Exhibits & Programs

Lectures from Pacific Science Center

Science In The City Lecture Series

Science in the City Lectures
Science is everywhere in Seattle, there’s no question about that. Keep up with the latest scientific trends, topics and research happening literally in our backyard at Pacific Science Center’s new lecture series, Science in the City Lecture.

Each month, join Pacific Science Center for a discussion on current science topics and research from leading, local organizations that dives into topics that affect our community. At the Science in the City Lectures, seize the opportunity to join lively conversation with scientists and researchers in Pacific Science Center’s Communication Fellowship Program. Each lecture will include a short presentation and moderated question and answer. Periodically, lectures will include special presentations of IMAX documentaries and hands-on activities; be sure to check back to see for upcoming topics.

Tuesday, October 11
7 p.m. (Doors open at 6:40 p.m.) | Price: $5 (Free for Members)
Pacific Science Center’s PACCAR Theater
“Global Warming and the Arctic Ocean”
Dr. Mike Steele, Senior Principal Oceanographer, Polar Science Center, Applied Physics Laboratory at University of Washington

Some of the most extreme climate changes on the planet are happening at the top of the globe. The area covered by the floating sea ice pack is shrinking, and individual floes are on average much thinner than they used to be. These changes are affecting other parts of the climate system. For example, in summer much more ocean area is now exposed to direct sunlight, leading to warming and changes in marine ecosystems. It is perhaps disturbing to contemplate the causes of these changes and how they might affect the future of the Arctic Seas, but at the same time it’s honestly an exciting time to study this area. In this talk, we’ll show simple graphs illustrating these changes, and also some cool field pix from The Only Ocean You Can Walk On (for now).

Tuesday, October 18
7 p.m. (Doors open: 6:40 p.m.) | Price: $5 (Free for Members)
Pacific Science Center’s PACCAR Theater
“Self Reflected: Deeply fusing art and science to create the world’s most complex artistic depiction of the human brain”
Greg Dunn, Ph.D., Greg Dunn Design and University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Greg Dunn (artist, neuroscientist) has devoted his career to the fusion of art, neuroscience, and engineering to explore the mystery and beauty of the mind. Together with Dr. Brian Edwards (artist and applied physicist), they created Self Reflected, the world’s most elaborate artistic depiction of the human brain. This work reveals insight into the complexity of consciousness by attempting to revolutionize the way in which the average person and scientists alike think about the brain. Self Reflected bridges the visual and conceptual connection between the macroscopic organ and the microscopic behavior of neurons by fusing neuroscientific data, hand drawings, algorithmic manipulation, optical engineering, photolithography, and gilding to etch half a million neurons into large sheets of gold. The result an 8′ X 12′ reflective microetching, a technique the artists invented that displays animations created through reflected light to create an ultra-precise depiction of the brain’s delicately balanced neural choreographies. This lecture will detail the story of the neuroscience, art, and engineering that went into the piece’s creation and will introduce visualizations of the brain never seen before. Self Reflected is designed to reflect what is occurring in our own minds as we observe this work of art, reminding us all that the most marvelous machine in the known universe is at the core of our being and is the root of our shared humanity.

Wednesday, October 26
7 p.m. (Doors open at 6:40 p.m.) | Price: $5 (Free for Members)
Pacific Science Center’s PACCAR Theater
“The Neuroscience of Zombies”
Kaitlyn Casimo, Graduate Program in Neuroscience at University of Washington

Zombies are people too…or they were, at least. Whether they shamble, sprint, or just decompose, zombies are everywhere, and they’re out to eat human flesh. What is it about the undead plague that causes the distinctive and irreversible transformation from friendly neighbor to mindless cannibal? Come learn about neuroanatomy and what these parts of your brain normally do, how common symptoms of zombie infection originate in brain damage to specific areas, and the real-life science of neural regeneration and degenerative disease.

Friday, November 1
7 p.m. (Doors open at 6:40 p.m.) | $5 general (Free for Members)
Pacific Science Center’s PACCAR Theater
“The Neuroscience of Memory: Why We Forget Some Things But Remember Others”
Seth Koenig, Graduate Program in Neuroscience at University of Washington

Why can we remember our child hood memories from decades ago and forget where we leave our keys or park our cars? All signs point to a seahorse-shaped brain region called the hippocampus. When the hippocampus works correctly we can remember things for a lifetime, but when the hippocampus doesn’t work correctly we forget things. Alzheimer’s diseases is an extreme example in which cells in the hippocampus and surrounding brain areas slowly die causing severe memory impairments.

Tuesday, December 13
7 p.m. (Doors open at 6:40 p.m.) | Price: $5 (Free for Members)
Pacific Science Center’s PACCAR Theater
“Play to Grow: The Power of Play”
Amelia Bachleda, Ph.D, Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences at University of Washington

Children love to play, whether it is make-believe, or just being silly; “play” is an important part of child development even though we often associate “play” with fun and games. Children build fundamental language, reasoning and social skills by using “play” to understand the world around them. Dr. Bachleda will discuss the ways children play, how playing changes during childhood, and how it helps children learn.

Wednesday, January 11
7 p.m. (Doors open at 6:40 p.m.) | Price: $5 (Free for Members)
Pacific Science Center’s PACCAR Theater
Topic: Anthropocene
Dr. David H. Grinspoon, Senior Scientist at Planetary Science Institute