist and educator at the Institute for Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts who has long visualized interconnections between art and scientific investigations, will describe the art and science of attention – how the brain organizes attention and how the artist uses it to shape what the viewer looks at and thinks about. Goldberg will explore the trajectory of his original experiments on the cerebral cortex demonstrating how the brain creates a priority map of the world by integrating topdown and bottom up signals.  Levy will expand on their collaboration, which led her to conduct a mischievous experiment, involving inattention blindness and 3-Card Monte in several galleries that functioned as atypical ‘laboratories’ for exploring the realm of human behavior.

On Sunday June 10, 2012, at 6PM it is, in Roald Hoffmann and Dave Soldier’s Entertaining Science cabaret at the Cornelia Street Cafe (in the Village, at 29 Cornelia Street  between Bleecker and W. 4th; Christopher St. is probably the nearest subway stop). 212-989-9319. See their website at www.corneliastreetcafe.com. Admission $10 + 1 drink. Reservations can be made by calling the café, but only in the week before the show, i. e. from 10AM, Monday, June 4. 

Oliver Sacks explains his interest in metallic properties (and metallic t-shirts)

Entertaining Science has since 2002 paired public lectures by prominent scientists with performances by artists who address the lecture’s theme. One can expect anything: readings, music, theatre, magic, resolution of controversial issues. The general goal is to play with ideas, to talk to people about science, to entertain. And have fun.

The series runs at 6pm on the second Sunday of each month, and is coordinated by founder, chemist and poet Roald Hoffman of Cornell University with neuroscientist and composer Dave Soldier of Columbia University.

Past participants include scientists from a broad range of fields, including Oliver Sacks, Benoit Mandelbrot, Joseph Le Doux, Carl Djerassi, Paul Greengard, Roger Payne and Mark Moffet, paired with the likes of downtown musicians, actors, filmmakers, playwrights, choreographers and flamenco dancers, bluegrass bands, and,photographers including Vitaly Komar, Elliott Sharp, Phoebe Legere, Mark Mitton and NelidaTirado.

Download sample descriptions of Entertaining Science shows

NEXT ENTERTAINING SCIENCE: Loops, Waves, and Textures

In the early 1970’s, John Adams began to write music that combined his interest in American popular music, the classics, and electronics. Inspired by the waveform transformation that occurs in a modulating circuit, Adams set out to write music “as if the piano was a generator of waveforms,” by using loops, phasing, and algorithmic devices. Pianist Jeff Lankov will perform Adams’ first exploration into minimalism, the revolutionary Phrygian Gates; as well as his “manic, bipolar scherzo,”American Berserk.

Waves are at the heart of what Ken Perlin does. Ken, who directs the NYU Games for Learning Institute, is an Academy Award winning computer scientist at NYU’s Media Research Laboratory who has created a goodly number of the techniques used in today’s cinema. His interests include animation with personality, realistic textures, and educational computer games. For this event, he will be creating original graphically animated work inspired by Jeff’s interpretation of John Adams’ music.

Sunday, April 8th, 2012, 6pm. Call 212/989-9319 for reservations. 

PRESS & FURTHER INFO
All inquiries can be directed to Monsieur Dave Soldier. Selected press:

-Seed magazine

-Bulletin of the American Academy of Science

the Lancet (on Dave Sulzer & Rebecca Cherry’s show)

-Entertaining Science Blog

-Squidco

-And, of course, Roald Hoffman’s website

PREVIOUS SHOWS

The Two Garys–Guitar Zero & Exponential 2/12/2012

SILENT GENES AND GENTLE SONGS 1/8/2012 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, O UNIVERSE 12/11/2011

THE DRONE AND THE UNIVERSE 11/13/2011

Angular Momentum of the Human Body 10/9/2011

Movement of the People (And Monkeys) 9/11/2011 

New Frontiers: Undruggable Proteins & Impossible Piano Music 7/10/2011

Singing in the Brain 6/12/2011

Brain Trauma & One Man’s Music 5/8/2011

Sing to us, Planets 4/10/2011

AIDS with Heart, Humor & Hope 3/13/2011

Exposure: Radioactivity from Marie Curie to Today 2/13/2011 

Abstraction and Passion: The Brainwave Music Project 1/9/2011
Adventures Among Ants 5/2/2010

Can culture emerge from scratch? 3/7/2010

The Camera Never Lies 2/7/2010

EXTREMES 1/3/2010
YOU SEE WHAT YOUR BRAIN WANTS YOU TO SEE 12/6/2009
SHAPES AND ENERGIES: LOVE AND HATE AMONG THE ATOMS 11/1/2009
NATURAL LAW: DARWIN’S TANGLED BANK 10/4/2009
THE WORLDS WE MAKE UP 9/6/2009
ACQUA! THE SOUNDS AND SCIENCE OF WATER 6/7/2009
EL BAILE BACTERIANO! 5/3/2009
ANNIHILATION! 4/5/2009
NANOARCHITECTURES: WHY MORE OF LESS IS MORE! 3/1/2009
JEDUTHUN’S HEIRS: JEWISH GENES, JEWISH GROOVES 2/1/2009
FLEAS ON STEROIDS 1/4/2009
A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE LAB 12/7/2008
IMAGINE SCIENCE IN FILM 11/2/2008
The Haphazard Construction of the Human Mind 10/5/2008
TABOOS 9/7/2008
WAVE/PARTICLE 6/1/2008
WHY DO WHALES SING? 5/4/2008
It’s the Way it Shatters that Matters 3/2/2008
Five Feet High and Rising 2/3/2008
SeaChange: Reversing the Tide 1/6/2008
THINKING, FEELING 12/2/2007
ALL IS PATTERN 11/4/2007
Harmonious Triads 10/7/2007
Science 8/30/2007
COLTRANE, EINSTEIN, AND COSMOLOGY 2 7/1/2007
Reflections of the Animal Mind 6/3/2007
HE SAYS, SHE SAYS, EITHER WAY IT’S ALL PHALLACY 5/6/2007
A RIFF ON THE WAY TO STRUCTURE 4/1/2007
ATYPICAL ANTIPSYCHOTICS 3/4/2007
MIRROR, MIRROR ON THE WALL 2/4/2007
COSI SIMILI, COSI DIVERSE 1/7/2007
I FORGOT TO LEARN TO FORGET 12/3/2006
NAMING NATURE 11/5/2006
Chateau Jiahu, Vintage 7000 BC 10/15/2006
Chateau Jiahu, Vintage 7000 BC 10/15/2006
CHOICES 9/3/2006
Finally With Women 8/6/2006
SMALL TALK AMONG THE BACTERIA 6/4/2006
BIOMINERALIZATION: THE BEAUTY OF FUNCTION 5/7/2006
AFTERNOON OF THE CHIMERAS 4/2/2006
IN YOUR EAR 3/5/2006
DARWIN’S BIRTHDAY BASH 2/5/2006
NEON! 12/4/2005
IMPROVISING ON CHAOS 11/13/2005
GM FOODS; MONSTERS OR MIRACLES? 10/2/2005
FERNS 9/4/2005
FROM SAMARKAND TO CORDOBA 8/7/2005
SCIENCE AND THE MORAL LIFE–A MISMATCH? 6/5/2005
WHY DO BIRDS SING? 5/1/2005
EIN STEIN FÜR EINSTEIN 4/3/2005
SHUFFLE OFF THIS MORTAL COIL 3/6/2005
ECO-OPERA-EVO 2/6/2005


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