Distinguished Lecturer Series
Distinguished Lecturer: Dr. George Paxinos
George Paxinos finished high school in Ithaca, Greece. He studied at Berkeley, McGill and Yale and was a visiting scientist at Cambridge, Oxford, Stanford and UCLA. He is Scientia Professor of Medical Sciences at Neuroscience Research Australia and The University of New South Wales in Sydney.
He has identified and named more brain areas than anyone in history (94 nuclei) and published 58 books, his first, The Rat Brain in Stereotaxic Coordinates, being the most cited publication in neuroscience and, for decades, the third most cited book of all science. His atlases and concepts of brain organization are used by most scientists working on the relationship between the brain and cognition, emotion, motivation and thought, including neurologic or psychiatric diseases such as Alzheimer’s and depression.
George has just published a novel in the environmental genre: Almost Orwellian in a 21st century context, A River Divided encapsulates some of the quintessential moral and social dilemmas of the modern era, inviting a reset of science, religion and culture.
Watch Dr. Paxinos’ lecture at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1ll9NulwHU&t=23s.
Distinguished Lecturer: Dr. Athanassios Fokas
There is a widely spread misunderstanding that consciousness, the first ‘big bang’ in our mental evolution, dictates our lives, whereas in reality it only expresses and modifies unconscious processes. Several examples of the crucial importance of the unconscious will be discussed, including visual perception and homeostasis. Since many of our evolutionary predecessors also possess consciousness, the natural question of “how do we differ from other animals?” arises. It will be argued that our unique characteristic is our predisposition to construct re-representations. This second ‘big bang’, gives rise to language, mathematics, the arts and technology. Apparently, the interaction of re-representations with unconscious processes provides the essence of human creativity and the driving force of the astonishing human achievements.
Professor Fokas has a BSc in Aeronautics from Imperial College (1975), a PhD in Applied Mathematics from the California Institute of Technology (1979), and an MD from the University of Miami (1986). In 2000, he was awarded the Naylor Prize, the most prestigious prize in Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics in UK (the last recipient before Fokas was Stephen Hawking). In 2002, he was appointed to the newly inaugurated Chair in Nonlinear Mathematical Science at the University of Cambridge. Among many other distinctions are the Aristeion of the Bodossaki Foundation and the decoration of the Commander of the Order of Phoenix by the President of the Hellenic Republic.
Watch Dr. Fokas’ lecture at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5w84XAcbrKI&t=162s.