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PacSci Podcast: Shakespeare and Science

Oct 11, 2019

Kaitlyn Casimo

Shakespeare?

OK.

Science?

Sure.

Shakespeare AND science? Was that ever a thing?

Assuming most of us don’t remember much about our junior high or high school Shakespeare, but even if you do, Shakespeare and science never really seemed like a thing. Did it?

Whether it did or not, that’s all going to change on October 30, 2019 when Pacific Science Center presents Science in The City: The Crimes of Macbeth: Witchcraft or Neuropsychology? with Dr. Kaitlyn Casimo, a local neuroscientist who has become a Halloween science legend at PacSci.

“2016 was zombies, 2017 was Frankenstein, 2018 was werewolves and this year, 2019 will be witches. Specifically, the witches in Macbeth.”

If you’re like me and your studies of Shakespeare were long ago, you may be thinking this event will be too high brow for you. This good doctor says don’t worry about it.

“No knowledge of Macbeth required to come to the talk,” she says, “all you need to know is that there is witches, that’s all you need to know about Macbeth.”

The question is, did the three witches use magic to make Macbeth commit atrocities to become king of Scotland, or was it the power of suggestion and the encouragement of his overly ambitious wife?

Since humans make thousands of tiny decisions every day, and with many biases and influences affecting all those decisions, this is where science and what to many may appear to be magic sort of cross paths. This very clever neuroscientist will use some serious science to answer those questions.

And if you’re wondering just how serious the science is, we mentioned that she studied Frankenstein’s work and monster in one of these events. In the past two weeks, one of the world’s foremost brain scientists gave a presentation at PacSci and has a book out involving reviving brains after death. So, yes this all has a spooky, funny, Halloween-related theme to it but the science is very real.

You will have fun at this event and will definitely learn something at the same time.

Learn more in the quick PacSci Podcast embedded below then use the resources here to make plans to attend Wednesday, Oct. 30 from 7 to 9 p.m. at our PACCAR Theater. It will be a most enlightening evening, whether you watch the YouTube Cliffsnotes Macbeth synopsis video or not.

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