Privacy Lost—SCAN Put Me on Youtube

I just returned from India a few days ago (see my new Department picture) and getting back to serious academic work is pretty rough after more than three weeks out in the wild … So I just spent a few minutes procrastinating and googling myself. Doing so, I found a youtube video of my short presentation at the First Annual SCAN Retreat. I should watch the video and use it to improve on my English pronunciation, I guess.

P.S. I also found the SCAN certificate in my mailbox when I returned. I’m completely done with classes now, scientific and non-scientific!
P.P.S. Just realized they also put up a testimonial, taken from an email I sent to Martha after my HSS panel last November. I seem to be a quite popular SCAN graduate.

Columbia University Call for Applications: Presidential Scholars in Society and Neuroscience

Pamela Smith just sent along a call for applications for three fantastic post-doc positions on the intersection between the humanities / social sciences and the neurosciences. You can download the .pdf here, and I’m posting the text below. Please disseminate widely! Continue reading

Can Brain Science Help Resolve Social Problems and Political Conflicts?

Here is a very insightful piece published a few days ago in the New York Times. It asks the question of whether brain science “Can … Be Dangerous” if it is the (only) basis on which authorities make decisions about social policies.

Using neuroscience to determine the prospective success of interventions aiming at resolving social problems is also closely linked to a Brown Bag Lunch at the CNS I attended last week: Emile Bruneau spoke about “Putting Neuroscience to Work for Peace” in political conflicts. His research on the neuroscientific correlates of biases, irrationality, and related psychological impediments to peaceful coexistence is inspired by his personal experiences with intergroup conflicts. You can download my summary of his talk here.

Evolutionary Psychology 4 da Whim

I wrote about evolutionary psychology earlier. Very much alike a scholar whose work I admire—and whose name shall not be mentioned here—evolutionary psychologists make me nervous. There is something determinist about their work and theories that makes me want to yell NO! seven times in a row. But here is some recent reasoning regarding the question of why evolutionary psychology could do good.1 Continue reading

  1. Yes, and I really mean “do good,” and not “do well.” As a non-native English speaker, I find it particularly amusing to quote Tracy Morgan on his Superman line. []

Precautionary Detention of “Broken Brains”

What yesterday evening appeared to be one of the most embarrassing things I have ever done to a university teacher, turned out to be the trigger for my writing this post—in both a state of mental rage, and the deep fulfilling conviction that there is so much more to be done in the History, Philosophy, and Sociology of the Neurosciences (HPSNS), i.e., that my work is not expendable. Continue reading