The LASERs are a national program of evening gatherings that bring artists and scientists together for informal presentations and conversation with an audience. See the program for the whole series.
The event is free and open to everybody.
Email me if you want to be added to the mailing list for the LASERs.
Like previous evenings,
the agenda includes some presentations of art/science projects,
news from the audience, and time for casual socializing/networking.
This event is kindly sponsored by the Minerva Foundation.
Where: Classroom 202 at UC Berkeley Extensions Golden Bear Center, 1995 University Ave., Berkeley, CA 94704 (free parking in the nearby streets after 6pm)
Marcy Darnovsky (Center for Genetics and Society) on "The Case for a New Biopolitics"
New practices in the life sciences are raising profound challenges to social justice, the public interest, and the human future... Read more
David Salesin (Adobe) on "How Research Works"
How to use the power of the computer to bring aesthetics and good design into our lives... Read more
- 7:20-7:40: BREAK. Before or after the break, anyone in the audience currently working within the intersections of art and science will have 30 seconds to share their work. Please present your work as a teaser so that those who are interested can seek you out during social time following the event.
Chris McKay (NASA) on "The Curiosity Mars Mission"
Searching for a second genesis of life beyond the Earth... Read more
Javier Ideami (Filmmaker) on "Instant Filmmaking: DIY Technology for Visual Storytelling and Socialization"
Producing a short video beginning to end in 20 minutes with the audience as the actors... Read more
- 8:30pm-9:00pm: Discussions, networking
You can mingle with the speakers and the audience
Thinking about Thought
Art, Technology, Culture Colloquia
Previous Art/Science Evenings
- Marcy Darnovsky is the Executive Director of the Center for Genetics and Society, a public affairs organization working to encourage responsible uses and effective societal governance of new reproductive and genetic technologies. She speaks and writes widely on the politics of human biotechnology, focusing on their social justice and public interest implications. Her articles have appeared in The Nation, Democracy, Harvard Law and Policy Review, The American Interest, Alternet, Science Progress, The Journal of Life Sciences, Modern Healthcare, Contraception, Bioethics Forum, Tikkun and many others. She has appeared on dozens of television, radio, and online news shows and has been interviewed and cited in hundreds of news and magazine articles. She has worked as an organizer and advocate in a range of environmental and progressive political movements, and taught courses at Sonoma State University and at California State University East Bay. Her Ph.D. is from the History of Consciousness program at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
- Javier Ideami is a Spanish-born multidisciplinary artist and founder of Ideami Studios. With studies in both artistic (Painting, Photography, Filmmaking, Design and Music) and technical fields (Computing Engineering), Javier has been blending the arts and the sciences, being awarded numerous awards for his work across different disciplines. Javier has exhibited his creative work in many galleries in both Europe and the USA. Javier collaborates regularly with artists, architects, engineers and other creative minds in innovative projects around the world. He is one of the founders of the creative group RAN, winner of an award by the Spanish museum of art and technology Laboral. He was also the founder of the Web 2.0 online application Ewidi, an online social network in 33 languages. In 2008 Javier co-founded Flaii, a Silicon Valley startup in the social networking and gaming space. Javier later launched the interactive creative application Posterini. Javier is also an award-winning filmmaker, screenwriter, and director who occasionally works as well on the photography and music of his films. His filmography includes the films: 2011. The Weight of Light (HD), 2010. The Long Goodbye (Red One 4K), 2010. Erase Love (Red One 4K), 2008. La Ultima Cena (HD), 2007 - El Cuadro (HD), 2006 - Magic Mountain (35mm, Dolby Digital), 2005 - The Moontamer, 2004 - Ego. They won awards at the London International Sci-Fi Film festival, at the Ourense International Film Festival, at the Gaudi Prizes in Barcelona, and at the San Francisco International SFShorts Film Festival. He has also won awards for his photography and music He has also produced the illustrated book for children "The Moontamer" (2010).
- Chris McKay is Planetary Scientist with the Space Science Division of NASA Ames. His current research focuses on the evolution of the solar system and the origin of life. He is also actively involved in planning for future Mars missions including human exploration. Chris been involved in research in Mars-like environments on Earth, traveling to the Antarctic dry valleys, Siberia, the Canadian Arctic, and the Atacama, Namib, & Sahara deserts to study life in these Mars-like environments. He was a co-investigator on the Huygens probe to Saturn's moon Titan in 2005, the Mars Phoenix lander mission in 2008, and the Mars Science Laboratory mission in 2012.
