Jennifer Ouellette: Me, Myself, and Why (with Q&A)

Jennifer Ouellette: Me, Myself, and Why (with Q&A)

To skip the intro: 1:49
Q&A: 1:04:10

To explore the mysteries of human identity, consciousness and behavior, author Jennifer Ouellette had her genome sequenced, her brain mapped, and her personality typed. She even sampled LSD. But what did she learn? The author of the new book, “Me, Myself and Why: Searching for the Science of Self”, takes us on an illuminating trip into the science of ourselves and asks: What makes us individuals?

Ouellette is the author of three other popular science books: The Calculus Diaries: How Math Can Help You Lose Weight, Win in Vegas, and Survive a Zombie Apocalypse (2010); The Physics of the Buffyverse (2007); and Black Bodies and Quantum Cats: Tales from the Annals of Physics (2006). She also edited The Best Online Science Writing 2012.

She has written for many newspapers and magazines, including the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times Book Review, Discover, Nature, Scientific American, Physics Today, and New Scientist. Ouellette maintains a blog called Cocktail Party Physics at Scientific American, featuring her avatar alter ego/evil twin, Jen-Luc Piquant — and she is a co-host for Virtually Speaking Science, a weekly conversation with a prominent scientist or science writer hosted by the Exploratorium in Second Life and aired as a podcast by Blog Talk Radio.

Ouellette holds a black belt in jujitsu and lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Caltech physicist Sean (M.) Carroll, who has spoken at the Center before about his books.

Recorded on July 20, 2014 at the Center for Inquiry-Los Angeles.

Camera, sound, and editing by Carl Wong.

Jennifer Ouellette: The Science of Self

Jennifer Ouellette: The Science of Self

The Human Genome project was completed in 2003, providing a map of all the genes in the human genome. With recent advances in brain-scan technology, the Human Connectome Project was launched in 2009 to create a map of the neural pathways in the brain. Is science inching closer to understanding the self? Or, as GK Chesterton wrote in 1908, “One may understand the cosmos, but never the ego; the self is more distant than any star.” Science journalist Jennifer Ouellette joins Steve Paikin to discuss her book, “Me, Myself, and Why: Searching for the Science of Self.”