The Helix Center organizes interdisciplinary roundtables of leaders in the arts and sciences. Red Rooster is Chef Marcus Samuelsson’s wonderful restaurant in the heart of Harlem.
Archive for the ‘Neuroscience’ Category
Our last seminar at Princeton was a big success. George Bisacca, a Conservator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, was the featured guest. He dazzled the group with his stories about restoring priceless works of art, and what he had learned during his years of apprenticeship in Italy.
One result of translating lessons from magic into terms that scientists can understand (on a good day) is that it brings me great joy to organize discussions between scientists and practitioners with shared interests.
On April 23rd, with my friends Greg Calbi and Nils Norén, we organized a scientifically sound evening at Sterling Sound and Red Rooster Harlem. We invited top scientists with an interest or specialty in sound into the studio where Greg Calbi creates his magic. Greg is a legendary sound mastering engineer; his work is the final step in the recording process. He played one example after another of the kinds of choices that he needs to make each day to make a recording “sound right”. Then we all cabbed up to Harlem for an amazing feast at Red Rooster where Nils Norén served us every single thing on the menu. Nils is Vice President, Restaurant Operations of the Marcus Samuelsson Group.
It was a great evening!
Greg Calbi talked about his work at Sterling Sound.
Nils Norén hosted our incredible dinner at Red Rooster.
Thanks to the David A. Gardner ’69 Magic Fund, the Humanities Council at Princeton University is sponsoring a faculty seminar on Magic, Perception, and Decisions that will explore magic and deception as they affect art, science, law, politics and other arenas of human life. Eldar Shafir, the William Stewart Tod Professor of Psychology and Public Affairs, is co-convener of the seminar, along with yours truly. Over four dinner sessions, we are discussing the nature and role of “magic” in human affairs.
Last night, our first invited speaker was Micah Lasher, Mayor Bloomberg’s man in Albany… and a published magician.
For the third year in a row, I attended the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience. This time it was held in Washington DC. My friend Stuart Firestein and I always manage to have a series of adventures at this conference…
One night we found ourselves at a party at the Spy Museum, and from there we went over to the Air and Space Museum where Jeff Lichtman from Harvard presented mind-blowing images from inside the brain showing how our neurons are connected to each other. His talk was followed by a very fancy party hosted by Zeiss, the manufacturer of incredible microscopes. In fact, this party was so fancy that they served miniature, two-bite, baked Alaskas and chocolate mousse-filled brownies for dessert. Friends from Columbia University brought over the CEO of Zeiss, James Sharp, and had me do a bunch of magic tricks for him. Then James Sharp took us over to Jeff Lichtman, and I did magic for him as well, and was able to ask him questions about his amazing presentation.
Tipped off by my friend Moran Cerf, we then headed to the third party of the night. Stuart used to drive a cab in DC many years ago and when he heard the address, he worried that it was in a dangerous neighborhood. But that didn’t stop us! Late at night, we pulled up at an Animal House-like party in a 2-story home FILLED with students where we found Moran and Christof Koch, (the Chief Scientific Officer of the Allen Institute for Brain Science) in the middle of the throbbing crowd.
It was a fantastic and very nerdy night.
Performing magic for James Sharp, the CEO of Zeiss:
It was a thrill to lecture yesterday at the Department of Neuroscience of the University of Parma, Italy for Vittorio Gallese, his colleagues and students. In the 1980’s and 90’s, Giacomo Rizzolatti - together with Giuseppe Di Pellegrino, Luciano Fadiga, Leonardo Fogassi and Vittorio Gallese - discovered mirror neurons.