Leonardo Art/Science Evening Rendezvous of 10 December 2018

Exploring the Frontiers of Knowledge and Imagination, Fostering Interdisciplinary Networking

Stanford, 10 December 2018
LiKaShing building - Room LK101/102
Chaired by prof. Curtis Frank

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, LiKaShing building - Room LK101/102
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 6pm.
Program (the order of the speakers might change):
  • 7:00-7:25: Hirohisa Tanaka (SLAC National Laboratory) on " Neutrinos: The Desperate Remedy" The possibility that neutrinos and antineutrinos may behave differently has implications for why our universe exists at all... Read more
  • 7:25-7:50: Helen Blau (Stanford/ Directorof the Baxter Laboratory for Stem Cell Biology) on "Stem Cells: Seeds of a Therapeutic Revolution" The derivation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) in 2006 revolutionized stem cell biology...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: Michal Kosinski (Stanford Graduate School of Business) on "The End of Privacy" We should get ready for the future where privacy is a privilege reserved for the few... Read more
  • 8:35-9:00: Mauro Ffortissimo (Media Artist, Poet and Piano Deconstructor) on "What is a Piano?" A multidisciplinary creative process and ... 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
  • Archive of past LASERs
  • Leonardo ISAST
  • Art, Technology, Culture Colloquia
  • ScienceSchmoozer
  • LAST Festival
  • Other recommended events
    • Helen Blau is the Donald E. and Delia B. Baxter Foundation Professor and Director of the Baxter Laboratory for Stem Cell Biology at Stanford University School of Medicine. Blau's research area is regenerative medicine with a focus on stem cells. She is world-renowned for her work on nuclear reprogramming and the demonstration of the plasticity of cell fate using cell fusion which provided the scientific underpinnings for the modern era of stem cell biology. Blau is also internationally recognized for her discovery of regulators of muscle stem cell function and identification of strategies to rejuvenate the function of endogenous stem cells resident within muscle for the treatment of muscle atrophy due to disease, injury, or aging. Blau has been recognized with a number of awards. She has served as president of the American Society for Developmental Biology and president of the International Society of Differentiation, and as a member of the Harvard Board of Overseers. She is the recipient of Honorary Doctorates from the University of Nijmegen, Holland, and the University of York, England. She has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine, the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, and Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Blau is co-founder of two biotech companies, Myoforte and Rejuvenation Technologies.
    • Mauro Ffortissimo was born in Argentina in 1962, and emigrated to the USA in 1981. He has been living, working and making art in San Francisco and the greater Bay Area since that time. Trained in classical piano, self-taught in painting and sculpting, he has worked in multiple media’s including, sheet metal and, most prominently: de-constructed piano assemblages. Mauro has pioneered the “Piano Liberado”; bypassing the keyboard and playing directly on the strings to liberate the instrument from the traditional constraints of the 12-tone scale. He is a co-founder of the music/arts organization Sunset Piano.— a live performance company that takes pianos and places them into unexpected naturalistic and urban outdoor spaces. For three years running he has co produced a major summertime piano installation in the San Francisco Botanical Garden called Flower Piano. His work is the subject of the documentary film "Twelve Pianos" by Storyfarm's Dean Mermell, highlighting Mauro's work. The film premiered as the closing film at Green Film Festival in SF’s Castro theater and will soon be available online. Mauro also writes poetry and hosts a poetry and music salon at Specs Bar in North Beach, the second Wednesday of each month.
    • Michal Kosinski is a psychologist and data scientist. His research focuses on studying humans through the lenses of digital footprints left behind while using digital platforms and devices. He is an Assistant Professor at Stanford Graduate School of Business. Michal holds a PhD in Psychology from University of Cambridge, an MPhil in Psychometrics, and a MS in Social Psychology. Michal coordinates the myPersonality project, which involves global collaboration between over 200 researchers, analyzing the detailed psycho-demographic profiles of over 8 million Facebook users. While at Cambridge University, he started an open-source online adaptive testing platform Concerto and ApplyMagicSauce.com predictive engine. Previously, Michal was the Deputy Director of the University of Cambridge Psychometrics Centre, a researcher at Microsoft Research, and a post-doc at Stanford's Computer Science Department.
    • Hirohisa Tanaka is Professor of Particle Physics and Astrophysics at Stanford University. Honors & Awards include: Co-recipient, Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics (2015); Invitation Fellow, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (2009); Fellow, American Physical Society (2015). He is or has been a member of the International Advisory Committee, International Conference on Neutrino Physics and Astrophysics (2016 - Present), of the Experimental Advisory Committee, SNOLAB (2009 - 2012), of the Panel on Long Baseline Neutrino Experiments and Neutrino Factories, International Committee for Future Accelerators (2013 - 2017), of the Five Year Plan Steering Committee, TRIUMF (2012 - 2013), of the Physics Advisory Committee, Fermilab (2014 - Present), of the Long Range Planning Task Force, Institute of Particle Physics (2015 - 2015), of the Planning and Policy Advisory Committee. Chair, Accelerator Subcommittee, TRIUMF (2017 - Present).
    • Piero Scaruffi is a cultural historian 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. He founded the Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous (LASER) in 2008. Since 2015 he has been commuting between California and China, where several of his books have been translated.

