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Open Door Reading: Creativity, Science, and the Brain

Sun, 14 Nov, 2010 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM

The Writer's Center presents a panel discussion on creativity, science, and the brain. With Michael Salcman, former president of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons; Joram Piatigorsky, Chief of the NEI's Laboratory of Molecular and Developmental Biology; and David A.Taylor, award-winning writer and documentary filmmaker.
The afternoon will unfold through three perspectives on the intersection between brain science, expression, and the nature of storytelling with Myra Sklarew moderating.
Michael Salcman will speak first about the neuroscience of The Brain as a Metaphor-Making Machine and how this dovetails with theories about creativity in mathematics and in poetry.
David Taylor will read from a recent article about research on the brain and sleep. Naresh Punjabi's work on sleep's role and capacity to rejuvenate the brain and creativity also offers a way to look at science storytelling.
Joram Piatigorsky will reflect on the narrative quality of basic research drawing from his career in molecular biology.
The discussion will be open to the audience for reactions and questions.

After receiving his Ph.D. at Caltech, Joram Piatigorsky conducted research on the expression and evolution of genes, particularly those expressed in the eye lens, at NIH for the last 42 years. He established and directed the Laboratory of Molecular and Developmental Biology in the National Eye Institute and published extensively in scientific journals. He is best known for developing the gene-sharing concept. Last year he became an emeritus scientist at NIH and is presently writing fiction. He is on the Writer’s Center Board of Directors.

Michael Salcman, M.D., trained in neurophysiology at the National Institutes of Health and in neurological surgery at Columbia University. Former chairman of neurosurgery at the University of Maryland, he is the author of almost 200 medical and scientific papers, six textbooks and six books of poetry. The Clock Made of Confetti was nominated for The Poets’ Prize and was a Finalist for the Towson Prize in Literature; The Enemy of Good is Better is forthcoming from Orchises. Former President of the Contemporary Museum in Baltimore and Special Lecturer at Towson University, he lectures widely on art and the brain.

David Taylor writes about health and the environment for books, magazines and films. His work has appeared in Smithsonian, The Washington Post, and Wired, and in publications of the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the National Academy of Sciences. His book Ginseng, the Divine Root explored the science and subculture surrounding the medicinal plant. His work on a 2003 PBS documentary about heart surgery received a CINE Golden Eagle Award. He’s a member of the National Association of Science Writers.

Myra Sklarew, former president of Yaddo Artist Community, founded the MFA Program in Creative Writing at American University. Recent collections of poems include Harmless (MayApple Press (May 2010), Lithuania: New & Selected Poems, and The Witness Trees. She was educated at Tufts University where she studied biology, and at the Cold Spring Harbor Biological Laboratory where she worked with Salvador Luria and Max Delbruck, studying bacterial genetics and bacterial viruses.

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Location: The Writer's Center
Fees: FREE
Calendar: Workshop & Event Calendar
Category: Open Door Reading
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