Unique: The New Science of Human Individuality

Wednesday, 30 September, 2020 7:00 pm
Online (Zoom)

Not too long ago, David Linden found himself on OkCupid, one of the world’s great catalogs of human idiosyncrasy. Fortunately for his lonely heart, he found his soulmate. But, being a scientist, he couldn’t help but ask what made the whole thing work? 

In this talk, moderated by Dr. Sean Guillory, Dr. Linden offers answers from his book "Unique," where he reveals the origins and importance of human individuality. From the womb in which we developed to the food we just ate, Linden explores the myriad of factors that make each of us unlike any other. At the heart of human individuality are our genes, but these are not genes that preordain our destiny. Rather, they are flexible ones, easily manipulated by the intrinsic randomness of human development and our experience in the world. Perhaps even more surprisingly, Linden reveals why human individuality and the things that set us apart are in fact essential to our ability to live together.

Unique: The New Science of Human Individuality

David Linden, PhD

David J. Linden, Ph.D., is a Professor in the Department of Neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. His laboratory has worked for many years on the cellular basis of memory storage, recovery of function after brain injury and a few other topics. He has a longstanding interest in scientific communication and served for many years as the Chief Editor of the Journal of Neurophysiology.

He is the author of three bestselling books on the biology of behavior for a general audience, The Accidental Mind (2007), The Compass of Pleasure (2011), and Touch: The Science of Hand, Heart and Mind (2015) which, to date, have been translated into 19 languages. Most recently, he edited a collection of short essays on brain function written for a general audience: Think Tank: Forty Neuroscientists Explore the Biological Roots of Human Experience (2018). He has appeared on the TED Radio Hour, Fresh Air with Terry Gross and many other media outlets. His next book, Unique: The Science of Human Individuality will be published by Basic books in Fall, 2020. 

He lives in Baltimore, Maryland.

Shtick to Solutions: Learn to manage uncertainty from the masters of comedy

Sean Guillory, PhD

Sean Guillory has had the absolute privilege of doing his Ph.D. Dissertation on the neuroscience of humor and laughter and has been enjoying the professional ride ever since then (currently he builds automation robots; sadly he has not gotten any of them to laugh).

Please also enjoy the picture that perfectly describes the past 3 months of his life (not pictured: his 5-year-old asking where the charger is).

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