What is pink and green on four wheels with a big, glowing brain on top? Granted he can fundraise $10,900 by March 13th, Tyler Alterman's cognitive science education station will be. Alterman is teaming up with artists and scientists from his lab to build a lab-on-wheels called "The Think Tank."
“Most think tanks have Washington, D.C. addresses,” notes Alterman, a researcher at the New School for Social Research. “But The Think Tank, as a literal and metaphorical vehicle, will roam New York streets (for starters) without an address, empowering kids and adults with the behavioral and brain sciences wherever it parks.” To join about 70 others in supporting Alterman's campaign--launched on Alterman and Darwin's birthdays--check out his video and crowdfunding page at http://igg.me/at/CogSciOnWheels.
The lab-on-wheels will be built out of a renovated box truck by Alterman and a team of artists headed by Christine Alaimo, a neuroscientist with a cupcake business in support of autism research. Alterman plans to bring classrooms and scientists aboard The Think Tank to teach the research process, collect demographically diverse data, and educate citizens with sidewalk talks about how the science of brain and mind can improve lives.
Created as Alterman’s senior thesis project, The Think Tank is a collaboration between theCUNY Macaulay Honors College senior and the New School for Social Research’s distinguished neuroscientist Dr. Daniel Casasanto, who holds a doctorate from MIT’s Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences and contributes to Psychology Today.
After meeting his funding goal of $10,900, Alterman plans to unveil the vehicle at a public benefit, held in the Honors College's landmark brownstone neighboring Lincoln Center. The benefit will be headlined by the Amygdaloids, a rock band made up entirely of neuroscientists. Named for the part of the brain believed to register fear, the band is fronted by Joseph E. LeDoux, a leading authority in neural science, Director of the Center for the Neuroscience of Fear and Anxiety and author of such books as The Emotional Brain: the Mysterious Underpinnings of Emotional Life. Other highlights include mini-lectures by noted experts and a screening of shorts from the Imagine Science Film Festival.
About the Think Tank team:
Tyler Alterman, who will graduate from Macaulay Honors College this spring, is a researcher in the Department of Psychology at the New School for Social Research in New York. The recipient of such prestigious awards as the Goldsmith Scholarship and the JK Watson fellowship, he is majoring in Cognitive Science, which combines
neuroscience, psychology, linguistics, artificial intelligence, anthropology and philosophy.
Daniel Casasanto, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at the New School for Social Research. He studies how linguistic, cultural, and bodily experiences shape the brain and mind. He received his doctorate from MIT's Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences and completed post-doctoral training at Stanford University on a National Research Service Award. Casasanto's research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Mental Health, and by a James S. McDonnell Foundation Scholar Award. He has authored over 50 scientific publications which have been featured in such publications as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, NPR, Scientific American. He is a founding editor of the interdisciplinary journal Language and Cognition, an associate editor of Frontiers in Cognitive Science, and an editorial board member of the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General and of Psychological Science.
About Macaulay Honors College:
Macaulay Honors College offers exceptional students a uniquely personalized education with access to the vast resources of the nation’s largest urban university and New York City itself. Selected for their top high school records and leadership potential, every Macaulay student receives a full in-state tuition scholarship available to eligible New York State residents, a laptop and technology support, and a $7,500 Opportunities Fund to pursue global learning and service opportunities. For more information visit www.macaulay.cuny.edu.
Watch the video below for more information: