Archive for May, 2014

A Public Lecture

May 15, 2014

This evening, I gave a public lecture at my University, entitled “Hear here: from the ear to the brain”. And last year, in the same series,  I gave a talk about Artificial Intelligence. Both went well: but I’d really like to give these talks elsewhere as well. And I don’t know quite how to organise this – I’m not really quite up to pushing myself on to a science festival (and often they go for professional science publicists, rather than plain old professors!). Is there another career for waiting for me there?

Today’s talk was interesting from my viewpoint too. the audience age ranged from about 11 to about 75! Some were retired academics, some were locals, and some were the children of academics. I think I managed to target it well, but it’s a tricky business: not losing (or boring) the younger, less experienced part of the audience, yet attempting to keep the interest of the older ones. But judging from the questions at the end I managed OK. Interestingly, it felt more like a performance than a lecture: more like I had played a gig on the piano, than stood up and spoken for a while: not really like a standard lecture at all.

And yet: what I’d really like to do would be to mix together the various skills I have and give an illustrated public lecture illustrated with music, played on the piano. Perhaps that would be a bit hard though I did manage to give a musically accompanied speech at my late father’s 80’th birthday, more than 20 years ago. What sorts of music might illustrate artificial intelligence? The musical accompaniment to the sound and hearing talk might be easier, however.

And now? Quietly sitting, writing, having quaffed a few beers, just to relax. Back to the everyday grind tomorrow!

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