Announcement: Brain Meets World Event Series

Science is often presented in the form of the final product – the answer. But we don’t read the novel just because of its end, and the allure of travel isn’t the only destination. Likewise, the power of science is its process, and what drives that process are questions, not answers.

This is the spirit in which we created Brain Meets World, our second print edition and series of events.

In its printed form, The brain meets the world It takes readers on a journey of hero’s ideas, through prose, poetry, historical archives, and art. Notable behavioral scientists and science writers offer glimpses of the electrical, sudden, painful, and strange paths our thoughts take—and move us forward.

Now we’ll explore these journeys in a series of live talks this fall. In each of the conversations, we’ll talk with a Brain Meets World contributor about the questions they’ve been trying to answer, what they’ve discovered, and what they’re asking now. In the spirit of the science journey, the Brain Meets World Event series invites you to make connections, fill in gaps, ask questions, and take ideas in new directions.

Below you’ll find the schedule, session descriptions, and information on how to secure your ticket. We hope you’ll join us on the Brain Meets World journey.


a program

Wednesday 28th September
Social sciences, ideology, culture and history – with the participation of Barry Schwartz

In September, we’ll talk with Barry Schwartz about how our theories of human nature, even if initially wrong, can become true by shaping our social institutions that in turn shape us. We’ll also explore the dangers of assuming that the social sciences and the physical sciences are one and the same, and we’ll hear about how Schwartz changed his mind about what social science can and can’t tell us.

Wednesday October 19
Unexpected Places – featuring Thomas Andrelon and Chiara Varzzani

In October, we’ll talk to Thomas Andrelon and Chiara Varzzani, two road-hopping neuroscientists who have swapped the lab for roadside for a year. They will share how Thousands of Miles and Falls in the Patagonian Desert have changed their views on life and work, and taken Thomas’ research into account as he navigates an exciting new direction.

Wednesday 16 November
Journey to the Cave of Thieves – featuring Jennifer El Bazar

In November, we’ll speak with Jennifer Bazar, who digs through the archives of one of psychology’s most famous experiments – Robbers Cave Summer Camps – to tell the story of a psychologist’s audacious attempt to tackle global conflict through psychology.

Wednesday 7 December
Behavioral Science in the Outback – featuring Greg Rosalsky

And in December, we’ll talk with Greg Rosalsky, an economics reporter and outback snowboarder, about a leap in the history of avalanche safety, and how ethology has changed the way avalanche safety is taught around the world.

You can find a file Full session description below.


Timings, statutes and recordings

dates: Wednesday – September 28, October 19, November 16 and December 7
time: 9:00 AM San Francisco | 12:00 PM New York | 5:00 pm London time | 6:00 pm Berlin time
Period: 1 hour
a program: masses
RecordingsAvailable to anyone who purchases a copy or ticket.


how to attend

There are two ways to secure your ticket to the Brain Meets World Event Series:

  • buy The Brain Meets World print edition is here (Each copy comes with a ticket). Brain Meets Worlds ships anywhere in the world (digital version available for purchase upon request). Once you purchase a copy, a link to claim your ticket will be emailed to you.
  • Buy a ticket directly by CrowdcastIf you would like to attend the series of events without purchasing the print edition.

One ticket covering all four events in the series.

If you have already purchased a copy, you should have received an email with a link to claim your ticket. If you did not receive the email or have additional questions, please email us at editor@behavioralscientist.org.

Copy and ticket purchase supports independent behavioral science journalism and world of behaviora financially sponsored 501(c)3 nonprofit, is on a mission to help you understand today’s world through a deeper understanding of human behavior.



Session descriptions

Social sciences, ideology, culture and history – with the participation of Barry Schwartz

Barry Schwartz believes in the power of ideas. But not all strong ideas are true. “There is something special about him [the] technology ideas. Search engines and microchips don’t change the world unless they work. In turn, ideas can have a huge impact on the world even when they are wrong.”