    Extended abstracts:

    A growing proportion of human activities such as social interactions, entertainment, shopping, and gathering information are now mediated by digital devices and services. Such digitally mediated activities produce an unprecedented amount of digital footprints that can be used to reveal our intimate traits, emotions, and predict future behavior. Given the progress in Artificial Intelligence and computing, we should get ready for the future where privacy is a privilege reserved for the few.

    The derivation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) in 2006 revolutionized stem cell biology. Using this technology, cells with properties of embryonic stem cells (ESC) can be generated from any adult cell type, obviating ethical debates and providing a flexible and potent platform for modeling diseases and customizing transplant therapies. iPSC are derived from readily accessible cell types, such as an individual’s blood, skin or urine. They re-express telomerase, restoring their telomeres and resetting their epigenetic landscape to become “immortal” and capable of unlimited propagation, yet able to differentiate toward any specialized cell type of interest. This allows modeling “disease in a dish”, for example heart failure or Alzheimer’s. In parallel, significant progress has been made in enlisting the regenerative potential of tissue-specific stem cells that are present in adult tissues and biologically dedicated to their repair. These endogenous stem cells reside in blood, skin, eye, neural, and skeletal muscle tissues. An exciting alternative strategy to cell delivery is to identify drugs to target tissue-resident stem cells in situ, to augment their regenerative function and tissue repair. Gene editing technologies offer an exciting extension of this approach to the treatment of genetic disorders. A host of cell therapies to preserve or replace existing tissue for macular degeneration, lethal skin diseases such as epidermal bullosa, heritable blood disorders, muscular dystrophy, heart failure, diabetes, and neurodegenerative disorders are underway. Indeed, the revolution has begun and the golden era of regenerative medicine is imminent.

    Since their existence was postulated nearly ninety years ago, neutrinos have had a steady track record of confronting us with surprising outcomes and bizarre implications, which scientists have studied with mind-bogglingly ambitious experiments. As one of the most abundant particles in the universe and its critical role on both the smallest and largest scales, the stakes in understanding the neutrino are enormous. Current research is pursuing the possibility that neutrinos and their antiparticle counterparts (antineutrinos) may behave differently, an imbalance that may have implications for why our universe came to be matter dominated, and exists at all.

    The artist, who has brought pianos to the cliffs of the California coast, the streets of San Francisco, and the botanical gardens of Golden Gate Park, will demonstrate and illustrate a creative process that spans poetry, music, visual arts and sculpture, and that relates to the community.

    Photos and videos of this evening


    The Stanford LASERs are sponsored by the Stanford Deans of: Engineering; Humanities & Sciences; Medicine; and Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences; Continuing Studies; and the Office of Science Outreach.