Lectures 2014-2015

Scientists and engineers are often perceived as living intellectual lives that are mysterious — simultaneously wondrous and arcane. The Brown University Presidential Colloquium Series, Thinking Out Loud: Deciphering Mysteries of Our World and Beyond, showcases profoundly creative and accomplished scholars who not only tackle some of the biggest “Big Questions” there are, but also skillfully communicate their inner visions to broad audiences. Our 2014-15 Thinking Out Loud Presidential Colloquium speakers consider a wide range of large, urgent and pervasive questions:

John A. Johnson
is a hunter for planets around distant suns, implicitly seeking answers to the question, "Are we alone?"

Emery N. Brown
is an anesthesiologist and neuroscientist whose work raps on the door of "What is consciousness?

Paula T. Hammond
wants to kill cancer less toxically through artful nanoengineering.

S. James Gates, Jr.
asks "What guards our reality against oblivion?" and his answers lead some to wonder whether we are indeed living in "The Matrix."

Richard A. Tapia
talks about math at high speed (particularly bicycle and drag racing) as well as the mysterious ability of math to effectively model our universe.

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