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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. 

Sep 4, 2017

Most of us don’t question a fluttery feeling in our chests when we’re excited or sweating armpits as we make a public speech. We accept these connections between our emotions and physical bodies. But according to neurologist Suzanne O’Sullivan, the human body’s reactions to emotions can be much more severe. Up to a third of people go to the doctor with symptoms that cannot be medically explained; and often doctors suspect an emotional cause. O’Sullivan believes that “psychosomatic disorders are physical symptoms that mask emotional distress.” She provides an in-depth analysis of some extreme cases, like Rachel, a promising young dancer now housebound by chronic fatigue syndrome, and Mary, whose memory loss might be masking her husband’s abuse. O’Sullivan takes a look deep inside the human condition—at the secrets we keep from ourselves—and she questions the medical establishment’s ability to recognize the extraordinary connection between mind and body.

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Recorded live at Town Hall Seattle Thursday, January 19, 2017