Breakthrough Prize Panel Discussion

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Breakthrough Prize Panel Discussion
Hosted by Entrepreneur and Investor Yuri Milner
Watch the webcast of the event here

Monday, November 9, 2015
5:30 - 7:00 pm

UC Berkeley
Zellerbach Playhouse

A selection of photos from the symposium and panel discussion are here


How does the human brain work?

What have we learned about how the brain works in the last few decades?  How much do we know about how we think, feel, remember, sense, imagine, and act?  What can the neurology of simple organisms tell us about our own brains?  What are the main challenges to our understanding? Are there breakthroughs on the horizon?  Can neuroscience ever crack big philosophical mysteries like consciousness and free will?

Speakers: Past and current Breakthrough Prize winners including Alim-Louis Benabid



What are the origins of life?

Thanks to evolutionary theory, genetics, and molecular biology, we are learning more and more about the workings of life.  But what have we learned about how it started?  Did it begin on Earth, or was it seeded from space?  Must it be based on carbon and water?  Could it exist elsewhere in the solar system?  And how common is it likely to be in the Universe?

Speakers: Past and current Breakthrough Prize winners including Jennifer DoudnaGary Ruvkun, and Robert Weinberg



Why is the Universe comprehensible?

Our brains were built for survival in the Savannah.  Yet we have grasped quantum uncertainty, 4d space-time, and the most abstract mathematics. Why is the Universe comprehensible?  Why should its laws conform to our ideas of simplicity or beauty?  Are there limits to human understanding  - and, if so, are we nearing them?  Does quantum mechanics really bring knowledge/consciousness to the center stage?

Speakers: Past and current Breakthrough Prize winners including Nima Arkani-HamedAndrei LindeSaul Perlmutter and Richard Taylor