Good morning eager young minds

A beautiful mind

“Good morning eager young minds”, John Nash’s words from the Oscar winning ‘A beautiful mind’ seem like an appropriate sentiment for any event at the British Science Festival. These words were all the more poignant embedded within screenplay which explores schizophrenia and its perceptions within society. The film was screened as part of the ‘blowing the mind in the media’ event and was followed by a lively debate on how mental illness is perceived within the media. Continue reading

Ago, ergo cogito – I act, therefore I think

A brainless Bluebell Sea Squirt attached to a rock in its adult stage

My first talk of the Festival and I’m in at the deep end contemplating how the brain actually allows me to contemplate anything. Good thing I had that extra cup of coffee this morning and did a little research on the four speakers before I turned up. Continue reading

It wasn’t me, it was my neurons!

Neurons in the brain - illustration

Neurons in the brain – illustration
Image credit: Benedict Campbell. Wellcome Images

With neuroscience technology advancing at an unprecedented rate, scientists are getting a much more detailed view of what it is that makes our brains tick. But the deeper they go, the more they discover that our brains run mostly on chemical and electrical signals. Does this mean that we are just machines running on electricity? Do we still have free will? This is an age old question that philosopher Professor Barry Smith, Director of the Institute of Philosophy, School of Advanced Study, University of London is trying to understand, and he spoke to Julie Gould about his views on the philosophy of the mind. Continue reading