Leonardo Art/Science Evening Rendezvous of December 10, 2015

Exploring the Frontiers of Knowledge and Imagination, Fostering Interdisciplinary Networking

Stanford, December 10, 2015
c/o Stanford University
Alway M106
Chaired by Piero Scaruffi

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.
Where: Stanford University, Alway M106
There should be ample parking in the structure on corner of Campus Drive West and Roth Way. (Stanford map)
Parking is mostly free at Stanford after 4pm.
What (the order of the speakers might change):
  • 7:00-7:25: Christine Metzger (California College of the Arts) on "Lights, Camera...Fiction?" How much science (mis)education do we get from movies?... Read more
  • 7:25-7:50: Sally Benson ((Director of Stanford's Global Climate and Energy Project) on "Diet and Exercise: A Prescription To Cure The Planet's Climate Woes." Abstract forthcoming... Read more
  • 7:50-8:10: 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.
  • 8:10-8:35: James Doty (Founding Director, Stanford's Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education) on "Why be Nice" Abstract forthcoming... Read more
  • 8:35-9:00: Danielle Siembieda-Gribben (Visual Artist and Curator) on "The Future of Eco Art/Tech" How is Eco Art adapting to the growth of Green Engineering, CleanTech and Environmental Politics?... Read more
  • 9:00pm-9:30pm: Discussions, networking You can mingle with the speakers and the audience
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See also...
  • Other LASER series
  • Leonardo ISAST
  • Art, Technology, Culture Colloquia
  • ScienceSchmoozer
  • LAST Festival
    • Sally Benson , professor of Stanford's Energy Resources Engineering, director of the Global Climate and Energy Project (GCEP), as well as director of the Precourt Institute for Energy, is a leading authority on carbon capture and storage and emerging energy technologies. Prior to coming to Stanford, she was director of the Earth Sciences Division at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. She serves on the boards of directors of the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Carbon Management Canada and Climate Central. She is the author of more than 160 scientific publications, as well as the co-founding editor of the journal MRS Energy and Sustainability. In 2007 she was one of thousands of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). scientists to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.
    • James Doty is the Founding Director of Stanford's Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education) as well as a Clinical Professor in the Department of Neurosurgery, where his research focuses on the development of technologies using focused beams of radiation in conjunction with robotics and image-guidance techniques to treat solid tumors and other pathologies in the brain and spinal cord. He is an inventor, entrepreneur and philanthropist. He is actively involved in charities for HIV/AIDS support, blood banks, medical care in third world countries and peace initiatives. He is the Chairman of the Dalai Lama Foundation. is on the Board of Directors of a number of non-profit foundations and is on the International Advisory Board of the Council for the Parliament of the World's Religions. He is the author of "Into the Magic Shop: A Neurosurgeon's Quest to Discover the Mysteries of the Brain and the Secrets of the Heart" (Penguin, 2016).
    • Christine Metzger is California College of the Arts's first tenure-track assistant professor of Earth and environmental science. She is a co-principal investigator for a 3-year, interdisciplinary National Science Foundation grant: Exploring Science in the Studio, which funds continued efforts to embed scientists into the studio curriculum. She is also the developer of many interdisciplinary courses that bring science to arts and design students, such as Bad Science at the Movies which is an introductory geology class as seen via the lens of Hollywood disaster movies, and Life on Earth through Time, a history of four-billion years of life history that incorporates illustration and other creative work with science. She is also an instructor for Johns Hopkins University's Center for Talented Youth summer program.
    • 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 "Intelligence is not Artificial" (2013). He has also written extensively about cinema and literature.
    • Danielle Siembieda-Gribben is an art service provider and creative entrepreneur, working at the intersection of Social Practice, Institutional Critique, Intervention and New Media. Most of her work includes an emphasis on the environment and technology. She has been an artist in residence at the TechShop SJ where she create a body of work around cyborg politics and the anthropocene. Her involvement in the arts has included serving on the board for the Women's Environmental Art Directory and the Emerging Arts Professionals. She has been the Affiliate Manager for Leonardo/ISAST, Outreach Coordinator for CODAME Art + Tech and the Community Engagement Manager for ZERO1. Currently she is an art consultant for the City of San Francisco Department of Environment. http://www.siembieda.com.

    Extended abstracts:



    How much science (mis)education do we get from movies? Bad Science at the Movies is a course taught at California College of the Arts that uses bad Hollywood disaster movies as a framework to learn about geology and as a springboard to debunk common myths in Earth and environmental science. From the implausible to the possible, films like The Core, Volcano, The Day After Tomorrow, and Jurassic Park captivate audiences but also defy basic scientific principles, flout the laws of physics, and often minimize the true scale of natural disasters. Using some back-of-envelope calculations, we can identify and examine these inconsistencies.


    Compassion is the recognition of another's suffering and a desire to alleviate that suffering. Often brushed off as a hippy dippy religious term irrelevant in modern society, rigorous empirical data supports the view of all major world religions: compassion is good.

    The evolution of the Eco Art movement has always borrowed from the sciences and social justice. How is Eco Art adapting to the growth of Green Engineering, CleanTech and Environmental Politics? Danielle Siembieda will explain how and why artists are using Art + Tech to save the planet.
    Photos and videos of this evening