|STEPHEN T. ASMA - The Evolution of Imagination
Guided by neuroscience, animal behavior, evolution, philosophy, and psychology, Asma burrows deep into the human psyche to look right at the enigmatic but powerful engine that is our improvisational creativity—the source, he argues, of our remarkable imaginational capacity. How is it, he asks, that a story can evoke a whole world inside of us? And how does our moral imagination help us sculpt a better society?
|DR. BAZ DREISINGER - Incarceration Nations
Dr. Dreisinger’s acclaimed book Incarceration Nations is a first-person odyssey through the prison systems of the world. Professor, journalist, and founder of the Prison-to-College-Pipeline program at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Dr. Dreisinger looks into the human stories of incarcerated men and women and those who imprison them, creating a jarring, poignant view of a world to which most are denied access, and a rethinking of one of America’s most far-reaching global exports: the modern prison complex.
|DR. KARA COONEY - The Woman Who Would Be King
Dr. Kathlyn (Kara) Cooney is a professor of Egyptian Art and Architecture at UCLA. Specializing in craft production, coffin studies, and economies in the ancient world, Cooney received her PhD in Egyptology from Johns Hopkins University. In 2005, she was co-curator of Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaoh at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Cooney produced and hosted a comparative archaeology television series with her husband, Neil Crawford, entitled Out of Egypt, which aired in 2009 on the Discovery Channel and is available online via Amazon.
|HUGH HERR - Leader of the Bionic Age
Hugh Herr is creating bionic limbs that emulate the function of natural limbs. Time Magazine coined Dr. Herr the ‘Leader of the Bionic Age’ because of his revolutionary work in the emerging field of Biomechatronics – technology that marries human physiology with electromechanics. A double amputee himself, he is responsible for breakthrough advances in bionic limbs that provide greater mobility and new hope to those with physical disabilities. He is currently Associate Professor of the Biomechatronics research group at the MIT Media Lab.
|DR. REBECCA GOLDSTEIN - A Leading Voice in Secular Humanism with an Emphasis on the Humanism
Dr. Rebecca Newberger Goldstein has become a leading voice in secular humanism with an emphasis on the humanism. Her writing has ranged across fiction, philosophy, math, science, and the history of ideas and has won her many awards, including the MacArthur "genius" award.
|ROBERT J. LANG - Origami from Tsuru to Satellites
Robert J. Lang is recognized as one of the foremost origami artists in the world as well as a pioneer in computational origami and the development of formal design algorithms for folding. With a Ph.D. in Applied Physics from Caltech, he has, during the course of work at NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Spectra Diode Laboratories, and JDS Uniphase, authored or co-authored over 100 papers and 50 patents in lasers and optoelectronics. He is a full-time artist and consultant on origami and its applications to engineering problems and his work spans the worlds of mathematics, physics, lasers, sculpture, and fine art. His art has been exhibited at more than 50 exhibitions around the world, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York City and international exhibitions in Paris and Austria.
|MICHAEL MCCULLOUGH - Inside Human Cruelty and Kindness
For more than a decade, Michael McCullough has been working to discover how evolution has shaped humanity’s most admirable traits—as well as our most despicable ones. His research has helped to uncover the evolutionary roots of our capacities for forgiveness, gratitude, generosity—as well as the evolutionary logic underlying our lust for revenge, our frequent indifference to the suffering of strangers, and the delight we often take in the misery of our rivals and enemies.
|JEREMY RICHMAN - The Science of Violence and Compassion: Making the Invisible Visible
Brain science is the least explored of all our science. As a result, there is a lot of fear, trepidation, and stigma associated with the invisible world of brain illnesses (referred to as “mental illnesses”). People are afraid to advocate for themselves and their loved ones, to get appropriate help in times of need. Dr. Richman and his wife, Jennifer Hensel, started the Avielle Foundation, committed to preventing violence and building compassion through brain health research, community education, and engagement, after their daughter, Avielle Rose Richman, was tragically killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, on December 14th, 2012.
|DOROTHY ROBERTS - Killing the Black Body: The Problem with Race-Based Biology
Dorothy Roberts, a world renowned scholar, public intellectual, and social justice advocate, has been a leader in transforming public thinking on reproductive rights and racial justice. She powerfully challenges commonly-held views about race, calling us to affirm our common humanity by ending the social inequalities that truly divide us.
|DR. MICHAEL SHERMER - Why People Believe Weird Things; The Science of Good & Evil; Does God Exist?
Ever wonder why people believe in UFO abductions, mind-reading, reincarnation, urban legends, not to mention "scientific creationism" and the pernicious myth that the Holocaust never happened? Where do we get our system of beliefs? If we evolved by natural forces then what was the natural purpose of morality? Did God create man or did man create God? Dr. Michael Shermer, the Founding Publisher of Skeptic Magazine, is a genuine ghost-buster, a relentless crusader against superstition and pseudoscience.