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Town Hall Seattle: Science Series

The Science series presents cutting-edge research about biology, physics, chemistry, ecology, geology, astronomy, and more. These events appeal to many different levels of expertise, from grade school students to career scientists. With a range of relevant applications, including medicine, the environment, and technology, this series expands our thinking and our possibilities.

Checkout our new bi-weekly podcast "In the Moment"

Highlighting big ideas from both recent and soon-to-come events. A rolling Town Hall timeline, with you at the center. Every two weeks, hosts Steve Scher and Jini Palmer rewind through the recent past and fast-forward to the near future, catching you up on events you may have missed and offering a glimpse into the weeks ahead.

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Town Hall is a gathering place where ideas are planted and movements grow. It’s where we come together as a community to listen and be heard—to ask and answer the big questions facing our city and our world. Annually, we present hundreds of artists and scholars, and collaborate with more than 150 grassroots groups in our self-produced programs. Rooted in the belief that we all deserve a voice, our programming reflects—and inspires—our region's best impulses: creativity, empathy, and innovation. With our podcast series, we take one more step towards making our programming accessible to all. 

Dec 18, 2017

Virtual Reality is at once a revolutionary tool for entertainment and a technology raising fundamental questions about the experience of being inside the human body. Jaron Lanier―interdisciplinary scientist and father of the term “virtual reality”―takes a look at what it means to be human at a moment of unprecedented technological possibility. His book Dawn of the New Everything: Encounters with Reality and Virtual Reality exposed VR’s ability to illuminate and amplify our understanding of our species, recontextualizing our perspective on how the brain and body connect to the world. Lanier took our stage to elaborate on VR as a humanistic setting for technology and approaches VR as both a scientific and cultural adventure. Join Lanier as he explored VR’s implications for the future―and ways it can make our lives richer and fuller.

Jaron Lanier, an interdisciplinary scientist at Microsoft, either coined or popularized the term Virtual Reality. His startup VPL created the first commercial VR products, avatars, multi-person virtual world experiences, and prototypes of surgical simulation. He is the author of international bestselling books Who Owns the Future? and You Are Not a Gadget, and in 2014 he was awarded the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade.

Recorded live at University Temple Church by Town Hall Seattle on Monday, December 4, 2017.