David EaglemanView Luminaries Page
David Eagleman is a neuroscientist and a New York Times bestselling author. He directs the Laboratory for Perception and Action at the Baylor College of Medicine, where he also directs the Initiative on Neuroscience and Law. He is best known for his work on time perception, synesthesia, and neurolaw. At night he writes. His work of fiction, SUM, is an international bestseller published in 27 languages. His book on the internet and civilization, Why the Net Matters, is available as an app for the iPad and as an eBook. Wednesday is Indigo Blue explores the neurological condition of synesthesia, in which the senses are blended. His latest book, the New York Times bestseller Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain, explores the neuroscience "under the hood" of the conscious mind—in other words, all the aspects of neural function to which we have no awareness or access.
Eagleman is a Guggenheim Fellow, a Next Generation Texas Fellow, a council member on the World Economic Forum, a research fellow in the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, and a board member of The Long Now Foundation. He is an academic editor for several scientific journals, and has been named one of 2012's Brightest Idea Guys by Italy's Style magazine. He is the scientific advisor for the television drama Perception, and has been profiled on the Colbert Report, NOVA Science Now, the New Yorker, CNN's Next List, and many other venues. He appears regularly on radio and television to discuss literature and science.
ELEW (Eric Lewis)
A modern day pop artist and musical revolutionary, piano iconoclast ELEW is making a substantial impression on the music world with a thunderous new style of playing: an inspired melding of ragtime, rock and pop that he calls Rockjazz.
ELEW has toured the world, recorded, and performed continuously with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Elvin Jones, Roy Hargrove, and Cassandra Wilson, among others. He won the 1999 Thelonious Monk International Piano Competition, his mesmerizing piano theatrics even then hinting at the new musical paradigm he would one day create.
Now, in the jazz tradition of interpreting popular tunes of the day, much like Art Tatum and John Coltrane, ELEW has turned to rock, combining a guitarist’s approach to the piano with an explosively physical style of playing that would be at home in any arena. An imposing force even before he stands (not sits) behind the piano, ELEW is known for playing his instrument like an athlete plays a sport—going inside the instrument, plucking directly at the strings, and testing the limits of both his body and his mind.
Internationally recognized for her discoveries of the science of the mind-body interaction in illness and healing, Dr. Esther M. Sternberg is a major force in collaborative initiatives on mind-body-stress-wellness and environment inter-relationships. Dr. Sternberg's many honors include recognition by the National Library of Medicine as one of 300 women physicians who have changed the face of medicine, the Anita Roberts National Institutes of Health Distinguished Woman Scientist Lectureship, and an honorary doctorate in medicine from Trinity College, Dublin. Currently Research Director for the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, University of Arizona at Tucson, Dr. Sternberg was previously Section Chief of Neuroendocrine Immunology and Behavior at the National Institute of Mental Health; Director of the Integrative Neural Immune Program, NIMH/NIH; and Co-Chair of the NIH Intramural Program on Research on Women's Health. She has been featured on numerous radio and television programs, including PBS's The New Medicine and Life Part II, NPR's Speaking of Faith and, in 2009, with Emmy Award winning Resolution Pictures, created and hosted a PBS special based on her books: The Science of Healing. Well known for her ability to translate complex scientific subjects for lay audiences, Sternberg has testified before Congress, advised the World Health Organization, and is a regular contributor to Science Magazine's "Books et al." column, and a regular columnist for Arthritis Today. A dynamic speaker, recognized by her peers as a spokesperson for the field, she translates complex scientific subjects in a highly accessible manner, with a combination of academic credibility, passion for science and compassion as a physician. Dr. Sternberg lectures nationally and internationally to both lay and scientific audiences and is frequently interviewed on radio, television and film and in print media on subjects including the mind-body connection, 'stress and illness', spirituality, love, and health, and place and well-being.
