SMMMASH: “Body” (Stanford Multidisciplinary Multidimensional Meeting of Arts, Science, and Humanities)

What is a body, where does it come from, what is it for? The answers seem obvious until you focus and realize that there is a lot more than the superficial biological facts. For example, our bodies are also for dancing and for playing sports, activities that require incredible skills and practice. We spend an increasing amount of time in a disembodied virtual world of emails, websites, social media and even e-learning. Science will soon be capable of changing the genes of your DNA, of replacing your limbs with better prosthetic limbs, of augmenting your organs with microchips, of cloning your entire being, and of building robots that can do everything you do. What will a body be then?
What are the moral implications of a disembodied or "multi-embodied" life?

Over the years, artists, scientists, and humanities scholars have explored, from radically different perspectives, the grand themes that define the human condition. Too infrequently, they are given the opportunity to listen to each other and engage in conversations that cross boundaries and mix up categories. The series titled SMMMASH (The Stanford Multidisciplinary Multidimensional Meeting of Arts, Science, and Humanities) offers them such an opportunity.

Please visit for material introducing the speakers and the topic.
Each panelist has provided reading, viewing, or listening material about "Body" as well as a brief audio interview to introduce her or his work.

To complement the panel, artists from different media genres will exhibit works that relate to “Body” in the lobby of the auditorium. Please visit for a least of the exhibiting artists.

Panelists for the “Body” event include:

Sarah Cahill
Contemporary Music Pianist
Sarah Cahill is one of the most sought performers in contemporary music. She has commissioned, premiered, and recorded numerous compositions for solo piano, as well as chamber music with several of the most prestigious chamber groups. She is on the faculty of the San Francisco Conservatory.

Ken Goldberg
Professor of Industrial Engineering, UC Berkeley
Ken Goldberg is editor-in-chief of the IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering, and co-founder of the Berkeley Center for New Media, Hybrid Wisdom Labs, and the Moxie Institute.

Oussama Khatib
Head of Stanford Robotics; Professor of Computer Science and, by courtesy, of Mechanical Engineering, Stanford
Oussama Khatib is president of the International Foundation of Robotics Research (IFRR) and has received the Japan Robot Association (JARA) Award in Research and Development.

Antara Bhardwaj
Indian Classical Dancer
Antara Bhardwaj, a member of the Chitresh Das Dance Company, is a leading exponent of Kathak Yoga, a combination of singing, playing the harmonium and dancing complex mathematical permutations. She has toured extensively  in India. She is also a documentary filmmaker and producer.

Piero Scaruffi, Moderator
Piero Scaruffi’s education and professional life has taken him from theoretical physics to cognitive science and the Internet, while writing on music, cinema, and the arts as well as publishing his own poetry. His books include The Nature of Consciousness and A History of Rock and Dance Music.

Thursday, January 17
Art exhibit in the lobby: 6:30 – 9:00 pm
Panel: 7:00 – 8:30 pm
Cubberley Auditorium, School of Education

The series will conclude with SMMMASH: “Language” on April 18 with Stanford psychologist/linguist Lera Boroditsky, visual artist Shan Shan Sheng, and musician Amy X Neuburg.

Thursday, January 17, 2013. 7:00 PM.
Approximate duration of 2.0 hour(s).
Cubberley Auditorium, School of Education (Map)
Continuing Studies

Free, open to public.

General Public, Faculty/Staff, Students, Alumni/Friends, Members
lecture, arts, music, dance, visual-arts, literary, engineering, humanities

More info...