Distinguished Fellows for 2018-2019

Jan 28, 2019
Feb 04, 2019
James Gleick

The SAGE Center Distinguished Fellow for January and February is James Gleick. Mr. Gleick has a BA in English and Linguistics from Harvard College. In his highly varied career, he has co-founded an alternative weekly newspaper, co-founded an Internet service provider, worked as an editor and reporter for the New York Times, and worked as a writer for major media outlets such as The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Slate, The Washington Post, and The New York Review of Books. Mr. Gleick is an internationally acclaimed writer on science and technology. He has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in Biography, the Andrew Carnegie Medal in Nonfiction, the National Book Award in Nonfiction and he has won the PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award and the Phi Beta Kappa Award in Science. Mr. Gleick’s New York Times bestselling book, Chaos: Making a New Science (2008), outlines the story of how chaos theory was popularized in different fields of study. According to Google Scholar, it has been cited over 11 thousand times. In 2012, Gleick authored The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood, a nonfiction narrative that “describes how we’ve progressed from seeing information as the expression of human thought and emotion to looking at it as a commodity that can be processed, like wheat or plutonium” (Nicholas Carr, The Daily Beast). His most recent book, Time Travel: A History (2016) explores time travel from its origins in literature and science to its influence on our understanding of time itself. It was awarded Best Books of 2016 by the Boston Globe and The Atlantic. He is a regular contributor to bigthink.com, and his Big Think interview “The Common Character Trait of Geniuses” on YouTube has nearly 2 million views. His Vox interview “Would You Use Time Travel to Kill Baby Hitler” on YouTube has 3.5 million views.

The following lectures will be held at 4 p.m. in Psychology 1312:

January 28      What Is Information? 

February 4       What Is Time?


Feb 25, 2019
Mar 04, 11, 2019
Simon Laughlin

Simon Laughlin is Emeritus Professor of Neurobiology in the Department of Zoology at the University of Cambridge, UK. After he received his PhD from Australian National University, Prof. Laughlin had appointments at Australian National University, Freie Universität (Berlin) and Yale University. He has been a member of the faculty at the University of Cambridge since 1984. Prof. Laughlin takes a multi-disciplinary and comparative approach to solving problems of general interest in neuroscience. He focuses on neural design strategies, learning by experimenting on the insect visual system and modelling basic biophysical processes. In his work Prof. Laughlin’s has discovered design principles that apply to many brains because they are deeply rooted in biophysics, cell biology and information theory. Thus, by working on flies’ eyes, he has discovered how the human eye and brain are designed to process information efficiently. These discoveries go some way to explain how a brain that weighs 1.5 kilograms and uses as much energy as a domestic light bulb outperforms a supercomputer. His current interests include (1) energy, information and neural function, (2) principles of neural circuit design, and (3) the ecology and comparative physiology of vision. In 2000 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (London). His book Principles of Neural Design (2015, MIT Press, co-authored with Peter Sterling) won two Prose awards for Best in Neuroscience and Best in Biology.    

The following lectures will be held at 4 p.m. in Psychology 1312:

February 25      The Energetic Brain 

March 4             The Efficient Brain

March 11           [title forthcoming]



Apr 15, 22, 29, 2019Hazel Markus

The SAGE Center Distinguished Fellow for April is Hazel Markus, the Davis-Brack Professor in the Behavioral Sciences, Co-director of the center for Social Psychological Questions to Real-world Questions and Director of the Research Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity at Stanford University. After earning her PhD from the University of Michigan, Dr. Markus worked there until 1994 as a ladder faculty member in the Department of Psychology and as a research scientist at the Institute for Social Research. From 1992-94, she was Directeur de Recherche at Maison des Sciences de l'Homme in Paris, France, and in 1994 she moved to the Psychology Department at Stanford University. Dr. Markus’s research focuses on the role of self in regulating behavior and on the ways in which the social world shapes the self. Her work examines how cultures, including those of nation or region of origin, gender, social class, race, ethnicity, religion, and occupation, shape thought, feeling, and action. She is the author of several books, including Clash! How to Thrive in a Multicultural World (2013/2014) and Facing Social Class: How Societal Rank Influences Interaction (2012). Her honors and awards include the American Psychological Association's award for Distinguished Scientific Contribution, the Donald T. Campbell award from SPSP for contributions to social psychology, and the APS William James Award for lifetime achievement for basic research. Dr. Markus is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, former President of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology and is a member of National Academy of Sciences.



May 06, 13, 20, 2019Brian Hare

Brian Hare is associate professor of evolutionary anthropology at Duke University in North Carolina and a member of the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University, founded the Hominoid Psychology Research Group while at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, and subsequently founded the Duke Canine Cognition Center when arriving at Duke University. Dr. Hare researches the evolution of cognition by studying both humans, our close relatives the primates (especially bonobos and chimpanzees), and species whose cognition converged with our own (primarily domestic dogs). His publications on dog cognition are among the most heavily cited papers on dog behavior and intelligence. Dr. Hare’s research has consistently received national and international media coverage over the last decade and has been featured in numerous mainstream media print outlets. He has been a frequent guest on radio programs including the BBC and American National Public Radio. He has also been featured in multiple documentaries from production companies such as National Geographic (U.S.), BBC (U.K.), Nova (U.S.), RTL (Germany), SBS (Korea) and Globo (Brazil). Dr. Hare is frequently invited to give lectures on his research on dog intelligence. In 2004 the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation named Dr. Hare a recipient of the Sofja Kovalevskaja Award, Germany’s most prestigious award for scientists under age 40. In 2007 Smithsonian magazine named him one of the top 37 U.S. scientists under 36. Follow Dr. Hare’s fan page on Facebook to learn about his latest news and discoveries from the field.


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