Doors 6.45pm / Lecture 7pm
(can arrive to the cafe/ bar anytime)
'Human consciousness is just about the last surviving mystery', so said philosopher Daniel Dennett.
Somehow, within each of our brains, billions of neurons work to create our conscious experience. How does this happen? And why do we experience life in the first person? Charles Darwin reasoned that there is a unity of all living things. That unity, he reckoned, applies not just to bodies but also to minds. Scientists continue to debate the question of exactly how the brain (a biological organ) gives rise to a mind (with its intangible mental processes).
Anil Seth will open up some of these ideas in his exploration of Being You.
He will challenge your understanding of perception and reality, and turn what you thought you knew about yourself, on its head. His talk on Being You is not as simple as it sounds. After over twenty years researching the brain, world-renowned neuroscientist Anil Seth puts forward a radical new theory of consciousness and self.
“Anil Seth … deftly weaves the philosophical, biological and personal with a lucid clarity and coherence that is thrilling to read … consciousness [is] one of the most exciting scientific frontiers, and nobody is better placed to guide us there … he lays out his radical theory of our invented reality with accessible and compelling writing … Being You is an exhilarating book: a vast-ranging, phenomenal achievement that will undoubtedly become a seminal text.”
Gaia Vince, The Guardian, Book of the Week
'Seth thinks clearly and sharply on one of the hardest problems of science and philosophy, cutting through weeds with a scientist’s mind and a storyteller’s skill.’
Adam Rutherford, Humanists UK President
'A brilliant beast of a book. A wide ranging synthesis pulling together disparate stands—from philosophy, science, literature, personal experience and speculation.... Seth proposes to explain not just what and how we are, but probably provocative for some folks, why we are the way we are. Why do we have the feeling of continually being the same person?.... Why do we have this feeling of being self aware? What is it for? Hugely inspirational'
David Byrne, founder member of Talking Heads
Anil Seth is Professor of Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience at the University of Sussex, and also Director of the Sussex Centre for Consciousness Science. His two TED talks have been viewed over 16 million times, and he won the 2023 Royal Society Michael Faraday Prize in recognition of his exemplary public engagement work.
"Being You - a new science of consciousness" was a Book of the Year 2021 for The Guardian, The Economist, New Statesman, Financial Times, Bloomberg.
There will be a bookstall by Heron Books at the event, and Anil Seth will be signing copies of his book.
There will be an opportunity to ask Prof Seth questions after his talk, and the cafe/bar will be open both before the event, and afterwards until 9.30pm
This annual event of the last 10 years, celebrating the life of Charles Darwin, arguably the greatest scientist ever to have lived, was previously offered free through our partnership with Bristol Ideas. Now that Bristol Ideas has announced its' closure Bristol Humanists is promoting the event. In order to cover our costs there is now a cover price for tickets - we hope we can still count on your support.
Tickets are available online, over the phone or in person.
The Bristol Folk House
40A Park Street
0117 926 2987
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