LASER Talks at Stanford

LASER (Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous) is Leonardo/ISAST's international program of evening gatherings that brings artists and scientists together for informal presentations and conversations.

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CHAIRED BY: Piero Scaruffi


  • 7:00-7:25: bronte.jpg Helen Bronte-Stewart (Stanford/ Neurology) on "Using Art and Science to Improve the Lives of People with Parkinson's disease"
  • 7:25-7:50: mayor.jpg Adrienne Mayor (Stanford/ Classics and History and Philosophy of Science) on "Gods and Robots"
  • 7:50-8:10: BREAK. Before or after the break, anyone in the audience currently working within the intersections of art and science will have 30 seconds to share their work. Please present your work as a teaser so that those who are interested can seek you out during social time following the event.
  • 8:10-8:35: mcclella.jpg Jay McClelland (Co-Director, Center for Mind, Brain, Computation and Technology, Stanford University) on "Embodiment in Mathematical Cognition"
  • 8:35-9:00: holberto.jpg Rhonda Holberton (Media Artist, SJSU) on "Best of Both Worlds: Physical Ramifications of Digitally Engineered Reality(s)"





  • Helen Bronte-Stewart is the John E. Cahill Family Professor in the department of Neurology and Neurological Sciences, and, by courtesy, of Neurosurgery at the Stanford University Medical Center. She is also Director of the Stanford Movement Disorders Center, Division Chief of the Movement Disorders division, and co-director of the Stanford Balance Center. Her expertise in single neuronal electrophysiology in primates has been transferred to the operating room where she performs the intra-operative microelectrode mapping of basal ganglia nuclei during deep brain stimulations (DBS) procedures for the treatment of patients with Movement Disorders. Her research focus is on elucidating the mechanisms of abnormal brain activity that contribute to abnormal movement and balance disorders in Parkinson's disease, tremor and dystonia. She has developed new technology to measure human motor control such as a MIDI keyboard, which has been developed by Intel's division of Healthcare Technology. In the Stanford Human Motor Control & Balance laboratory, her team is investigating the effects of interventions such as DBS and/or exercise on specific aspects of balance and upper extremity movement in Parkinson's disease. In the operating room, she and her colleagues record electrical signals directly from the human brain and have demonstrated that DBS suppresses an abnormal rhythm in the brain and may act like a brain pacemaker. Her passion for understanding how the brain controls movement comes from a background in classical and modern dance.
  • Adrienne Mayor, a historian of ancient science, investigates natural knowledge contained in myths and oral traditions. Mayor's most recent book is "Gods and Robots: Myths, Machines, and Ancient Dreams of Technology" (2018). Other books include "The Amazons: Lives and Legends of Warrior Women across the Ancient World" (2014) and a biography of Mithradates VI, "The Poison King," a National Book Award finalist (2009). Her research looks at ancient "folk science" precursors, alternatives, and parallels to modern scientific methods. Mayor's two books on pre-Darwinian fossil traditions in classical antiquity and in Native America opened a new field within the emerging discipline of Geomythology, and her book on the origins of biological weapons uncovered the ancient roots of biochemical warfare. A research scholar in Classics and the History and Philosophy of Science Program, she is currently a Berggruen Fellow, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford.
  • Jay McClelland (Stanford/ Center for Mind, Brain and Computation) is Co-Director of the Center for Mind, Brain, Computation and Technology at Stanford University, where he was formerly the chair of the Psychology Department. In fall 2006 McClelland moved to Stanford University from Carnegie Mellon University, where he was a professor of psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience. He also holds a part-time appointment as Consulting Professor at the Neuroscience and Aphasia Research Unit (NARU) within the School of Psychological Sciences, University of Manchester. In 1986 McClelland published Parallel Distributed Processing: Explorations in the Microstructure of Cognition" with David Rumelhart. His present work focuses on learning, memory processes, and psycholinguistics. He is a former chair of the Rumelhart Prize committee, having collaborated with Rumelhart for many years. Awards include: William W. Cumming prize from Columbia University (1970), Research Scientist Career Development Award from the National Institute of Mental Health (1981—86, 1987—97), Rumelhart Prize (2010), and C.L. de Carvalho-Heineken Prize (2014). He has been a Fellow of the National Science Foundation (1970—73). In July 2017, McClelland was elected a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy.
  • Rhonda Holberton's multimedia installations make use of digital and interactive technologies integrated into traditional methods of art production. Holberton received her MFA from Stanford University and her BFA from the California College of the Arts. She was a distinguished lecturer at Stanford University and is currently a professor of Digital Media Art at San Jose State University. Holberton was a CAMAC Artist in Residence at Marnay-sur-Seine, France and awarded a Fondation T‚not Fellowship, Paris, France. Her recent solo exhibitions include Transfer Gallery (Brooklyn, NY), CULT | Aimee Friberg Exhibitions (San Francisco, CA), City Limits Gallery and Royal Nonesuch (Oakland, CA), and the Berkeley Art Center (Berkeley, CA). Holberton's 3D Animation, Best of Both Worlds, was recently acquired by SFMOMA and her work is included many notable private collections. She was recently nominated for a three person exhibition for the National Museum of Women in the Arts, curated by SFMOMA's Curator Jenny Gheith. Holberton has been included in exhibitions at the Yerba Center Center for the Arts, San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, and the San Francisco Arts Commission and was selected for a solo presentation in ZONA MACO SUR 2016 in Mexico City. Her work has been featured in Paper Journal, Terremoto Magazine, PLASMA, SFAQ, Art in America, Art Practical and Daily Serving, among others. Holberton is represented by CULT | Aimee Friberg Exhibitions.



LASER (Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous) Talks is Leonardo's international program of evening gatherings that bring artists and scientists together for informal presentations and conversations. LASER Talks were founded in 2008 by Bay Area LASER Chair Piero Scaruffi and are in over 30 cities around the world. To learn more about how our LASER Hosts and to visit a LASER near you please visit our website

The mission of the LASERs is to provide the general public with a snapshot of the cultural environment of a region and to foster interdisciplinary networking.

April 11th, 2019 7:00 PM through  9:00 PM
Stanford University
Online / Palo Alto, CA 94305-5101
United States
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