What is intelligence? Good question . . . Safely encased in our human skulls, our 85 billion neurons gather information, form thoughts, and dictate our actions. But is that the only kind of smarts? Biologist Simon Garnier studies animals that use a more external operating system and exhibit highly coordinated group behavior—or collective intelligence. Think army ants, schools of fish, flocks of birds, the Borg (gulp).
Director of the Swarm Lab and professor of biology at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, Simon Garnier researches ant-mimicking robot swarms, bridge-building army ants, and socially networked slime molds to learn how intelligent collective behaviors and decision-making emerge in groups of social animals. He also considers the question of self-organization in nature—in everything from cells to human crowds. Simon Garnier’s work has been widely covered in the media, and he has been a featured scientist on Science Friday, the Guardian technology video series, National Geographic, Scientific American, and Mashable.
Before & After
--Try our hive-minded cocktail of the night, the Perfect Swarm
--Wiggle to grooves that wriggle
--Stick around for the scintillating Q&A
This crowd-sourced edition of the Secret Science Club meets Wednesday, December 2, 8 pm @ the Bell House, 149 7th St. (between 2nd and 3rd avenues) in Gowanus, Brooklyn. Subway: F or G to 4th Ave; R to 9th Street.
Doors open at 7:30 pm. Please bring ID: 21+
No cover. Just bring your smart self!