Thursday, September 26, 2013

Being Human 2013: Free Online Simulcast - Saturday, Sept. 28


With speakers including Robert Sapolsky, Richie Davidson, Paul Ekman, Helen Fisher, and David Eagleman, this looks to be an excellent day-long event. The theme for this year's event is the Science and Mystery of Human Experience.

Preview video:

For this year's event, the sponsors are making it available for free online the day of the event, with a live stream hosted by The stream will be hosted on their main page on Saturday, September 28, 2013. This is very awesome.

Being Human 2013 to Offer Free Web Simulcast of Cutting-Edge Science & Philosophy Conference

Submitted by Michael Taft on Sun, 09/22/2013 - 10:35

SAN FRANCISCO, CA September 23, 2013 – Organizers announced today that a free online simulcast will be offered of Being Human 2013, the second annual gathering of top neuroscientists and visionaries who will explore what it means to be human from a variety of scientific, evolutionary and philosophical perspectives on Saturday, September 28, 2013 in San Francisco’s newly restored Nourse Theater.

Presented by the Baumann Foundation, and co-sponsored by KQED, Wikimedia Foundation, and Long Now Foundation, the day-long conference will explore four intriguing aspects of the human experience: the biological underpinnings of ethical behavior, the function and evolution of human emotions, the role of love and sex in human relations, and what lies ahead for our species.

Some of the brightest minds in neuroscience, anthropology and behavioral research, including distinguished scholars from Stanford, Princeton, Harvard, Rutgers, Baylor, Yale, and the Kinsey Institute will each share their latest insights, pique curiosities, spur conversations, and provide a sense of connection, clarity and deeper understanding of our common humanity. Thought leaders in diverse fields such as contemporary information design and evolutionary philosophy will also be a part of the interdisciplinary program. The event will be highlighted by a mesmerizing dance performance by YouTube dub step sensation Marquese Scott and a riveting piano performance by the iconoclastic music pioneer ELEW.

“We felt it was very important to make this fascinating and thought provoking content available to people around the world who want to participate in the Being Human experience and learn more about our collective evolution,” said Jeff Klein, Executive Director of the Baumann Foundation.

The free streaming video simulcast will be available at The webcast will begin at 9 AM Pacific on September 28, and archive video will be available for viewing on the Being Human website following the event.

Tickets to attend Being Human 2013 in person and more information are available at

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Here is the excellent program planned for the event.

The Science & Mystery of Human Experience

Being Human 2013: a daylong exploration of human nature in the light of cutting edge science, philosophy, and evolution. At this event we will look at:

The Biology and Psychology of Ethical Behavior

Is morality culturally determined and relative, an evolved social contract that is absolute, or something else? In this session, we examine the biology of caring behavior and social interactions, as well as the dynamics of cooperation, competition, and power.

Presented by Robert Sapolsky, Ph.D., Susan Fiske, Ph.D., and Josh Greene, Ph.D.


Human Emotions

In this session we look at emotions as evolved behavioral responses, how well-being can be cultivated, and how our emotions can influence health. We further investigate the nature of compassion and its compatibility with evolutionary theory.

Presented by Richie Davidson, Ph.D., Paul Ekman, Ph.D., and Esther Sternberg, Ph.D.


Love and Sex

Sexual behavior, romance, and partnerships are among the strongest human social drives. In this session we delve into the biology of sexual behavior and such topics as love addictions, serial monogamy, clandestine adultery, hookup culture, and how human partnering psychology is reflected in our animal cousins.

Presented by Helen Fisher, Ph.D., Justin Garcia, Ph.D., and Laurie Santos, Ph.D.


The Future of Being Human

In this session, we examine how the contemporary journey into massive scales of space, time, and big data irreversibly expands our perspective on ourselves—and how medical innovations which allow us to move past our traditional human bodies will change our cares and our consciousness.

Presented by David Eagleman, Ph.D., Natasha Vita-More, Ph.D., and Jer Thorp.

The experience of being human can be exciting or stressful, fun or depressing, but most often it’s simply confusing. How can we make sense of our world with all its pain and suffering, its delights and disappointments?

For most of human history we’ve been trying to understand our lives based on metaphysical, religious, and supernatural concepts. Then the Age of Enlightenment ushered in science and Darwin’s remarkable theory of evolution—a powerful new way to look at ourselves and the world. Now disciplines such as cognitive neuroscience, evolutionary psychology, genetics, anthropology, and philosophy are delivering fascinating new findings which have the potential to radically remake the way we see ourselves. Based on these scientific insights, a more comprehensive view of human nature is now emerging.

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