My plenary talk at the 2023 Science of Consciousness conference in Taormina, Italy, just finished
Talk behind me, I can relax and enjoy Italy a little
I’ve been at the Science of Consciousness conference in Taormina, Italy, all week. I had the honor of being a plenary speaker this year and felt pretty nervous going into it, particularly because it was on Friday, toward the end of the conference — giving me a lot of time to stew on how I could screw things up in many ways.
But when it came time to give my talk it went really well and I had the perfect speaker who came right before me in Prof. Johnjoe McFadden from the Univ. of Surrey in England.
Johnjoe is a colleague and co-editor with me on our EM field theories of consciousness research topic at Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. His “Conscious electromagnetic information” field (CEMI) theory of consciousness is very congruent with our approach, though we are explicitly panpsychist in our theory and he’s quite cautious about the panpsychist implications of his approach.
Also on our panel were Prof. Michael Levin, at Tufts, and Prof. Anirban Bandyopadhyay at Tsukuba, Japan, both of whom are doing amazing and bleeding-edge work in their respective fields. I have to pinch myself a little to accept that I was on the same panel with these luminaries.
Our panel was on “EM field and resonance approaches to consciousness.” Our General Resonance Theory of consciousness is both an EM field and a resonance theory of consciousness.
The reception to my talk was very good so I’m still feeling a nice buzz from having it behind me now, but also feeling like not only did I not screw it up, but I actually pulled it off pretty well!
Thanks again to colleague, mentor and friend Jonathan Schooler, who founded the METALAB at UC Santa Barbara, where I hang my academic hat, for being an integral impetus and helper along my journey from simply being a very avid reader in consciousness and neuroscience for much of my life to becoming a professional in this field (in addition to my day job in green energy law and policy).
And thanks are due to Stuart Hameroff and Jay Sanguinetti for believing I could deliver a worthy plenary talk.
Here’s a link to my Powerpoint if you’re curious. Pic from my friend from Hawaii, Christine Mason, who also attended the conference and had a great time at her first academic conference.