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Stuart Firestein  

Scientist; Advocate for the Public Understanding of Science

Dr. Stuart Firestein is the former Chair of Columbia University's Department of Biological Sciences where his laboratory studies the vertebrate olfactory system which serves as a model for investigating general principles and mechanisms of signaling and perception in the brain. His laboratory seeks to answer that fundamental human question: How do I smell?

Dedicated to promoting the accessibility of science to a public audience Firestein serves as an advisor for the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation’s program for the Public Understanding of Science, where he reviews scripts for the Ensemble Studio Theatre/Sloan Science and Technology Program, and for the Tribeca Film Festival. In 2011 he received the Lenfest Distinguished Columbia Faculty Award for excellence in scholarship and teaching. He is a Fellow of the AAAS, an Alfred Sloan Fellow and a Guggenheim Fellow. He recently joined the Santa Fe Institute as a member of the (visiting) Fractal Faculty. At Columbia he is on the Advisory boards of the Center for Science and Society (CSS) and the Presidential Scholars in Society and Neuroscience – both centers for interdisciplinary work between the sciences and the humanities.

He has published two books on the workings of science for a general audience, "Ignorance, How it Drives Science" and "Failure: Why Science is So Successful." They have been translated into 12 languages. He is a board member and regular contributor to Nautilus magazine.


'Black Box Thinking' and 'Failure: Why Science Is So Successful ...
By contrast, “Failure: Why Science Is So Successful” is a breath of contemplative fresh air. Stuart Firestein, a professor in the department of biological sciences at ...
TED Talks - Season 39, Episode 09.01.13: Stuart Firestein: The ...
Watch TED Talks - Season 39, Episode 09.01.13 - Stuart Firestein: The pursuit of ignorance: What does real scientific work look like? As neuroscientist Stuart ...

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