Helen FisherView Luminaries Page
Helen Fisher is an anthropologist specializing in the study of interpersonal romantic attraction. Her research into love and behavior leads her to the conclusion that the desire for love is a universal human drive, stronger than even the drive for sex. She has conducted extensive research into the evolution of sex, love, marriage, gender differences, and how your personality shapes who you love.
Jer Thorp is an artist and educator from Vancouver, Canada, currently living in New York. Coming from a background in genetics, his digital art practice explores the many-folded boundaries between science, data, art, and culture. Recently, his work has been featured by The Guardian, Scientific American, The New Yorker, and Popular Science.
Thorp’s award-winning software-based work has been exhibited in Europe, Asia, North America, South America, including in the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan.
Jer is an adjunct Professor in New York University’s ITP program, and a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Design Innovation. He is a co-founder of The Office For Creative Research, a multi-disciplinary research group exploring new modes of engagement with data. From 2010 – 2012, Jer was the Data Artist in Residence at the New York Times.
Joshua GreeneView Luminaries Page
Joshua D. Greene is the John and Ruth Hazel Associate Professor of the Social Sciences and the director of the Moral Cognition Laboratory in the Department of Psychology, Harvard University. He studies the psychology and neuroscience of morality, focusing on the interplay between emotion and reasoning in moral decision-making. His broader interests cluster around the intersection of philosophy, psychology, and neuroscience. Greene’s publications have appeared in Science, Nature, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA. His research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the MacArthur Foundation. In 2012 he was awarded the Stanton Prize by the Society for Philosophy and Psychology. He is the author of Moral Tribes: Emotion, Reason, and the Gap Between Us and Them (The Penguin Press, Fall 2013).
Justin GarciaView Luminaries Page
Justin R. Garcia is currently Assistant Professor of Gender Studies and Assistant Research Scientist at The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction, at Indiana University, Bloomington. He is also affiliate faculty in Human Biology, Cognitive Science, and Social and Behavioral Sciences in Public Health. He received his M.S. in biomedical anthropology and Ph.D. in evolutionary biology from Binghamton University. He is one of the lead investigators for ‘Singles in America’, a multi-year comprehensive national study of the behaviors and attitudes of U.S. singles sponsored by the online dating site Match.com
His research focuses on the evolutionary and biocultural foundations of human behavior, particularly romantic love, intimacy, and sexual behavior. He is especially interested in notions of commitment and attachment in romantic and sexual relationships. He has also written and lectured on the application of evolutionary theory in interdisciplinary studies.
Dr. Garcia is co-editor of Evolution’s Empress: Darwinian Perspectives on the Nature of Women (Oxford University Press, 2013), and co-author of Evolution and Human Sexual Behavior (Harvard University Press, 2013). His is he is a frequent contributor to national and international news and media, and his research has been featured in several documentaries.
Laurie SantosView Luminaries Page
Laurie Santos's research explores the evolutionary origins of the human mind by comparing the cognitive abilities of human and non-human primates. Her experiments focus on non-human primates (in captivity and in the field) incorporating methodologies from cognitive development, cognitive science, and animal learning. Santos's research examines the following broad questions: what domains of knowledge are unique to the human mind? Given that human infants and non-human primates both lack language, what similarities and differences do we see in the expression of non-linguistic domains of knowledge?
Her current work explores whether primates possess precursors to a theory of mind, how primates reason about different kinds of things (foods, artifacts, and animals), and whether primates share human-like decision-making biases.
Born in California, Marquese Scott aspired to be an architect. He soon acknowledged the undeniable passion that developed inside of him for dance and began focusing on the popping and locking. Realizing he needed to make a living, he enlisted in the United States Navy where he spent four year as a navigator on the USS Constellation. Throughout touring Hawaii, Mexico, Singapore, the Gulf Region and Australia, he became conscious of his next step in life: to solely perfect his art of dance by imitating the flow of nature and matter to music.
