October 19th, Convergence Sci-Art Art-Sci Conferences.
Siddharth Ramakrishnan, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Biology and Jennie M Caruthers Chair in Neuroscience at the University of Puget Sound, Washington.
informing each other:
neurodiversity, neuroethics, art,
and public inquiry.
Convergence Art-Sci Sci-Art Conferences Series has the pleasure to introduce Professor Siddharth Ramakrishnan, Associate Professor of Biology and Jennie M Caruthers Chair in Neuroscience at the University of Puget Sound, Washington. Professor Ramakrishnan's research spans developmental biology, neuroendocrinology and animal behavior. He is a recipient of the NSF CAREER award to explore modulation of the reproductive axis in the brain by endocrine disruptors (2013-2018). At Columbia University, he worked on bio-electronic interfaces and bio-batteries. As a postdoctoral researcher at UCLA (2006-2009), he studied the development and physiology of reproductive neurons in the zebrafish brain.
A Fellow of the UCLA Art|Sci center, his collaborations with artists have led to exhibitions and documentaries that blend the worlds of art and science highlighting topics like Hox genes, animal umwelts, and biomimicry. He has had exhibits at Bergamont Station (2018), MOCA Taipei (2013), the New School of Design (2012), Microwave New Media Festival (2011) and Symposium on Human-Dog Coevolution (2011). He has developed hybrid Art-Science courses and also founded the Art Science Salons in Washington, both in Tacoma (www.pugetsound.edu/artsci) and in Seattle (in collaboration with UW). More information can be found, at https://www.pugetsound.edu/faculty-pages/sramakrishnan/ and at https://zebrafishmedaka.wixsite.com/sidslab
Informing each other: Neurodiversity, Neuroethics, art, and public inquiry.
With increasingly sophisticated methodologies and precise genetic approaches, neuroscience research and allied ethical questions are constantly evolving. What does neuroscience research mean in the realm of neurodiversity? What is a typical vs atypical brain? What are the lived experiences of people with disabilities who are treated as research "subjects"? What are the lived experiences of people with chronic illness and their idea of personhood? What are the prejudices of scientists conducting brain research and how does it affect data interpretation?
Such questions are not exclusive to researchers, clinicians, and philosophers but also affect the general public. But many of these dialogues happen behind closed doors or within scientific meetings and journals. What is filtered to the public is diluted and often misrepresented. As novel treatments, brain-computer interfaces and neural technologies are developed, many in the public are not involved as stakeholders and unaware of the ethical ramifications.
With this event, we hope to bring together scientists, artists, ethicists and other interdisciplinary thinkers to brainstorm on ideas to engage with the public and potentially develop an art exhibit to showcase the questions that emerge. Why art? Art can offer a critical yet non-threatening viewpoint to understand the questions that arise at the intersections of neuroscience and ethics.
About the poster image:
The composite is based on the idea of the many faces and aspects of the issues we are dealing in the conference and activity, but in particular that all these faces are human faces. Different people affected by the challenge of modern neuroscience, neurodiversity, technology, and the many disciplines involved trying to find consensus on the best way to generate a good outcome. Is why at the same time all the faces are over impose to give the idea of unity.
The Convergence Sci-Art/Art-Sci Conferences series focus on the crossover of disciplines with science, arts, education, and communication.
The Convergence Initiative (www.convergenceinitiative.org) is an independent initiative developed in partnership with the Concordia Faculty of Fine Arts and the Brain Repair and Integrative Neuroscience (BRaIN) Program of the RI-MUHC. It is supported by the Canadian Association for Neuroscience, the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre, McGill University, the Montreal General Hospital Foundation, and The Visual Voice Gallery.