This is especially important when it comes to ideas about human nature. Misconceptions about human nature can when made had become It is true because social institutions, such as workplaces, are shaped by them.”

With Schwartz, Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Swarthmore College, we’ll discuss the unique situation that social behaviorists find themselves in — when ideas about what you study have the power to change what you study.

Schwartz will also tell the story of how a serendipitous intellectual partnership formed with two professors from the Department of Philosophy changed his understanding of human nature. Far from being an overnight “aha”, the transformation took time. In addition to a conversation about the power of our ideas and the limits of the social sciences, it is also a story of intellectual humility and collaboration, ultimately leading to profound insights into the nature of the social sciences.

Barry Schwartz Visiting Professor at Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley, Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Swarthmore College, and author The paradox of choice, why do we workAnd the practical wisdom (with Kenneth Sharp).



Unexpected Places – featuring Thomas Andrelon and Chiara Varzzani

Passionate about adventure after completing their PhD in Neuroscience, Thomas Andrelon and Chiara Varzzani set out on a round-the-world trip in their 2006 Land Rover Defender, nicknamed Chamil. For more than a year, they have traveled across Europe, Africa and South America, off the beaten path.

But the trip almost never happened. Professional and family pressures threatened to keep Bechamel on the path. Once they were on the road, they almost never came back. On a remote road in Patagonia, Thomas lost control of the car and rolled over to Bechamel, leaving them hanging upside down in the middle of the desert.

But what could have been the end was actually the beginning. The collapse helped spur a new field of research for Thomas on the relationship between sleep, mind-wandering, and creativity.

On October 19, Thomas and Chiara will discuss their experiences on the road, how it changed the course of Thomas’ research, and the way they approach their lives and work. They will also share their thoughts on questions such as: How can we integrate adventure into our lives and work? What helped them take the leap and take the path of least movement? What advice would they give to others weighing both adventure and career path?

Thomas Andrelon is a neuroscientist at the Brain Institute in Paris. Chiara Varzzani is a Principal Behavior Scientist at the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.



Journey to the Cave of Thieves – featuring Jennifer El Bazar

In the aftermath of World War II, just over 70 years ago, a team of psychologists set out to discover a solution to a global conflict. their lab? Summer camps for boys. Their goal? Put the boys between the ages of 11 and 12 facing each other to discover what, if any, can restore peace. Results? One of psychology’s most enduring and controversial experiments, known collectively as the Robbers Cave Studies.

Recently, Jennifer L. Bazar, assistant director at the National Museum of Psychology, hoped to peruse the museum’s archives of experiment to tell the story of the experiments and the researcher who led them. The conversation with Bazaar will explore the experiment’s bold vision, methods, ethics, and results. We’ll also feature pieces from the experience archive – photos, messages, and camp flags from the experience camps.

What are the lessons learned from the studies as conflicts continue to erupt around the world?

Jennifer L. Bazar is associate director of the Cummings Center for the History of Psychology at the University of Akron. She holds a PhD in History and Psychology Theory from York University.



Behavioral Science in the Outback – featuring Greg Rosalsky

Greg Rosalsky, an economic reporter and outback snowboarder, dives into the history of avalanche safety, and how behavioral science has changed the way avalanche safety is taught around the world. Rusalsky follows the story of two avalanche experts Ian McCammon and Bruce Trimper as they seek to uncover the psychology behind avalanche deaths and develop new training methods.

On December 7, Rusalski will share his avalanche training experience and what he learned from relaying the story. Why were rural experts prone to avalanches? Why has the field resisted incorporating human psychology into safety protocols? What innovative and behaviorally informed ways does the community bring human psychology into their designs? And what can other areas learn from them?

Greg Rosalsky is a reporter for NPR’s Planet Money. He writes a weekly newsletter on the economy and contributes regularly to the show’s podcasts and NPR podcasts. Before that he was a producer in Radio Freakonomics.