Monday, January 29, 2007

Welcome to Dr. G's Science Salon

Well here we are... but where are we? Those of you who attended the Mechanics' Institute Science Salon know me as the host and moderator, Dr. Alan H Goldstein. And that's still who I am.

This year, the Science Salon will bifurcate (getting technical on you already), i.e. we split in two. The seminar-style Salon will continue at the Mechanic's Institute every third Friday of the month. Check us out by hitting the button at the Mechanics' Institute Library (MIL from now on) website:

As you will see, the general topic for this spring is -

The Brain: Biology, Consciousness, Memory and Language

That's a whole lot and, of course, we won't actually attempt to drill through the entire cranial mass on this first go-round. But I do guarantee two things: we will have fun, and we will learn amazing stuff!

The 'bi' in our bifurcation is the new online component of the Science Salon. By blogging along in real time, people can visit me here to continue the discussions we begin in the hallowed halls of the MIL. In addition, I will post articles on a special Science Salon web page at:

Hopefully, many of you will download and review some or all of these posts before our next meeting.

Science Salon FAQs:

1. Will there still be a presentation at the 3rd Friday-noon MIL Science Salon? YES!
2. Do I need to read and understand ALL the materials posted on the Science Salon page at in order to attend and enjoy the Friday-noon MIL Science Salon? NO!!
3. Do I need to read and understand ANY of the materials posted on the Science Salon page at in order to attend and enjoy the 3rd Friday-noon MIL Science Salon? NO!!

In other words, when I sit down with you at noon on Feb. 16th, I will provide an overview of our current understanding of human consciousness that will be entirely self-contained, i.e. I will assume we are starting from ground zero and build up from there. And yes, there will be cool pictures of brain cells, Magnetic Reasonance Imaging (MRI) scans, and all the other things you have come to expect from the MIL Science Salon.

4. Will there be guest speakers? YES... but not at each Salon. I will give the February presentation and we have a speaker for March (more on that in a future post).

So there it is. Let me hear from you... both with respect to future topics of interest and just because I want this Blog to become extremely popular.

What's life without a dream?

Cheers, Dr. G