STEERING COMMITTEE

pssn_presidential_scholars_society_neuroscience_pamela_smith Pamela H. Smith (Chair) is Seth Low Professor of History at Columbia University and Founding Director of the Columbia Center for Science and Society.  At Columbia, she teaches history of early modern Europe and the history of science.  She is the author of The Business of Alchemy: Science and Culture in the Holy Roman Empire (Princeton 1994; 1995 Pfizer Prize), and The Body of the Artisan: Art and Experience in the Scientific Revolution (Chicago 2004; 2005 Leo Gershoy Prize).  Her work on alchemy, artisans, and the making of vernacular and scientific knowledge has been supported by fellowships at the Wissenschafts-Kolleg, as a Guggenheim Fellow, a Getty Scholar, a Samuel Kress Fellow at the Center for the Advanced Study of the Visual Arts in Washington, DC, and by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Andrew Mellon Foundation, and the National Science Foundation.
pssn_presidential_scholars_society_neuroscience_peter_bearman Peter Bearman is the Director of the Interdisciplinary Center for Innovative Theories and Empirics (INCITE), the Cole Professor of the Social Sciences, and Co-Director of the Health & Society Scholars Program at Columbia University. A recipient of the NIH Director’s Pioneer Award in 2007, Bearman is currently investigating the social determinants of the autism epidemic. A specialist in network analysis, he co-designed the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. He has also conducted research in historical sociology, including Relations into Rhetorics: Local Elite Social Structure in Norfolk, England, 1540-1640 (Rutgers, 1993). He is the author of Doormen (University of Chicago Press, 2005). He is an editor of the Handbook of Analytical Sociology (Oxford University Press, 2009) and edits (with Peter Hedstrom) a series on analytical sociology at the Princeton University Press.  He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Science.
pssn_presidential_scholars_society_neuroscience_Robert_Burt It is with deep sadness that PSSN marks the passing of Professor Burt, a principal architect of this program, in August 2015.  His obituary can be found on the Yale website.

Robert Burt (Ex Officio) is Alexander M. Bickel Professor of Law at Yale University.   Professor Burt has written extensively on biomedical ethics and constitutional law, including Death is That Man Taking Names: Intersections of American Medicine, Law and Culture (2002); for preparation of this book, he was awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in 1997.  From 2001 to 2012, he was a member of the Advisory Board of the Greenwall Foundation Bioethics Faculty Scholar Program; and from 1993 to 2003, he was a member of the Advisory Board of the Project on Death in America of the Open Society Institute.  Since 2012, he has been Visiting Senior Research Scientist, Zuckerman Mind, Brain, Behavior Institute, Columbia University.   He received a J.D. degree from Yale University in 1964, an M.A. in Jurisprudence from Oxford University in 1962 and a B.A. from Princeton University in 1960.

aniruddha_das_presidential_scholars_society_neuroscience_PSSN Aniruddha Das is Associate Professor in the Departments of Neuroscience, Psychiatry, Biomedical Engineering at Columbia University Medical Center and the Kavli Institute for Brain Science. He received his PhD from Berkeley with Charles Townes, (the inventor of the maser and laser), but decided to pursue his long-standing interest in neurobiology and perception, starting with postdoctoral training with Charles Gilbert at Rockefeller University. Dr. Das’ lab is interested in cortical mechanisms of visual processing. They have two broad areas of research – understanding task-related anticipation in visual cortex, and analyzing the cortical basis of visual form processing. They are also actively involved in developing new recording and analysis techniques for these two research directions.
pssn_presidential_scholars_society_neuroscience_david_freedberg David Freedberg is best known for his work on psychological responses to art, and particularly for his studies on iconoclasm and censorship (see, inter alia, Iconoclasts and their Motives, and The Power of Images: Studies in the History and Theory of Response). His more traditional art historical writing originally centered on Dutch and Flemish art. Within these fields he specialized in the history of Dutch printmaking, and in the paintings and drawings of Bruegel and Rubens. He then turned his attention to seventeenth century Roman art and to the paintings of Nicolas Poussin, before moving on to his recent work in the history of science and on the importance of the new cognitive neurosciences for the study of art and its history. Following a series of important discoveries in Windsor Castle, the Institut de France and the archives of the Accademia dei Lincei in Rome, he has for long been concerned with the intersection of art and science in the age of Galileo. While much of his work in this area has been published in articles and catalogues, his chief publication in this area is The Eye of the Lynx: Galileo, his Friends, and the Beginnings of Modern Natural History (2002). As Director of the Italian Academy for Advanced Studies in America, and long committed to cross-disciplinary work in the sciences, anthropology and the arts, he established the Academy’s Art and Neuroscience (later Neuroscience and Humanities) project in 2001. The aim of the project – and of its successful biannual conferences on cutting-edge topics relevant to the understanding of art, music, vision and emotion – has been not to mix fields, but to encourage critical thinking about the methodological and epistemological paradigms underlying each domain. His own work has concentrated on issues of empathy, embodiment and motor responses.
pssn_presidential_scholars_society_neuroscience_Thomas_Jessell Thomas Jessell is the Claire Tow Professor in the Department of Neuroscience and the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics at Columbia University and an HHMI Investigator. Thomas Jessell’s research explores the link between the assembly and organization of neural networks, and the behaviors they encode. He is examining these issues through an analysis of circuits that control movement. Research in the Jessell lab explores the developmental wiring and mature function of neural circuits that provide mammals with the ability to act on demand, through the neural control of movement. Studies focus on the neural circuits that control two forms of motor behavior that rely on limb musculature: locomotion and goal-directed reaching. In one approach, we aim to define the cellular rules and molecular mechanisms that direct the intricate wiring of these circuits. In parallel, we have used insights into the molecular origins of neuronal identity to devise more precise genetic methods to monitor and manipulate the activity of defined neuronal classes, permitting us to delve into the design of circuits and systems responsible for the planning and execution of movement.
pssn_presidential_scholars_society_neuroscience_alondra_nelson Alondra Nelson is Dean of Social Science and Professor of Sociology at Columbia University, where she also holds an appointment in the Institute for Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality. She received her PhD from New York University in 2003. Before coming to Columbia in 2009, she was on the faculty of Yale University. At Yale, she received the Poorvu Award for teaching excellence. Nelson is an interdisciplinary social scientist working on the intersections of science, technology, medicine, and inequality. She is the author of Body and Soul: The Black Panther Party and the Fight against Medical Discrimination (2012) and The Social Life of DNA: Race, Reparations, and Reconciliation after the Genome (2016). Her coedited works include Technicolor: Race, Technology, and Everyday Life (2001) and Genetics and the Unsettled Past: The Collision of DNA, Race, and History (2012).
pssn_presidential_scholars_society_neuroscience_Christopher_Peacocke Christopher Peacocke is Johnsonian Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University. He was previously Waynflete Professor of Metaphysical Philosophy in the University of Oxford, and held a Leverhulme Personal Research Professorship. He is a Fellow of the British Academy and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.  He has taught at Berkeley, NYU and UCLA, and has been a Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences in Stanford. He was President of the Mind Association in 1986-7. His books include Sense and Content (Oxford, 1983), Thoughts: An Essay on Content (Blackwell, 1986), A Study of Concepts (MIT, 1992), Being Known (Oxford, 1999), The Realm of Reason (Oxford, 2003), Truly Understood (Oxford, 2008), and The Mirror of the World: Subjects, Consciousness, and Self-Consciousness (Oxford, 2014). In 2011-13, he served as Chair of the Promotions and Tenure Committee in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.  He is currently Chair of the Philosophy Department.

 

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