Scott became a youtube sensation with his performance of “Pumped Up Kicks Dubstep”. With over 81 million views, the video is “simply mind-blowing,” according to CBS. Ellen DeGeneres called it “Incredible” and Gather named it the “best dubstep ever seen or performed by anyone – period.” His video was featured on the front page news of MSN.com, The Huffington Post, CBS News, and YAHOO! News.
Natasha Vita-More, Ph.D.
Natasha Vita-More, is a designer and author whose research concerns human enhancement and radical life extension. Dr. Vita-More designed the pioneering “Primo Posthuman” prototype and “Platform Diverse Body." She is co-editor and contributing author of The Transhumanist Reader: Classical and Contemporary Essays on the Science, Technology, and Philosophy of the Future Human. Her writings have been published in numerous books and academic journals such as Technoetic Arts, Evolution haute couture, Metaverse Creativity, New Realities: Being Syncretic, Beyond Darwin, and D’ARS.
Wired called Vita-More an "early adopter of revolutionary changes" and Village Voice claimed she is "a role model for superlongevity." Featured in LAWeekly, The New York Times, and U.S. News & World Report, Vita-More has appeared in numerous televised documentaries on the future. She received Special Recognition at Women in Video and has exhibited at the London Contemporary Art Museum, Niet Normaal, and the Moscow Film Festival. Dr. Vita-More is an adjunct professor at the University of Advancing Technology.
Paul Ekman, Ph.D.View Luminaries Page
Paul Ekman is a pioneering psychologist in the study of emotions and facial expressions, and was named one of the most influential psychologists of the 20th century by the American Psychological Association. Ekman is most famous for his research establishing that nonverbal communication of emotions is not a cultural phenomenon but a universal one. Through his study of facial expressions, Ekman has substantiated Darwin's theory that human emotions are an evolved, biological response shared throughout cultures worldwide. On their importance in our lives, Ekman states, "Emotions can override…the more powerful fundamental motives that drive our lives: hunger, sex, and the will to survive." Ekman has also contributed to the study of microexpressions, involuntary facial expressions that occur when someone is attempting to conceal their true feelings. Microexpressions offer further evidence that emotional responses are indeed hardwired and universal. His system of reading these emotions gave rise to the crime drama television series Lie to Me, starring a character based on Ekman. In 2012, he spoke at the Being Human conference in San Francisco.
Peter Baumann was born on Jan. 29th 1953 in Berlin, Germany. After joining the musical group Tangerine Dream in 1971, he toured with the band worldwide and recorded multiple Gold records until 1981. Mr. Baumann moved to New York in 1982 and founded the record company, Private Music. He served as CEO of Private Music until 1994 when the company was sold to RCA.
Peter has been happily married for 27 years and is father to three grown children. He resides in San Francisco, California and serves as director of several privately held real estate and natural resource companies. For many years, he has focused on the exploration of well-being and quality of life from a philosophical, conceptual and experiential perspective. Peter co-authored EGO: The Fall of the Twin Towers and the Rise of an Enlightened Humanity with Michael Taft. He serves on the board of CIIS and is a Fellow at the Mind & Life Institute.
Richard J. Davidson, Ph.D.View Luminaries Page
Richard J. Davidson is the William James and Vilas Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry, Director of the Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging and Behavior and the Laboratory for Affective Neuroscience, and Founder and Chair of the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds, at the Waisman Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in Psychology and has been at Wisconsin since 1984. He has published more than 275 articles, many chapters and reviews and edited 13 books. He has been a member of the Mind and Life Institute’s Board of Directors since 1991. He is also the author of the book (with Sharon Begley) The Emotional Life of Your Brain.
Robert SapolskyView Luminaries Page
Robert Sapolsky is one of the world's leading neuroscientists, and has been called "one of the finest natural history writers around" by The New York Times. In studying wild baboon populations, Sapolsky examined how prolonged stress can cause physical and mental afflictions. His lab was among the first to document that stress can damage the neurons of the hippocampus. Sapolsky has shown, in both human and baboon societies, that low social status is a major contributor to stress and stress-related illness.