Video: Jonah Lehrer

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Filmed on: October 24, 2008

About this video

Jonah Lehrer wows the audience with this presentation on what science can learn by studying human creativity, and intrigues with comments such as, “We’re all sacs of water and protein, anyhow.” Using discoveries in modern cooking and music as examples he explains how what may initially be shocking gets assimilated into the mainstream as the mind finds patterns over time. Therefore, the best creations walk the line between breaking new ground and channeling the familiar.

Speaker bio

Jonah Lehrer is editor-at-large for Seed magazine. He is also a contributing editor at Radio Lab and Scientific American Mind. A graduate of Columbia University and a Rhodes scholar, Lehrer has worked in the lab of Nobel Prize–winning neuroscientist Eric Kandel and studied with Hermione Lee at Oxford University. He has co-authored a peer-reviewed paper in genetics and worked as a line cook at Melisse in Los Angeles, Le Cirque 2000 in New York, and as a prep cook at Le Bernardin. As a journalist he has profiled Brian Greene and Elizabeth Gould, spent several days in the kitchen of the Fat Duck, recorded bird songs and ruminated on Stravinsky for National Public Radio. He has written for Nature, New Scientist, Best Life, NPR, NOVA and the MIT Technology Review, and he writes the highly regarded blog The Frontal Cortex.