Instant Expert: Brain: The latest science behind the headlines
Saturday 10 February, 10am - 5pm | Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London, WC1R 4RL
The human brain is often described as the most complex object in the known universe. But that doesn’t mean scientists are clueless about how it works.
Join six leading brain scientists who will reveal, via the latest research in neuroscience, psychology and physiology, what is going on in our heads when we think, feel and communicate, and how we can maximise the power of our brains.
NEW EVENT FORMAT FOR 2024
We are always seeking ways to make our events more inclusive and to find new ways to deliver value to you. For 2024 we have reduced the ticket prices and introduced a new ticket option “super early bird” for our Instant Expert events. All our Instant Expert events will be held at Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London. An Instant Expert ticket will no longer included refreshments or lunch, but the agenda includes a lunch break and there are many great eateries close to Conway Hall to choose from. But what doesn’t change is that each event will continue to feature six expert speakers sharing their knowledge and latest research on the event topic. We hope you like the changes we have made to the event format for 2024, and as always we welcome your feedback.
At this Instant Expert, you’ll:
- Discover the latest advances in brain research and how they could change our lives.
- Learn from experts in neuroscience, psychology, and physiology about the brain's inner workings.
- Explore the fascinating science behind our thoughts, feelings, and behaviours.
- Gain insights on how to boost your cognitive performance and live a healthier, happier life.
Talks and speakers:
Brains, games and screen time claims
Peter Etchells, Professor of Psychology and Science Communication, Bath Spa University
We're persistently told that because digital technologies - things like video games, social media, even smartphones more generally - hack into our dopamine systems, they are addictive and potentially harmful. But what do we really know about how tech impacts our brains? In this talk, we'll explore the science, claims and controversies around digital addictions, and consider whether there are better ways of characterising the often tumultuous relationships we have with screens.
The Science of Consciousness
Daniel Bor, Senior Lecturer in Psychology, Queen Mary University of London
Daniel will outline the fascinating recent progress in the science of consciousness on three fronts. First, he will describe the psychology of consciousness, to highlight its mental components, its boundaries with unconscious processing and its surprising limits. Second, he will outline the neuroscience of consciousness, including the brain signatures of different conscious experiences, and what changes in the brain when conscious levels change from wakefulness to lower conscious levels (e.g. deep sleep or coma). Finally, Daniel will outline the main current theories of consciousness, and their attempts to synthesise the empirical evidence and make bold statements about the nature of consciousness.
Mind the Gender Gap: Why plastic brains aren’t breaking through glass ceilings
Gina Rippon, Professor Emeritus of Cognitive Neuroimaging at the Aston Brain Centre, Aston University
Gender gaps persist in the 21st century, in many aspects of society and in many types of organisation, despite decades of effort to address them, including many Diversity and Inclusion initiatives. ‘Blame the Brain’ was an early mantra in competence-based explanations for such gaps; women had inferior brains, not wired for relevant skill sets. Contemporary explanations now claim that such gaps are still the manifestation of brain-based characteristics, now focusing on those underpinning factors which can affect career progression, such as risk-taking or leadership styles, or determine career preferences, such as working with people as opposed to things. Less attention has been paid to the culture within organisations where gender gaps are evident, to the lack of inclusivity or of available progression pathways. Advances in 21st century social cognitive neuroscience are revealing the importance of a sense of belonging, of positive recognition and acceptance, as powerful driving forces in human behaviour. This talk suggests that reference to such research will provide better explanations for the persistence of gender gaps, and offer evidence-based insights into addressing gender gap issues.
When reality retreats: How schizophrenia distorts reality and self
Clara Humpston, Lecturer in Mental Health, University of York
When we think, how do we know that our thoughts are truly our own? What happens in the brain when someone suffers a break or detachment from these common-sensical notions of reality? It may seem far-fetched but symptoms of schizophrenia frequently challenge, if not destroy, our everyday notions of reality and even our sense of self. Indeed, the very name of schizophrenia strikes fear and aversion in those unaffected by it, and often its sufferers are stigmatised as beyond human understanding or societal acceptance. In this talk, we will explore the latest research evidence from both neuroscience and philosophy of psychiatry behind the main symptoms of schizophrenia-spectrum psychoses, and consider whether such symptoms are necessarily all that distant or different from our daily experiences of reality that are often taken for granted by the rest of us.
How to be happy
Bruce Hood, Professor of Developmental Psychology in Society, University of Bristol
We all want to be happier, but our brains often get in the way. The Science of Happiness is an evidence-based approach to improving mental well-being through activities that change the way that we think. In this talk, psychologist Bruce Hood demonstrates why happiness is so elusive and what we can do to deal with the adversities that often get in the way of our mental well-being.
1 more exciting talks to be announced soon...
Who should attend?
Anyone interested in the human brain, whatever your age or background. Whether you're a scientist, a student or simply a fascinated human being, Instant Expert: Brain: The latest science behind the headlines offers the chance to learn directly from the experts at our one-day masterclass.
Benefits of attending:
- Become an expert in one day
- Informal set-up, meet like minded people
- Open your mind, be inspired
- Unique chance to ask your burning questions to our experts
What's included in your ticket:
- In-depth and engaging talks from six leading scientists
- Ask-an-expert Question Time session
- Your chance to meet our six speakers and New Scientist host
- Exclusive on-the-day New Scientist subscription deal, book and merchandise offers
The event will be held at the Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL
Doors will open at 9:15am, with talks commencing at 10am sharp. The event will finish at 5pm.
We require the name of each person attending - please ensure this is provided at the time of booking. If you need to change the name of an attendee, please notify us as soon as possible: firstname.lastname@example.org
Eventbrite will email you your ticket(s) immediately after purchase. Please remember to bring your ticket(s) with you as you'll need it to gain entry. We can scan tickets from a print out, or off the screen of a phone / tablet / smartwatch.
The schedule / exact running order for the day will be confirmed closer to the event, and will be emailed to all ticket holders.
Lunch will NOT be provided at this event. Visitors are welcome to bring their own food, or purchase lunch at one of the many establishments around Red Lion Square and the surrounding area.
Should you require details about disabled access, please contact us at: email@example.com
Tickets are non-transferable to any other New Scientist event.
All tickets are non-refundable.
New Scientist reserves the right to alter the event and its line-up, or cancel the event. In the unlikely event of cancellation, all tickets will be fully refunded. New Scientist Ltd will not be liable for any additional expenses incurred by ticket holders in relation to the event.
Tickets are subject to availability and are only available in advance through Eventbrite.