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Neilly Series lecture: Carl Zimmer

February 15, 2018
07:00 PM - 08:00 PM
Hawkins-Carlson Room, Rush Rhees Library

Carl Zimmer, author of A Planet of Viruses

Our brains are the foundation for who were are—they store our memories, give rise to our emotions, and enable us to look to the future. But our brains remain terra incognita, an inner continent that remains barely explored. Only recently have scientists begun to map the brain in its full complexity, some 80 billion neurons and their trillions of connections with each other. The results, while early, are mind-blowing. Already, brain-mapping has improved people’s lives, enabling scientists to implant electrodes in the brain to help people with Parkinson’s regain their ability to walk, and also to give paralyzed people the power to control computers. Zimmer will explore how, in the future, mapping the brain may point to better ways to treat disorders such as autism, depression, and Alzheimer’s disease. And, ultimately, we will gain an inner map of human nature itself.

Carl Zimmer is, in the words of The New York Times Book Review, “as fine a science essayist as we have.” He won the National Academies Communication Award and is a three-time winner of the American Association for the Advancement of Science Journalism Award.  Zimmer is a columnist for The New York Times and writes regularly for magazines such as National Geographic and Wired. He is also the author of thirteen widely praised books.  

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