A Conversation between Tanya Luhrmann and Àlex Gómez-Marín
Following an hour-long lively and spontaneous dialogue between Alex and his guest, the session will be open to questions from the audience.
What will the future look like? How will the Future Human live? How will families, child rearing, education, health services, work, art, religion, love, science, language, storytelling change? And politics, economics, government, and the law? Will we be able to inhabit our planet in harmony, have sufficient energy, and afford to eat healthy food? Will we even survive? Can we thrive? These are just some of the topics that will be discussed online at the Pari Center in 2023.
Each month the Director of the Pari Center, physicist and neuroscientist Àlex Gómez-Marín, will be thinking and feeling aloud in the mode of dialogue with a prominent guest for about an hour, followed by questions and comments from the audience. Pursuing a major theme without rehearsal or script, they will attempt to engage with ‘that’ which sometimes takes place between (and beyond) two people talking.
Throughout 2022, Àlex hosted the very successful conversation series The Future Scientist, a monthly virtual encounter that aimed to understand where science is going and to reimage where we hope it might go. Maintaining the spirit and the format, the series will now expand its scope and morph into The Future Human as a natural continuation of the quest to reckon whence and whither humanity.
Tanya Marie Luhrmann is the Albert Ray Lang Professor of Anthropology at Stanford University, with a courtesy appointment in Psychology. Her work focuses on the edge of experience: on voices, visions, the world of the supernatural and the world of psychosis. She has done ethnography on the streets of Chicago with homeless and psychotic women, and worked with people who hear voices in Chennai, Accra and the South Bay. She has also done fieldwork with evangelical Christians who seek to hear God speak back, with Zoroastrians who set out to create a more mystical faith, and with people who practice magic. She uses a combination of ethnographic and experimental methods to understand the way people feel their thoughts and imagine their minds in different social settings, and what follows. At the heart of the work is the question of how things come to feel real to people.
She was named to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2003, received a John Guggenheim Fellowship award in 2007 and elected to the American Philosophical Society in 2022. When God Talks Back was named a NYT Notable Book of the Year and a Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year. It was awarded the $100,000 Grawemeyer Prize for Religion by the University of Louisville. She is also the author of Persuasions of the Witch’s Craft, The Good Parsi, Of Two Minds, When God Talks Back, Our Most Troubling Madness, and How God Becomes Real, and is currently at work on a book entitled Voices.
Àlex Gómez-Marín is a Spanish physicist turned neuroscientist. He holds a PhD in theoretical physics and a Masters in biophysics from the University of Barcelona. He was a research fellow at the EMBL-CRG Centre for Genomic Regulation and at the Champalimaud Center for the Unknown in Lisbon. His research spans from the origins of the arrow of time to the neurobiology of action-perception across species, from flies and worms to mice and humans. Since 2016 he has been the head of the Behavior of Organisms Laboratory at the Instituto de Neurociencias in Alicante, where he is an Associate Professor of the Spanish Research Council. Combining computational biology and continental philosophy, his current research concentrates on consciousness in the real world.
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