Café Scientific at Science in the City Friday 20 August 2004| Australian Museum| Sydney Are you conscious now? With Dr Susan Blackmore and Dr Alun Anderson Hosted by Dr Paul Willis, ABC TV Catalyst 6.30pm Jazz by the Azo Bell trio (a good time to buy drinks and dinner) 7pm Welcome from Paul Willis 7.10 pm Alun Anderson - a brief history of consciousness 7.20 pm Susan Blackmore – Are you conscious now? 8pm Break 8.10pm Alun and Susan – discussion, plus questions from the audience 9pm Finish – please stay around and enjoy the music. Tonight, we investigate some of the burning questions about the human mind: what is the nature of consciousness? How do you know when you are conscious? Could you ever be ‘aware’ of being unconscious? Does the stream of consciousness really exist? What can we do to develop our own unique consciousness? And what the heck is consciousness anyway? Dr Susan Blackmore Susan has a degree in psychology and physiology from Oxford University and a PhD in parapsychology from the University of Surrey. Her research interests include memes, evolutionary theory, consciousness, and meditation. Her books include Beyond the Body, Dying to Live (on near- death experiences), Test Your Psychic Powers , The Meme Machine and a new textbook Consciousness: An Introduction. Dr Alun Anderson Alun has been Editor-in-Chief and Publishing Director of New Scientist magazine since 1999. His PhD at the University of Edinburgh was on vision, then he found time to study Chinese landscape painting, climb the Himalayas, and work in an Indian refugee camp. He did a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Kyoto in Japan on the visual systems of butterflies and bees. Alun had been Editor for the journals Nature and Science before joining New Scientist. Tonight’s host Paul Willis is a reporter with ABC TV’s science program, Catalyst. A trained palaeontologist, he quickly discovered jobs for fossil crocodile specialists were thin on the ground and things were looking grim until the ABC took pity on him. He regularly hosts Café Scientific and other public science events for the ABC, and can also be heard with his fellow Science Lout, Bernie Hobbs, doing science talkback on local ABC radio stations around Australia. CAFE SCIENTIFIC brings scientists out of the labs and into the cafes and pubs. In an everyday discussion, they let us in on their expert knowledge and opinions. Find out about the latest science ideas and issues and join in with your own questions and comments. Café Scientific is a partnership between ABC Science, British Council and New Scientist magazine. Based on the UK's Cafe Scientifique, it is a public event for the discussion and debate of current issues in science. The first ‘Cafe Scientifique’ sessions were held in the UK in Leeds in 1998. Since then, they have sprung up across England and expanded to the USA, Canada and even Egypt. When the event came to Australia and New Zealand, the name Cafe Scientific was adopted. You are welcome to join the discussion. If you want to make a comment, ask a question or suggest an answer - just wave or yell for the microphone. We're recording the session so we want all the questions and comments included. It isn't necessarily going to air - there would be editing before hand anyway - so if you say something REALLY silly - let us know if something should be edited out! Science in the City is brought to you by the Australian Museum, the University of NSW, the University of Sydney and the University of Technology. The major supporter is the Australian Government through the Department of Education, Science and Training. Live music tonight from the Azo Bell Trio Don’t forget to fill out the questionnaire tonight for a chance to win a New Scientist subscription! Cafe Scientific goes to various locations throughout Australia. See www.cafescientific.com.au for details.
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