- David Salesin (Adobe) leads the Adobe Creative Technologies Lab, which he founded when he joined the company in 2005. He is also an Affiliate Professor in the Department of Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington, where he has been on the faculty since 1992. He received an Sc.B. from Brown University in 1983, and a Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1991. From 1983-87, he worked at Lucasfilm and Pixar, where he contributed computer animation for the Academy Award-winning short film, "Tin Toy," and the feature-length film, Young Sherlock Holmes. He spent the 1991-92 year as a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Program of Computer Graphics at Cornell University. In 1996, he co-founded two companies, where he served as Chief Scientist: Inklination and Numinous Technologies. When the latter was acquired by Microsoft in 1999, he worked as a Senior Researcher at Microsoft Research until 2005, while remaining on the UW faculty. He was named a Guest Professor of Zhejiang University and an ACM Fellow in 2002.
- Piero Scaruffi is a cognitive scientist who has lectured in three continents and published several books on Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Science, the latest one being "The Nature of Consciousness" (2006). He pioneered Internet applications in the early 1980s and the use of the World-Wide Web for cultural purposes in the mid 1990s. His poetry has been awarded several national prizes in Italy and the USA. His latest book of poems and meditations is "Synthesis" (2009). As a music historian, he has published ten books, the latest ones being "A History of Rock and Dance Music" (2009) and "A History of Jazz Music" (2007). His latest book of history is "A History of Silicon Valley" (2011). The first volume of his free ebook "A Visual History of the Visual Arts" appeared in 2012. His latest book is "Demystifying Machine Intelligence" (2013). He has also written extensively about cinema and literature.
In this talk I will draw upon my own experiences as a researcher to provide a very personal perspective on what makes for good research. In the process I will give an overview of some of my own research in using the power of the computer to bring aesthetics and good design into our lives.
We live in the age of video; Today more than ever, thousands of tools accelerate the process of communicating messages,touching all areas of the storytelling process, from brainstorming to planning, shooting, postproducing and marketing. We will choose a direction and brainstorm an idea, create characters, select actors, plan and execute the production, postproduce it and begin its marketing campaign, all in 20 minutes. A fun metaphor to convey the world we live in, where choosing the right tools can help us preserve the quality while still accelerating the production of our media content. The resulting video will be very small, between 30 and 60 seconds as the intention of the exercise is to showcase the process in a compact, entertaining and quick way. During the process i will showcase many tools that are useful for people, of course including springkite to brainstorm the idea, posterini to create the poster at the end, but many other well known ones and not well known ones , all focused on accelerating the creation of a quality storytelling video beginning to end (from conception of idea till marketing of result).
From commercial surrogacy to sex selection, from police DNA databases to patents on life, from early fetal gene tests to "three-parent IVF," new practices in the life sciences are raising profound challenges to social justice, the public interest, and the human future. Many of these issues are taking us, in the words of former Vice President Al Gore's recent best-seller The Future, "beyond the outer edges of the moral, ethical and religious maps bequeathed to us by previous generations."
Responsibly used, human genetic and reproductive technologies offer promising new ways to treat disease and otherwise improve the human condition. If misused, they could exacerbate existing disparities and create high-tech forms of discrimination and inequality.
Currently, public attention to the social and ethical concerns about human biotechnologies is episodic and disconnected. Only a few non-governmental organizations have programs addressing them. In the US, public policies are thin at best.Political understanding of human biotechnologies is at an early stage, perhaps comparable to the state of understanding of environmental issues that existed before the publication of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring. But a new biopolitics is taking shape.
This talk will take you on a tour of the thorny ethical and societal questions raised by human genetic and assisted reproductive technologies, and of the new biopolitics that is emerging to confront them.
I'll talk about the current status and activities of the Mars Curiosity Rover and how it fit into the search for a second genesis of life beyond the Earth. Curiosity has been operating on Mars for 200 days. My main interest is the search for organics on Mars. If we find organics on Mars, the next challenge will be to determine if they are of biological or non-biological origin. Beyond Mars, my favorite location in the Solar System is Enceladus, the small Moon of Saturn - I'll explain why.
Photos and videos of this evening