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Celebrating 350 years of the Royal Society

As part of the 350 year anniversery celebrations for the Royal Society, the Southbank Centre and the Royal Society are coming together to host the public Festival of Science and Arts.

This is a unique ten-day festival filling every corner of Southbank Centre this summer. The festival explores links between the sciences and arts and features a host of cross-disciplinary collaborations, scientific and artistic events.

The Festival will include exhibitions and debates from Cambridge Neuroscientists, including:

A window on the brain
Theme zone: Transform
Tags: Biology, Health, Technology
Twitter hash: #SFSSE

Venue: Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, London

Friday 25 June to Sunday 4 July 2010. Entrance is free.

Cambridge Neuroscientists working at the Medical Research Council Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit are using modern imaging methods to unlock the mysteries of how the human brain works.

“Our brains make us who we are, but how this happens remains a fascinating scientific puzzle.   Using new imaging techniques we now can see how brains remember, think, speak and feel, and understand the changes underlying crippling brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s, stroke, and coma,”

says Professor John Duncan FRS, Medical Research Council Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, pictured left, who is working on the exhibition.

Visitors will be able to experience a mock MRI ‘brain scan’ and take part in experiments such as listening to speech, facial recognition and experiencing emotional events.  They can assess their own brain functions and see images of human brains at work. For the CBU press release on this exhibition click here.

A Perfect Mind
Saturday, July 3, 2010 – 11:00-12:30
Venue: Purcell Room at Queen Elizabeth Hall
Location: Purcell Room at the Queen Elizabeth Hall
Cost: £8

Men ought to know that from the brain, and from the brain only, arise our pleasures, joys, laughter and jests, as well as our sorrows, pains, griefs and tears. Through it in particular, we think, see, hear, distinguish the ugly from the beautiful, the bad from the good, and the pleasant from the unpleasant.  Hippocrates, 500BC

We all share a desire for self-improvement - the desire to be perfect. Whether through education, work, parenthood or adhering to religious or ethical codes, each of us seeks to become a better human in a variety of ways. Developments in biotechnology, neuroscience, computing and nanotechnology mean we are entering an era where technological modification and enhancement of the body and mind is becoming a route to self-improvement. This event takes an extraordinary journey into the physical spaces of the brain and asks whether we can fulfil our desire for perfection. From creativity to conversation, and from memory to morality, can the object of our thoughts be altered, changed and bettered?

The panel includes:

    * Dr Mark Lythgoe (Chair), neuroscientist and Director of the University College London Centre for Advanced Biomedical Imaging
    * Professor Barbara Sahakian, Professor of Clinical Neuropsychology at University of Cambridge, pictured left.
    * Dr Nigel Warburton, Department of Philosophy, Open University


Beautiful Noise: The science and evolution of music
Wednesday, June 30, 2010 – 19:30-21:00
Venue: Weston Pavilion
Location: Royal Festival Hall
Cost: £8

The origin and evolution of music is a topic of enduring interest. Why and when did humans create music for the first time? Why does it seem to be the deepest cultural expression of emotion. Why has it evolved in different ways in different cultures? What do we really mean by ‘music’? Illustrated with recorded sound bites, this cross-disciplinary panel discussion will investigate the science and cultural evolution of music.

The panel includes:

    * Professor Robert Winston Professor of Science and Society and Emeritus Professor of Fertility Studies, Imperial College London and Chairman of the Royal College of Music (Chair)
    * Dr Ian Cross, Faculty of Music, University of Cambridge, pictured left.
    * Professor Emily Doolittle, Assistant Professor of Composition and Theory, Cornish College of the Arts
    * Professor Steven Mithen, Professor of Archaeology, University of Reading
    * Professor Vincent Walsh, Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London

For further information, please click here.


Posted on 11/06/2010

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